How pop music can be used to help bring history alive in schools

Which musical artist do you believe should have a place in school curricula?

We have seen universities around the world teaching Beyonce in coursework. There is a course that is called Beyonce Gender and Race which is offered by the University of Copenhagen.

One of the main challenges that educators face is getting students to actively interact with course content, and perhaps explore its application to 'real life'.

It is argued that people engage better with music more than with books. Someone might not read a book on “Black Lives Matter” – the movement started in 2013 that grew in opposition to violence against black Americans – but they will engage with an album like Lamar’s “To pimp a butterfly” from 2015. It not only provided the soundtrack of the times but also provided social commentary as impactful as any book published on the topic.

Most of our scholars are from the western tradition which simply elevates written work over music and sound. Music means something else to non-western countries. As long as our scholars are in that tradition, we will always have the case where the written word will always take precedent over music.

Michael Bhatch - Lecturer of English at the University of the Western Cape

Speaking on the Azania Mosaka Show, Michael Bhatch - Lecturer of English at the University of the Western Cape said in South Africa says a lot of the Hip-Hop music can be used to provide a lot of material for academics to look into history, society, and our day-to-day living experiences.

Click below to listen to the full interview:


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