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‘Hip-Hop, Hip Hope’: Expert to discuss culturally relevant teaching at Martin Mogensen Education Lecture

| Emily Wermund

Nationally known pedagogical theorist, critically acclaimed author and teacher educator Gloria Ladson-Billings will present the 2017 Martin Mogensen Education Lecture at 4 p.m. April 13 in Gantner Concert Hall of the Haas Fine Arts Center at UW-Eau Claire.

Known for her groundbreaking work in critical race theory and culturally relevant pedagogy, Ladson-Billings is a faculty member of the UW-Madison School of Education whose work and research is rooted in the principle that culturally relevant teachers “engage in the world and others critically.” Her culturally relevant pedagogy includes three criteria: experiencing academic success, developing cultural competence and maintaining critical consciousness.

Ladson-Billings’ presentation, “’Hip-Hop, Hip Hope’: The (R)Evolution of Culturally Relevant Pedagogy,” will discuss the concept of culturally relevant teaching, which she describes as “a pedagogy that empowers students intellectually, socially, emotionally, and politically by using cultural referents to impart knowledge, skills, and attitudes.” Her talk will describe how hip-hop provides hope for engaging students in a culturally relevant way to ensure their academic, cultural and social-civic success. 

As the population of the United States becomes more and more diverse, the teaching force remains predominantly white and female. Ladson-Billings maintains that acknowledging that many students come to the classroom with diverse cultural, ethnic, linguistic, racial and social backgrounds different than their own allows teachers to create a bridge between students’ home and school lives, while still meeting the expectations of school district and state curricular requirements. Through her research and observation, Ladson-Billings has found that all teachers fundamentally share a sense of pride and commitment in developing a community of learners, and an underlying belief that all children can be successful.

Individuals planning to attend the Martin Mogensen Education Lecture are encouraged to RSVP by sending an email to

About Gloria Ladson-Billings: Gloria Ladson-Billings is the Kellner Family Distinguished Professor in Urban Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is a former president of the American Educational Research Association and current member of the National Academy of Education (NAEd). Ladson-Billings is the author of two critically acclaimed books, “The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children” and “Crossing Over to Canaan: The Journey of New Teachers in Diverse Classrooms,” and has published many journal articles and book chapters. She is a recipient of multiple awards, including but not limited to the Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award from the Literacy Research Association and the Social Justice in Education Award from the American Educational Research Association. She is elected the next president of the NAEd, and her term will begin in fall 2017.

About the Martin Mogensen Education Lecture: The Martin Mogensen Education Lecture is held annually in memory of Martin Mogensen, a 1952 graduate of UW-Eau Claire. The junior high school principal in Tomah was killed by a student in 1969 in one of the first school shootings in the U.S. His daughters, Marti Mogensen and Margaret Nelson Brinkhaus, also both UW-Eau Claire graduates, and other family members began the lecture and an education scholarship through the UW-Eau Claire Foundation as a way to carry on Martin’s legacy, a deep faith in the value of education and teachers. The Mogensen family joins with the UW-Eau Claire College of Education and Human Sciences in bringing experts to speak to students, faculty and the public on contemporary education issues of the day.

The Mogensen family also will present the Martin Mogensen Education Scholarship as part of the lecture event. The scholarship is provided annually to an outstanding undergraduate, chosen by the faculty, who shows promise of becoming a successful career teacher.