Teacher Daphne Whitington has achieved remarkable success in reaching the students at Chicago's Las Casas Occupational High School, many of whom have severe brain injuries and/or profound emotional disabilities. Using poetry and hip-hop music, Whitington has found an energetic and motivating way to engage these students and make standards-based course content relevant. She has had them write and perform songs about literary characters being studied, and has helped several of her students record and produce CDs of their original music. Whitington has formed relationships with local spoken-word and hip-hop artists, inviting them into the classroom to work with her students. Her students have written persuasive essays on topics ranging from the Iraq War to restrictions on teen drivers, and several have had their writing published in a book through a partnership with National Louis University. Whitington also launched a school newspaper, a schoolwide recycling program, a drama club and a student counseling group that meets before school, over breakfast. She has presented her scholarly research both nationally and internationally.
DNAinfo | Jun 03 , 2015 | Chicago, IL
1998 University of Pennsylvania, B.A.