"Essential reading for all adults who work with black and brown young people...Filled with exceptional intellectual sophistication and necessary wisdom for the future of education."—Imani Perry, National Book Award Winner author of South To America
An award-winning educator offers a much-needed antidote to traditional top-down pedagogy and promises to radically reframe the landscape of urban education for the better
Drawing on his own experience of feeling undervalued and invisible in classrooms as a young man of color, Dr. Christopher Emdin has merged his experiences with more than a decade of teaching and researching in urban America. He takes to task the perception of urban youth of color as unteachable, and he challenges educators to embrace and respect each student’s culture and to reimagine the classroom as a site where roles are reversed and students become the experts in their own learning.
Putting forth his theory of Reality Pedagogy, Emdin provides practical tools to unleash the brilliance and eagerness of youth and educators alike—both of whom have been typecast and stymied by outdated modes of thinking about urban education. With this fresh and engaging new pedagogical vision, Emdin demonstrates the importance of creating a family structure and building communities within the classroom, using culturally relevant strategies like hip-hop music and call-and-response, and connecting the experiences of urban youth to indigenous populations globally.
Merging real stories with theory, research, and practice, Emdin demonstrates how by implementing the “Seven Cs” of reality pedagogy in their own classrooms, urban youth of color benefit from truly transformative education.
About the Author
Christopher Emdin is an associate professor in the Department of Mathematics, Science, and Technology at Teachers College, Columbia University, where he also serves as associate director of the Institute for Urban and Minority Education. The creator of the #HipHopEd social media movement and Science Genius B.A.T.T.L.E.S., Emdin was named the 2015 Multicultural Educator of the Year by the National Association of Multicultural Educators and has been honored as a STEM Access Champion of Change by the White House. In addition to teaching, he serves as a Minorities in Energy Ambassador for the US Department of Energy.
“The most important work of pedagogy I’ve read in ten years...Dr. Emdin’s humane, and more importantly, effective practices, filled me with great hope and excitement to keep engaging with the community in which I teach.” —John Warner, Inside Higher Ed
“Teaches the unlearned lesson that a hip-hop people’s critical perspective must matter in order for authentic teaching and learning to take place, but more importantly the book offers a bigger case for colleges to make room for other hip-hop scholars.” —Dr. Andre Perry, The Hechinger Report
“Dr. Chris Emdin...inspired me to become fearless while teaching for social justice.” —Bryan Mooney, contributor PBS NewsHour’s Education Lounge
“As the cries to recognize the relevance of Black lives in this country grow louder...Emdin’s advice about how to more effectively serve students (people) of color is a reminder that recognizing their humanity is a critical first step.” —Diverse: Issues in Higher Education
"A brilliant, blistering, and bracing call to arms for those who teach and learn in urban America.…Emdin reminds us that the children and young people who throng our urban schools are worthy of every attempt to sharpen their minds and prepare them for a satisfying life far beyond the classroom. If you’re looking for the revolutionary meaning, and imaginative transformation, of teaching for the real America, you’re holding it in your hands! Christopher Emdin is Jonathan Kozol with swag!” —Michael Eric Dyson, author of The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America
“Essential reading for all adults who work with black and brown young people...Filled with exceptional intellectual sophistication and necessary wisdom for the future of education.” —Imani Perry, National Book Award Winner author of South To America
“A compelling and accessible road map for anyone (not just white folks!) teaching twenty-first-century urban youth. It also confirms Emdin’s reputation as one of the most important education scholars of our generation.” —Marc Lamont Hill, author of Beats, Rhymes, and Classroom Life and Distinguished Professor of Africana Studies at Morehouse College
“This volume is a powerful dance of teaching and art. It engages both the art and science of what teachers must do to be successful with all students. It is simultaneously lyrical and analytic, scientific and humanistic, a work of the heart and the mind. It belongs in every teacher’s library!” —Gloria Ladson-Billings, the Kellner Family Distinguished Chair in Urban Education, University of Wisconsin–Madison