12 November 2012

The Pedagogy of Pop

The Pedagogy of Pop: Theoretical and Practical Strategies for Success is now available for ordering from Lexington Press, featuring essays regarding the implementation and academic value of popular culture in the classroom, along with my contribution, "The Words We Write for Ourselves: Confronting the Myths of Race, Education, and American Genius in Finding Forrester," co-authored with ULL professor Joanna Davis-McElligatt.

From Rowman & Littlefield's webpage:

Media competes with public schools in terms of student engagement and time. However, the two needn't be mutually exclusive. The Pedagogy of Pop: Theoretical and Practical Strategies for Success discusses a variety of strategies and approaches for using social and mass media as tools through which teachers might improve schooling.

While there is a vast body of literature in this field, editors Edward A. Janak and Denise Blum have created a text which differs in two substantive ways: scope and sequence. In terms of scope, this work is unique in two facets: first, it presents both theory and practice in one volume, bridging the two worlds; and second, it includes lessons from secondary and postsecondary classrooms, allowing teachers on all levels to learn from each other. In terms of sequence, The Pedagogy of Pop draws on lessons from both historical and contemporary practice.

The introductory section of Janak and Blum's collection presents a pair of papers that use somewhat different approaches to examine the historical roots of contemporary critique. Part I presents a series of chapters designed to provide guidelines and theories through which educators on all levels can think about their practice, focusing more on the "why" of their approach than the "how." Part II presents a more "hands-on" approach by sharing a variety of specific strategies for incorporating pop culture in all its forms (technology, music, television, video games, etc.) in both secondary and postsecondary classrooms. The conclusion shows the praxis of teaching with popular culture, presenting a counterpoint to current thinking as well as a case study of the best of what can happen when popular culture is applied effectively.

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