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The Distinct Urban Hip-Hop Culture: Urban Principals Description of the Culture and Their Teacher Selection Process Open Access

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This is a qualitative study designed to provide urban educators with a description of the distinct urban Hip-Hop culture of their students, as well as the methods they utilize to assess teacher quality attributes they associate with teachers who have cultural competence. This study highlights the need for recognition, acceptance, understanding and respect of the culture of students in urban classrooms. This study supports the notion that school systems need to adjust to the student, not the student adjusting to the school system. Using interviews to collect data, the sample population consisted of high school principals leading urban schools with a majority non-Caucasian student population. The researcher sought to provide a basic description of the distinct Urban Hip-Hop culture through the school principal's lens. Principals also described the methods they used for selecting teachers and the attributes they associated with urban teacher quality. The results reveal that principals perceived the Hip-Hop culture as diverse and distinct. They described a culture that was not deficient, but was oppositional and had a strong distrust of America's social systems. This description provides the field with possible causes for the behaviors and attitudes of students from the Urban Hip-Hop culture that have negatively impacted urban student achievement. Principals also described using various methods to select teachers that were effective in urban classrooms. Many discussed using informal and non-traditional methods to assess teacher candidate's cultural competence with the Urban Hip-Hop culture. The findings indicate that principals understand the Urban Hip-Hop culture and have developed techniques that assist them with selecting teacher candidates who have cultural competence.

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