¶ 1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 For background, see essay by Rochelle Rodrigo and Jennifer Kidd, “Getting Uncomfortable: Identity Exploration in a Multi-Class Blog” in this volume. This assignment prompt has been condensed for publication purposes. A longer version includes both the technical support materials and a rubric. 1
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- Students will explore the influence of one of their group memberships (e.g. race, class, gender, religion, etc.) on their identity as a student
- Students will consider how students’ identities are shaped by their group memberships and interactions with others.
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Section 1: Watch, Read and Reflect
Explore the following videos and readings to see how students’ identities are shaped by their race and ethnicities (warning: these materials contain intellectually challenging content, some contain graphic language). Answer the questions after reading or viewing.
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2. Watch the two-minute excerpt from a speech by Michael Apple, Ed.D. 3 arguing that teachers and schools shape students’ identities.
What expectation did the teacher communicate to the homeless Latino student? What expectation did she communicate to the student who always has the right answer?
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- According to the article, why is racial/ethnic identity different for white students than it is for Black and Latino students?
- According to the article, why may some racial/ethnic minorities band together on a college campus? What can happen to members of these minority groups that do not band together with their racially/ethnically similar peers? Does this happen at Old Dominion University?
¶ 10 Leave a comment on paragraph 10 0 4. Read Chapter 6: How Racial Identity Affects Performance: 5 (You are not expected to read the other articles referred to in this reading, but of course you are welcome to do so.)
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- Using one of the racial identity development models in the reading, name the stage that best describes your racial identity and explain your choice.
- Describe an example of how you, your peer, or a student you observed was affected by any one of the following (stereotype threat, dis-identification, oppositional behavior) or how racial identity affected your/their academic performance in another way.
- What is one thing you will do to support your students’ racial identity development and to have a culturally responsive classroom?
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Section 2: Remembering Yourself
As you think back you will be engaging in pre-writing activities that will help you complete the more formal writing in Section 4.
1. How did you see yourself as a K-12 student? Make a list of ten words that described you.
2. Your identity consists of multiple dimensions, which we might also call group memberships, including those listed below. Fill in the following list thinking about how these characteristics affected your identity as a K-12 student. (You may choose not to include responses for any of the listed areas.)
|Characteristic||Your group identity|
|Socio-economic Status (e.g. Lower class/Poverty, Working class, Middle class, Upper-middle class, Upper class/Wealthy)|
|Sexual orientation/Gender identity|
|Academic Ability/Track Placement (e.g. Basic, Average, Advanced, Honors/gifted)|
|Special Needs/Services (e.g. ADHD, English as a Second Language, Learning Disability)|
|Other defining characteristic (e.g. obese, blonde, teen mom, military brat etc.)|
¶ 13 Leave a comment on paragraph 13 0 Choose ONE aspect of your identity from this list (one group you belonged to) that had a significant impact on your identity as a K-12 student. Explain why you chose this characteristic.
¶ 14 Leave a comment on paragraph 14 0 What did other people (peers, parents, teachers, administrators etc.) believe about members of this group? Try to recall specific comments or behaviors that demonstrated their attitudes. Did they have policies (official or not) that impacted how they behaved? How did the media portray members of this group? Was the depiction accurate about you/your group? How was it off-base? Answer these questions by completing the following graphic organizer (word document, PDF)
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Section 3: Read and listen to middle and high school students’ stories of identity.
In this section you will hear other students’ stories of their identity development. As you listen, think about the interplay between the students’ beliefs about themselves and the beliefs other people had of them. Also consider how the students tell their stories. What details do they use?
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- America’s Beauty Is In Its Diversity 6
- Accomplishing Big Things in Small Pieces 7
- We’re All Different in Our Own Ways 8
- Being Content with Myself 9
- Embracing Who I Am 10
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Section 4: Write your story
By sharing our stories we can better understand how other students’ development was both similar to and different from our own. Stories are powerful teaching tools. As teachers, we need to understand what makes a powerful story. Stories that provide specific details and focus on a single event are often more powerful than those that make only broad generalizations. As you plan what to write, think of a specific incident that can explain how your identity was influenced by one of your group memberships. Use the following questions to help focus on the specific story you want to tell:
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- Which group membership contributed most to your identity as a student?
