Staying true to my Paradigm?

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Staying true to my Paradigm?

Grade Level: 8th
Subject: AVID
Sub-Subject: Self Esteem/ Paradigm Recognition
Length/Duration: 2 60 minute periods
Technologies Used: Jing, ComicLife, Digital Camera

Relationships to Empirical Studies[edit | edit source]

Dewey article

*Dewey, J. (1906). The Child and the Curriculum. Chicago: The University Of Chicago Press.

  • According to Dewey, there are 3 major evils of "instruction". First, there is a lack of organic connection in lessons that don't relate to a student's life. Perhaps using the student as the topic of lessons can have a greater impact to the connections they make already. Especially by using their own pictures in a collection that documents their experiences from multiple views. Secondly, Dewey states that there is a lack of motivation for students because their Life is put into a lesson, and because they are not developmentally ready for understanding this formula, they lack the willingness to triumph over the logical formula. I feel an activity like this would lend, first, to showing what the child's developmental stage is. Do they put themselves in a storyboard from their perspective? From others? Can they use multi-modalities to represent their lives (pictures, labels, themes)?Second, because they are recalling and depicting themselves in a visual format, can this motivate students and at the same time make them more reflective learners? Lastly, Dewey states that it’s easier for the student to like and "front motivation" to the teacher's lessons, rather than be exposed to the disciplines and consequences given to students by the school. How can we give structure through a lesson to teach students, yet give enough freedom for them to apply themselves and their own rational and techniques so they don't only think about the consequences of not doing the "balanced" assignment.

Nasir, McLaughlin, Jones article

*Nasir, N., McLaughlin, M., & Jones, A. (2009). What Does It Mean to Be African American? Constructions of Race and Academic Identity in an Urban Public High School. American Educational Research Journal, 46(1), 73–114 .

  • According to these researchers, there are conflicting findings as to whether African American student's self identity leads to positive or negative outcomes. If students identify themselves through a cultural norm, but also by how they individually see themselves within their race. So this storyboard comic lesson can give insight and evidence for how they portray themselves. For example, if students rely more on family pictures, their heritage within their race, as compared to images portraying the "street savvy" stereotypical logos and wear that modern media places on African Americans, this can shed light to their levels of potential success. And I as a teacher can help students identify those cultural characteristics that are true to them and show them that they can be successful regardless of the identity connections they place on themselves, or that society places on them. According to Nasir et al(2009),school environment, a connection to pop-culture or historical value of what it means to be African American, had major influences on students (p. 80). 60% of my students are African American. I would like to display the students work around the room to create a welcoming environment that shows pride and respect for varieties of cultures.

Tettegah, S.Y., et al

*Tettegah, S., Whang, E., Taylor, K., & Cash, T. (2008). Narratives, Virtual Environments and Identity Semiotics: an exploration of pre-service teachers’ cognitions . E-Learning, 5(1), 103-127.

  • According to these researcher's study, describing past events in storyboard fashion can reveal reflective processes for pre-service teachers. Perhaps this can also be used for students. Although I am having students create a story-borad about how they view themselves and how others view them, I think the narrative process would lend the same types of reactions from students. Being able to recreate an image(s) that holds true to the self can lend to self exploration; the student final products can also help the teacher see how the student thinks about themselves through different lens. If anything, a narrative of students can help debias a teacher who may not be familiar with the cultural context a student views themselves in; perhaps stereotypes and authentication of a student can be expressed.

Purpose and Background of Lesson[edit | edit source]


Students will reflect and apply their ideas about how they view themselves and how others view them in a ComicLife storyboard.


Students have discussed and completed activities that relate to how they view themselves and how they think others view them. They have reflected on this to determine how they can be successful based on the values they hold true to themselves. The theme of the month for the AVID course has been “excellence”. Although we have done many worksheet type activities and discussions of what their responses mean to them, there has been a disconnect to applying what they have done in the class to their actual thinking. I recently did an opener asking the class “what have you gotten out of AVID thus far?” and nearly all student’s responses were “organizational skills and how to take Cornell notes”. In their defense, the activities done on the excellence and paradigm themes were mostly simple “input” responses not asking more than 3 word answers; fill in the blank type format. Perhaps giving students a more “undiagnostic” opportunity to reflect more on their past experiences in light of societal and self views in a more visual, storyboard format will give them the insight of how stereotypes, self motivation, and how to be true to yourself effects their paradigm.

Elaborate/ Extensions and Links[edit | edit source]


After viewing other student’s comics, reflect and write on how your paradigm is different then others. How do you plan on staying true to yourself, and succeeding at the same time?

Extensions/ Links Other Insightful Educational Lesson Plans:


Educational Technologies:


Engage/ Explore/ Explain[edit | edit source]



1. What is your paradigm? 2. How do you stay true to your background and your school success at the same time?


Students create an individual comic life that portrays, in 3 parts: #How society has portrayed them throughout their lives #How they have viewed themselves throughout their lives #Which one they feel they hold more true to and why


1. Integrated camera in their computers 2. Flash drive with digital pictures of their past 3. Internet (Google Images) 4. Jing[1] 5. ComicLife (need to buy program)


* Decide on pictures of societal images and past pictures of your self that represent how others view you within the context of your culture, family, and friends. * Make a storyboard, (use 4 window comic frames minimum) describing scenarios and influences that you have had in your life from outside yourself (rely on your work you have done in this class about “paradigms”. You may want to use key words you remember from your AVID worksheets to search for Internet images). Be sure to include balloons and labels to describe the images you choose to represent this part of your life. * Next, make a connecting storyboard (4 window minimum) that reflects who you KNOW you are. Again, use images and ideas from previous AVID activities. * The last part of your storyboard should combine the previous 2 parts and explain which one you hold true to more and why. You want to also think about and pictorially represent how each part of your story effects your level of success and excellence.


After printing out your comic, class does a gallery walk to view all students’ comics. As students go from comic to comic, they write down the similarities and differences that they notice. Students organize their findings in a graphic organizer: