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Pop Culture

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Lindy Johnson

on 18 February 2012

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Transcript of Pop Culture

But, what about
the Common Core
State Standards?
Teaching with Pop Culture
Frankfurt School
What kinds of pop culture do you use in your teaching?
What is your rationale for including
this in an ELA classroom?
(cc) photo by Franco Folini on Flickr
(cc) photo by jimmyharris on Flickr
British Culture Studies
American Culture Studies and Pop Culture
Seeks to connect school content seen as
irrelevant to students' lives

Asks "How do pop culture texts connect
to traditional literacy practices?"
A collaborative group of scholars at The University of Frankfurt in the 1920's.
Worked in the tradition of Marx; believed that modern society was a struggle between the classes.
Believed that culture industuries (pop music, film, tv, and print media) were tools which the dominant class used to constrain critical thought and control the masses.
All of the Frankfurt scholars were German Jews experiencing the onset of Hitler's Nazism. They saw firsthand how media culture could be used as propaganda to sway the public mood.
Emerged in th 1950's as a reaction
against literacy criticism that advocated for a limited literary canon.
Stuart Hall and others wanted to develop a tradition that celebrated the everyday mass culture of the working class.
image via
How has Pop Culture Been Used in Schools?
Utilitarian Model
Cultural Capital Model
Seeks to build on the authentic experiences of students who have been marginalized by the educational process
Instruction focuses on how people use pop culture to make sense of their worlds.
Teachers encourage students to bring texts to school that are normally ignored in schools such as trading cards, comic books, etc.
Critical Model
Starts from the position that
pop culture texts are everyday culture
and should naturally be part of the
curriculum to develop critical
Views popular media as serious sites for social knowledge to be discussed, interrogated, and critiqued.
Instruction seeks to develop students' understanding of how texts are produced and consumed.
Recontextualized Model
Incorporates aspects of the other models.

Instruction provides opportunities for students
to construct new knowledge and to transform
pop culture texts for new, unforeseen purposes.
Let's work
Begin to develop a broad understanding of the history and development of pop culture
Analyze how pop culture
can be used to address
Common Core State Standards
Create lessons that incorporate pop culture
The Secret Education of Children
Modern Prometheus
Hip Hop Pedagogy
Marc Lamont Hill
A Hip-hop lit courses that examines various elements of interpretation and criticism through the lens of hip-hop culture
Created thematic units on such
topics as Roots of hip-hop culture,
love, family, the hood, politics, and despair.
Unit on Love

by Fugees

"Between Me You and Liberation"
by Common

"Ms. Fat Booty" by Mos Def

"Love is Blind" by Eve
Literary Terms taught:
Point of View
Some states, such as Minnesota, have already recognized the importance of including a variety of multimodal texts in the curriculum. In their adoption of the Common Core State Standards, for example, they have included an expanded definition of text: “For the purposes of these standards, a ‘text’ may include primary and secondary sources, including but not exclusive to, print documents, statutes, newspaper articles, legal decisions, paintings, maps, globes, photographs, architecture, oral histories, art forms, and objects” (Minnesota, p. 104).
Expanded Definition
of Text
Anchor Standards
for Reading
#1. Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
#2. Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
#7. Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse formats and media, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
Rather than viewing pop culture as propoganda or place of resistance, American cultural scholars describe the multiple, conflicting purposes of pop culture in today's society. This perspective allows educators to talk about pop culture in ways that acknowledge students' non-school lives, while also providing the tools to make sense of how pop culture can serve to limit, or marginalize, and help to maintain social inequality. (Morrell, 2004).
#2. Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
#5. Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.
Anchor Standards for
Speaking & Listening
In groups of 3:
1. Write down the text you’ll be using

2. Write down at least 3 different ways you could
incorporate pop culture into a unit based on this text.

3. What model(s) would your teaching fall under and why?

4. How would your use of pop culture fulfill the
Common Core State Standards?
A Very Brief History of Pop Culture
Viewed Pop Culture
as Propaganda
Viewed pop culture as
celebration and site of resistance
Alvermann, D. (2010). Bring It to Class: Unpacking Pop Culture in Literacy Learning
Christensen, L. (2000). Reading, Writing, and Rising Up: Teaching about Social Justice and the Power of the
Written Word
Hill, M. (2009). Beats, Rhymes, & Classroom Life: Hip-Hip
Pedagogy and the Politics of Identity
Morrell, E. (2004). Linking Literacy and Popular Culture
The future...
As our mainstream literacies change with the advent of new technologies, English classrooms will have to change, as well. There will be a greater focus on English classrooms as places where students develop tools to become producers of popular culture rather than just critical consumers.
YouTube Video:
Teachers need a framework for understanding pop culture because
1. It will help teachers make the case for the inclusion of pop culture into traditional literacy curricula and will help teacher contend against negative reactions to teaching pop culture
2. It helps them understand how to reposition young people as producers and participants in pop culture, rather than passive consumers.
3. Being exposed to the frameworks helps to broaden the scope of what teachers might do when teaching pop culture.
4. Helps to lead to potentially more generative discussions between teachers and students about pop culture as a site of resistance.
5. Legitimates the study of countercultures and subcultures in the English classroom.
6. Opens up spaces for students to engage in independent study projects of cultural practices within their own community.
Examples of students developing tools
to become producers (in addition to critical consumers) of pop culture
Gamestar Mechanic
Gamestar Mechanic
The future of writing:
(via Julie Warner)
Text Complexity:
Armed with critical questions,
(How are these texts
produced? For whom? For what
purpose? How are they being
any pop culture text can be
considered complex:
Lady Gaga, The Simpsons, etc.
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