Teaching Prince as Critical Pedagogy: an Autoethnography
In the 20 years that I have practiced critical pedagogy in college instruction, some of my most exciting student engagement has centered around the musical legacy of Prince. From the social commentary in his lyrics to his struggle for ownership of his master recordings, teaching Prince has provided a space in my courses for lively class discussion and deep critical analysis. In “Teaching Prince as Critical Pedagogy: an Autoethnography,” I examine the critical pedagogy models that I have used to connect students’ knowledge of Prince’s music to larger social, cultural, and historical contexts. While a great deal of the literature on critical pedagogy aptly addresses the influence of hip hop music, there has been little attention given to the genres of music represented by Prince (soul, R&B, funk, blues, jazz) particularly in classrooms of adult learners. In this case, I argue that using the types of popular culture contexts that are represented in Prince’s musical legacy offer a prime opportunity to create a learning environment that critically engages adult learners.
Journal of African American Studies
Johnson, Zada, "Teaching Prince as Critical Pedagogy: an Autoethnography" (2017). Educational Inquiry and Curriculum Studies Faculty Publications. 20.