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Self-Fulfilling Prophecy in African American Students: Exploring African American Achievers

Cynthia A. Wooding

Contents of Curriculum Unit 01.06.02:

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There as been a lot of controversy and debate about standardized testing and intelligence testing in the educational setting. Being a Social Studies teacher, the effect of social and political views on standardized testing and intelligence testing has increased my awareness of the factors that determine students' test scores. The factors that influence the outcome of students' test scores are environmental, family, race, gender, and nutritional factors. The assessment of student learning is undergoing profound change at the same time reforms are taking place in learning goals and content standards, curriculum, instruction, the education of teachers, and the relationships among parents, communities, schools, government, and business.

While teaching in an inner city school that is at-risk according to the State of Connecticut, it is my concern that I understand the pros and cons of all the social and political debates on the issues of African Americans and Intelligence. The research on psychological testing in the school system has gone through a series of historical events and opinions. Researchers such has Albert Binet, William Stern, Carl Bingham, and the famous controversial research by Hernstein's and Murray's, The Bell Curve, have influenced political and social opinions about intelligence testing and what is intelligence.

There is much concern applying intelligence testing in school systems to determine a students' academic achievement. In regards to teaching a Social Studies curriculum, one of my goals is to teach the students self-esteem and explore the issue of self-fulfilling prophecy. Michael Hardman summarizes in his book of Human Exceptionality, Society, School and Family about the effects of labeling and the definition of self-fulfilling prophecy. He states on page nine that a self-fulfilling prophecy occurs when a person has expectations of another person and these expectations affect the behavior, which in turn creates the prophesied expectations. When having the student evaluate his or her own self and setting positive goals, they are setting their own positive expectations. A student's behavior is affected by his or her core beliefs about him or herself. This core belief could be a positive or negative. The students behavior usually reflects his or her personally beliefs. A school environment has to provide a positive reinforcement in the view of self-fulfilling prophecy. This unit helps provide the teacher with a positive reinforcement intervention program.

In this curriculum, I have developed a unit focusing on the achievement of minorities African Americans. The curriculum discusses African Americans that have successfully contributed to their own culture and made positive changes in American and world societies. This curriculum will help build positive self-image and hope regarding intelligence in different races, genders, and socio-economic groups.

The curriculum unit focuses on the accomplishments of African American achievers during February's black history month. The unit is to explore and familiarize fifth grade students with the history and knowledge of African American achievers. Exposing the students to achievers who share with them race, ethnic or gender profiles will allow them to explore themselves and be challenged, thus starting to create their own ideas of achievements they want to fulfill. The unit will use Robert Sternberg's Triachic Theory when exploring famous African Americans and their accomplishments. The unit will explore African Americans who are gifted in the three aspects of Sternberg's Triachic Theory. These three aspects are practical thinking, creative thinking, and analytical thinking. The unit will explore African Americans who have succeeded in using all or one of the thinking processes. The African American chosen to exemplify someone who succeeded in creative process will be Clementine Hunter. Clementine Hunter contributed to society with her beautiful Black American folk art. The African American chosen to exemplify someone who succeeded in analytical process will be Benjamin Banneker. Benjamin Banneker was an inventor, scientist, and writer who contributed the design of the development of Washington D.C. and the Farmers Scientific Almanac. Finally, the African American who exemplifies someone who succeeded in practical processes will be Jackie Robinson. Jackie Robinson was a famous Black baseball player, businessman, and great orator who contributed morals, ethics, patience and tolerance when encountering success. These three African American display great significance to both African Americans and all culture and races. These Africans Americans will be used for exemplifying positive role models for achievement in the unit.