- What did it mean to you to be a member (and be seen as a member) of this group?
- What expectations did people have of you because of your group membership i.e. what behaviors or attributes were ascribed to members of this group?
- How did these expectations affect you?
- How did your interactions with others (peers, parents, teachers, administrators, etc) affect your identity as a member of that group and as a student?
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Tell your story by either composing a script for a This I Believe recording (Follow the Guidelines) 11 or by writing a more traditional narrative essay (500-600 words).
Post your story on the TLED 301 Identity Exploration Blog and tag it with the group membership you explored. (Note: your blog will be open for others to read. Either do not include information you do not wish others to know, or use a pseudonym when posting your content to protect your identity.)
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Section 5: Read and respond to other TLED 301 students’ stories
1. Read stories by two students who posted about a group membership that is the same, or similar, to yours.
2. Read the stories of two students who are from groups to which you do not belong.
3. After you have read each story, reply to your classmate’s posting by answering one or more of the following questions:
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- What did you like about the story? why?
- What surprised you about the story? why?
- Where were you confused? What questions do you have based on that confusion?
- Where would you like to know more? Be specific, ask questions based on what you want to know.
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Section 6: Reflect – What role does student identity play in teaching and learning?
In this section you will reflect on the readings from section 1, your own identity development, and the stories you read from other students. You will synthesize your thoughts into a brief statement explaining the importance of student identity development in teaching and learning.
To conclude this assignment, write an approximately one page (single space) reflection in which you address the following questions:
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- In what ways were the experiences of the students who chose to focus on the same group membership similar and different to your own?
- In what ways were the experiences of the students in a group you did not belong to similar and different to your own?
- How are the identities of students shaped by their interactions with peers, teachers, and schools? How can these identities affect students’ achievement?
- What is the significance of this for you as a future teacher? Consider both the identities of your students and your own identity. Refer back (by paraphrasing or quoting and then making a citation) to at least one idea from the readings listed in Section 1 above.
¶ 25 Leave a comment on paragraph 25 0 You will post this reflection in the same blog posting as your This I Believe story. Compose and save your reflection in a word processor before posting to the blog.
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- The longer version of this assignment is a published Google Docs page located at http://bit.ly/IdentityExploration. ↩
- HipHopTVent, “Kai Davis – Fuck I look like (Official Video),” YouTube video, January 27, 2012, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NISakKDA_A. ↩
- nlumarketing, “Student Identity Reinforced by Schools,” YouTube, May 7, 2012, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anu2juqz4ts. ↩
- Mary Waters, “Optional Ethnicities: For Whites Only,” in Origins and Destinies: Immigration, Race and Ethnicity in America, eds., Silvia Pedraza and Ruben G. Rumbaut (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 1996): 201-207. ↩
- Teach for America, “Chapter 6: How Racial Identity Affects Performance,” in Diversity, Community, and Achievement (2011), 69-84, http://teachingasleadership.org/sites/default/files/Related-Readings/DCA_2011.pdf. ↩
- Alaa El-Saad, “America’s Beauty Is In Its Diversity,” This I Believe, January 29, 2009, http://thisibelieve.org/essay/42798/. ↩
- William Wissemann, “Accomplishing Big Things in Small Pieces,” This I Believe, September 14, 2008, http://thisibelieve.org/essay/39318/. ↩
- Joshua Yuchasz, “We’re All Different in Our Own Ways,” This I Believe, October 16, 2006, http://thisibelieve.org/essay/14338/. ↩
- Kamaal Majeed, “Being Content with Myself,” This I Believe, May 7, 2007, http://thisibelieve.org/essay/10490/. ↩
- Fernando, “Embracing Who I Am,” This I Believe, December 3, 2010, http://thisibelieve.org/essay/90450/. ↩
- This I Believe, Inc. “This I Believe Essay-Writing Guidelines,” This I Believe, 2005-2013, http://thisibelieve.org/guidelines/. ↩