Integrating the Sounds of Jazz: A Review of Jabari Mahiri's Shooting for Excellence

By Meacham, Shuaib J. | Multicultural Education, Winter 1999 | Go to article overview

Integrating the Sounds of Jazz: A Review of Jabari Mahiri's Shooting for Excellence


Meacham, Shuaib J., Multicultural Education


Integrating the Sounds of jazz: A Review of jabari Mahiri's Shooting for Excellence

Reviewed by Shuaib J. Meacham University of Colorado, Boulder

If one were to portray the structural identity of educational literacy research in musical terms, one could make the case that literacy research is highly analogous to European classical music. Like the literate 18th century ethos in which it emerged, classical music like educational research privileges a "world biased in favor of ... hierarchy, classification, continuity, (and) cause and effect" (Lapham, 1999).

With Jabari Mahiri's Shooting for Excellence, however, the welcome strains of jazz are beginning to be heard in literacy research. In contrast to linear chains of academic influence and hierarchical conceptions literacy practice, Mahiri deploys a crossroads of analytical and conceptual tools through which to understand the multiple and interconnected influences which impact the lives of African American students. In Mahiri's conception of literacy, the usually separate domains of Black Studies and Educational Technology, hip hop culture and Vygotskian psychology, critical pedagogy, and sociolinguistics are combined in a manner which fosters a multitude of important insights.

While theoretically satisfying and conceptually creative, the primary strength of Shooting for Excellence lies in its practicality. Like the best of jazz compositions, which are complex yet able to be danced to, Mahiri deploys his theoretical complexity to identify innovative instructional strategies. For example, Mahiri demonstrates the manner in which the visual environment of the computer screen can be used as an heuristic through which to draw out content from struggling writers. He also shows how the "literature" that accompanies hip hop music can intellectually engage students and produce sophisticated writing through its blend of socially significant content and youth cultural contingencies. Also, he shows how a teacher's use of performance in literature instruction can produce deep student understandings of canonical literary and theatrical texts.

Notwithstanding the jazz-like quality of Shooting for Excellence, I remain concerned in some instances that the book over-privileges the written literate world. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Integrating the Sounds of Jazz: A Review of Jabari Mahiri's Shooting for Excellence
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.