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It is not good to ignore students’ feelings and unilaterally impose teachers’ values on them.

14 Comments

Mitsuko Isoda, an education professor at Saitama University who wrote a book on how to use hip-hop and rap music in school curriculums, said that there may be a gap between the older generation’s image of hip-hop and the image held by the students’ generation. She was referring to students and parents at a junior high school in Tokyo, who oppose the school's ban on hip-hop dancing and forced the dance activity club to perform creative dance instead.

© Asahi Shimbun

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14 Comments
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Sound like either Japanese company or Japanese society, everyone must fit with conformity. So don't blame that on school.

-9 ( +6 / -15 )

Isoda sounds like one of the good ones.

Yo yo, connect with da kids innit!

No more of this passive mush you call learning, bring it!

2 ( +6 / -4 )

You don't need to use hip hop or rap in classrooms. Just give the students a chance to speak and express their ideas. Instead of making them sit in silence while a boring teacher drones on and on and on, let's get some discussions going. Have them write essays. And change the curriculum so that it's relevant to the lives these kids are going to lead when they are adults.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

I agree, but there has to be balance as well. Kids can be demanding these days, and giving them the authority to rule over adults would only produce young people who are entitled and wokey.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

This kind of goes both ways. Students should be free to explore and follow their curiosity and interests. On the other hand, there is a long list of things that I was "made" to study and do that I would not have bothered with on my own. Many of the things on that list sparked my curiosity and have been beneficial to my life. The key is finding a balance.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

BertieWoosterToday  10:05 am JST

You don't need to use hip hop or rap in classrooms. Just give the students a chance to speak and express their ideas. Instead of making them sit in silence while a boring teacher drones on and on and on, let's get some discussions going.

This is a club activity they stopped - not a lesson plan, or curriculum. The school's dance club was stopped from practicing hip hop dance, because of a few complaints from parents about what the culture of hip hop might encourage.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I wonder what creative dance is anyway, especially in a Japanese school context. It could be many times better than hip hop if it were truly creative. But something tells me it would be dull as ditch-water for kids. At least hip hop unites everyone in its dumbing down.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Actually, after checking the Japanese article, it seems the parents had no problem with it. Apparently it is the result of the change of principal. The last and the new principal had very different ideas about how the schools should be run. The new principal is sticking to their guns and insists on an authoritarian style, but has come up against the PTA, parents, and students', some of whom have gone to the media, which is why we even know about it.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Kids love hip-hop. THAT'S what they want to do and hip-hop classes are a lot of fun. I can't believe they want to force them to switch to "creative dancing". Gee.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

kiwi07,

Yes. You beat me to it. The explanation is poorly written. Perhaps it should be something like:

*She was referring to students and parents at a junior high school in Tokyo, who oppose the school's ban on hip-hop dancing and (the school's) forcing the dance activity club to perform creative dance instead.*

At any rate, let them dance. What is this? The town from Footloose?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Perhaps you would be so kind as to tell us what creative dancing is, then, Speed, since you appear knowledgeable about it and its comparison to hip hop. I am not saying you are wrong; just that I need more information.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

BertieWooster: "You don't need to use hip hop or rap in classrooms."

The school of thought here is that you should BE ABLE TO if you choose, and that it not be banned. It's not a suggestion that it be imposed on them. It's also pointed out that they are forbidden to use hip-hop even in extra-curricular dance performance, which is ludicrous. If it were up to the powers that be the kids would have to do creative dance to pre-WWII Imperial praise songs, like those idiots in the black trucks blare while driving down Tokyo and other city streets.

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

My daughter does what Japanese call "hip hop" dancing. Since they go for it with the full look with corn rows, superbaggy clothes, and poses with hand signs that are a bit like gang signs, I suppose it must be easy to project whatever you think of rap music or urban American black kids onto the kids in her club. However, they are really just Japanese kids with a strict teacher doing lots of ganbaru, no different to other Japanese group activities (shuudan koudo).

Just my observation of hiphop culture in Japan, but although white Westerners (esp. Centrist dad types) tend to mock it and accuse it of being fake, actual (mostly black) hip hop stars are generally very positive about Japanese hip hop and openly embrace it. This includes graffiti artists, dancers, and musicians.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

What has Hip-Hop to do with schools and education? That's a subculture and belongs to private life and leisure activities. No wonder that everything tumbles down everywhere, when elementary skills like writing, reading, math, and science are constantly replaced by useless things, like here promoting a low-class subculture originated decades ago in the slums of Bronx, NYC.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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