#HipHopHeads is a participatory Action Research (PAR) project collaboratively undertaken with members of Edmonton's HipHop community and MacEwan University Professor Michael MacDonald to better understand how aesthetic learning occurs in HipHop Kulture.
A goal of this research is the development of an urban music curriculum built on the following five components:
Healing: the Canadian government’s historic apology to First Nations people acknowledges a history of inequality that has negatively impacted all Canadians psychologically, emotionally, physically, economically, and spiritually. Arts educators must take responsibility not only for participating in cultural damage but also creating arts education that contributes to healing not only historic inequalities but contemporary ones as well.
Education: all cultures socialize their young into community and all healthy communities nurture lifelong learning in a process called enculturation. Arts education that makes a positive contribution to society must be drawn from existing community-based models. This requires identifying the methods of aesthetic enculturation, a understudied area that this project will make a significant contribution.
Awareness: it has been long recognized that critical thinking is a central component of education but it has also long been recognized that an aesthetic education, most effectively experienced in arts education, provides a unique form of inquiry into imagination, feelings, creativity. Giyatri Spivak has recently noted in Aesthetic Education in the Era of Globalization (Harvard 2012) that aesthetic education prepares the imagination for epistemological work.
Development: all cultures are committed to building healthier individuals, families, and communities. Healthier people and communities require healthier social and economic systems. If arts education is to play a role in development, arts curriculum needs to incorporate practical training in community economic development.
Sustainability: needs to be a goal for arts and aesthetic education. If culture is understood as a system and not a property then it is possible to work towards cultural sustainability and to develop aesthetic education to possitively contribute to the cultural health of a community.