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Jason Rawls in class with record player
Brothers Rise Initiatve

HOPE Program

The Patton College’s new HOPE program prepares teachers to incorporate culturally relevant pedagogy into their own teaching styles. Using theoretical constructs from Hip-Hop Based Education (HHBE), this innovative program will support pre-service teachers in understanding the value of hip-hop-based education, culturally relevant pedagogy, and relational pedagogy. Students will learn how they can use the aesthetics of hip-hop culture to build healthy and affirming relationships with students to facilitate learning and student engagement. The program is housed in the College’s Institute for Democracy in Education (IDE). 


The HOPE program consists of four courses that substitute for other Teacher Education required courses.

EDTE 1010 Introduction to Hip-Hop-Based Education

This course (which substitutes for EDTE 1000) explores in depth the complex issues and challenges of education in the United States and how hip-hop-based education has been used to create more equitable schooling practices for youth. Course content includes an exploration of the origins of hip-hop-based education and its role in addressing social issues and concerns within education. The course emphasizes preparing teacher candidates to use hip-hop culture to connect to the lives of youth. 

EDTE 2100 Introduction to Youth Culture

This course (which substitutes for EDTE 2000) explores the complexity of youth culture and examines the cultural and historical construction of childhood to young adulthood. This course discusses major learning and human development theories through the use of youth culture pedagogy as an overarching framework for understanding. In addition, this course provides an introduction to equity-based pedagogical frameworks, such as reality pedagogy and culturally sustaining pedagogy as a way to affirm students and support their learning.

EDTE 2110 Youth Culture, Education & Society

This course (which substitutes for EDCS 2010) explores how educators can use hip-hop as a lens to understand social justice themes that our students face daily and particularly within schools. Course content includes a critical analysis of hip-hop lyrics that explore issues in society. Students will use this analysis as a lens for understanding education today. Students will have robust discussions and dialogue on the implications of age, ability, race, class, gender, and sexuality on education in relation to hip-hop culture.

Proposed Courses

EDPL 3620 Hip-Hop Education in Practice

This course explores the performance of pedagogy. It is a nod to hip-hop artists being the ultimate pedagogues using call and response, crowd motivation, and openers and closers to “rock a crowd.” Students will use hip-hop as a lens to understand equitable discipline practices, positive relationship building, and engagement practices.


Jason Rawls DJ's in front of shelves full of movies.
Photo by Deja Goode


For more information, contact:

Dr. Jason Rawls
Associate Professor of Instruction
HOPE Program Coordinator
Teacher Education