When storied public school teacher Marva Collins noticed three decades ago that inner city school children could memorize song lyrics but not Shakespeare, she challenged them to digest the latter. A new educational fad takes a different approach.
“Flocabulary (www.flocabulary.com ) is a Brooklyn-based publisher of educational rap and hip hop that is being used in lower socioeconomic school systems across the country and producing incredible results,” the group’s representative, Anna Richardson of Sunshine Sachs, claims. “The Education Research Institute of America (ERIA) just completed a study that proves Flocabulary’s efficacy in the classroom with a 25% increase in state reading test scores for those using the curriculum—which means more funding for these schools in need.”
The rationale? “Imagine a 13 year old boy for whom finishing 8th grade seems like a bridge too far to cross, much less completing high school,” Richardson offers. “He loves music and can memorize all the lyrics to his favorite songs, but can’t seem to remember dates and details from American History or simple algebraic formulas.”
“Learning is a constant struggle for him until his teacher introduces a program comprised of educational hip hop music that teaches him and his classmates’ traditional subjects in a fun, engaging way, and in a language they understand.”
Malcolm A. Kline is the executive director of Accuracy in Academia .