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by Christopher Emdin
Identifying urban youth of color as neoindigenous,” Emdin maintains, allows us to understand their feelings of “marginalization, displacement, and diaspora.” For these neoindigenous students, he has devised a “reality pedagogy,” drawn largely from Pentecostal churches and hip-hop culture, which aims to meet students on their own “cultural and emotional turf” and create ways to engage them in learning. Basic to his approach are the “Seven Cs,” including the creation of “cogenerative dialogues,” where students in groups of four become advisers to the teacher on classroom management and content; coteaching, where students take responsibility for imparting course material; cosmopolitanism, in which each student has responsibility for full citizenship in the classroom; awareness of students’ contexts, the better to make connections between their lives and course content; and competition, where the hip-hop battle popular in urban communities is transformed into a Science Battle. An imaginative take on teaching sure to inspire controversy.
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