Shake That Leg! Hip-hop Classes to Enthuse Teens to Learn

by Tanya Thomas on Aug 19 2008 8:59 AM

Many parents are at the end of their tether trying to get their children to take interest in their lessons but to no avail. In a bid to spark the little one’s enthusiasm in learning educational experts have come up with an ingenious idea- hip-hop classes!

This new idea not only prevents bored and disruptive students from dropping out of school but also manages to sustain their interest in the long run. Pupils will be taught bounces, body ripples and butt spins to the music of Kanye West and 50 Cent.

According to the experts, the pilot project - developed jointly by dance charity Showcase the Street and Angus College - will re-engage troubled youngsters who have been playing truant or behaving badly.

If successful, the project could be rolled out across the rest of Scotland.

Fergus Storrier, a community policeman and chair of the lottery funded group, said that the classes were not a 'soft option' and warned girls would not be allowed to slack off.

"We want the course to act as a vehicle to re-engage them, but we will be setting ground rules," Scotsman quoted him, as saying.

"We don't want to simply take them out of school and that is all they do. There will be a clear understanding that this is an add-on, conditional on carrying out their normal school work," he added.

The 60-hour scheme, teaching basic moves, has been accredited by the college to provide six Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework credit points. A Higher is worth 24 credits.

Initially, 15 youngsters from Arbroath will enroll.

Iverene Bromfield, curriculum manager for communication, arts and social sciences at Angus College, said that it would teach the girls useful skills.

"This qualification will be of use anywhere where people are trying to enthuse and inspire youngsters. It will promote a can-do attitude and give them a sense of achievement on which to build," she said.

However, critics insisted disruptive and bad behavior should not be rewarded.

Elizabeth Smith, Conservative schools spokeswoman, said: "It is up to individual headteachers if they think it would be appropriate for some pupils. It may be that some pupils will respond, but I would be skeptical.

"It is very much our policy that pupils who are persistently disruptive should be removed from class until they learn to behave and that is popular with teachers and parents alike," she added.

However, teachers refused to knock the scheme.

Jim Docherty, depute general secretary of the Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association, said: "There have been various initiatives of this type and while it is maybe a bit unusual it may have a function.

"The SSTA has no objection to anything that retains contact between children and the education system," he added.