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ERIC Number: EJ768430
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Jan
Pages: 17
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 29
ISSN: ISSN-0007-8204
"Taking It to the Mic": Pedagogy of June Jordan's Poetry for the People and Partnership with an Urban High School
Jocson, Korina M.
English Education, v37 n2 p132-148 Jan 2005
June Jordan, a prolific and most-published African American essayist and poet and a professor in the African American Studies department at the University of California, Berkeley, ventured to challenge the institutionalized Ivory Tower traditions and subsequently established a university program called Poetry for the People (P4P) in 1991. Such efforts to integrate literature courses with fresh material on the college level, however, still left many high school students in urban settings receiving traditional "classic" poetry in their English classes. In a joint effort to sustain artistic and political empowerment, Jordan and her students explored means to "democratize" poetry in and outside the confines of the university campus. In this article, the author explores from a pedagogical standpoint June Jordan's P4P and its partnership with Bellevue High School as one means to innovate the teaching and learning of poetry on the high school level. Using archival materials such as class readers and anthologies from between 2000-2002 as well as interviews with teachers, the author identifies aspects of the program that reveal the complexities of what she calls a "collaborative intervention." What became clear in laying P4P's pedagogical practices inside several English classrooms was that different teachers had different experiences within the partnership. Moreover, the presence of P4P in the classroom, the implementation of its curriculum as a collaborative intervention model, the role of student-teacher-poets, and the program's culminating events together created a kind of learning environment that students, whether to their liking or not, were a part of.
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California