The Sternberg Triachic Theory of learning processes will help accomplish two major performance-based objectives. The performance- based objectives are as follows: 1.The student will be able to identify the thinking processes of the African American achiever and then relate the three thinking process to themselves. 2. The student will be able to maintain or set goals according to strengths in their thinking process. In the first performance-based objective, students will identify the thinking process of the African American Achiever by having the students read a brief biography of the achiever. The students will identify the actions or behaviors of the achiever while the achiever was accomplishing his or her goal. For example, if the achiever is an artist, the achiever is identified with using the creative processes and uses determination and hope to accomplish his or her goal. The second performance based objective, students will identify their talents and compare them to the achievers. For example, if the student were artistic, the student would compare his or her talents to the achievers and the behaviors and actions that he or she currently possesses while comparing it to the achiever's behaviors or actions. The performance-based objective is demonstrated by having the student set goals of action and behavior towards successfully accomplishing his or her set goal. For example, if the student wishes to become an artist, the students needs to set goals of behaviors and actions similar to the achiever. If I want to become an artist, I need to have respect for other cultures. This respect will allow me to further understand the importance of that culture's art. The actions or behavior for respect is to be polite, listen to the people or person of that culture, and not make fun of the differences of that culture. This unit will be a springboard for the student to think and explore their inner thoughts, feelings and how they view themselves in society. The goals and objectives of this curriculum unit would allow students to explore their own accomplishments, and help them to develop their own personal goals. The outcome of this unit would allow the students to create their own positive self-fulfilling prophecy to contribute to society and to be aware of social sensitivity.

In the fifth grade it is important to have hands-on activities and projects for social development. The student, while exploring famous African Americans, will have to participate in activities that involve social and emotional interaction with their peers. A culminating project completed by the student will be a collage that expresses who they are, what they want to be, and why. Then, the student in a formal presentation setting will present this collage in class. The student's collage will be displayed in the Media Center for staff, students and visitors to enjoy.

Overall, the unit will be focusing on the student's positive perception of his/her self-image. This unit will have students look at themselves and the outside world of accomplished African Americans who have been or are successful in fulfilling or changing their own prophecy. This unit will help and encourage the African American students towards positive self-fulfilling prophecy regarding their own social, emotional, practical, analytical, creative, and practical abilities.

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Background Knowledge

As a teacher, it is my responsibility to give the best opportunities to my students with a rich and child-centered environment in both my classroom and school community. Not only is it my responsibility but also my passion that drives me to create this social development curriculum. During my teaching career, I face the challenge of a classroom composed of socio-economically disadvantaged students. This experience had led me to research currents issues and studies of disadvantage students. I have come across a study that was published by the Horatio Alger Association, The State of Our Nation's Youth. The State of Our Nation's Youth analyzes the varying types and levels of family and peer support the American youth receive. It explores their outlook on numerous issues from education to social attitudes, and what these students see as the biggest obstacles in their lives as opposed to obstacles perceived by adults and educators. The study provides strong data about today at-risk adolescents and what they are facing in today's changing society. The outcome of this study can assist professionals in education the needs that must be addressed for students to overcome their educational obstacles. The study gathered responses from 1,327 teens between the ages of fourteen and eighteen of all races and variety of demographic backgrounds. The survey outcomes were interesting in the way in which African Americans view their outcome for continuing their education and the challenges that they face for their academic future. One outcome that was significant was that 85 percent of African Americans plan to continue their education in some fashion compared to 78 percent of all students. When asked how they planned to finance their education, African Americans expect more scholarships and grants than do students of other races. (Caucasians were more likely than students of other racial backgrounds to expect to work at a job outside of school to finance their education). But further findings revealed only 7 percent of African Americans reported receiving mostly A's in school versus 27 percent of Caucasians and 27 percent of other races. Further searching through the report, there were findings that when these students were asked if there is the same amount of opportunity for students of all races and social classes, 60 percent of whites believed that there would be equal opportunity for all, but only 40 percent of African Americans felt this way. African Americans students were 20 percent less thinking that students had fewer opportunities. Another outcome of the survey related to family earnings. The results of the survey stated that only 54 percent of those whose family earned below $30,000 felt that many opportunities would be available to them after they graduated. In contrast, 71 percent of students from families earning between $30,000 and $49,999 felt that they would have many opportunities. The United Methodist news service reports that the average African American household in the United States earned $25,050 in 1997. There is a correlation between the data from the United Methodist news service and the data from the Horatio Alger Association. There are two major concerns from these studies that addresses income and perception. The first is the average income of African American household earns $25, 050 per year, and second, the data of the Horatio Alger's survey of the 54 percent of those students families that earn below $30,000 felt they had a 17 percent less off a chance to further their education than those students whose families earned $30,000 to $49,000. It is my conclusion that the average African American student falls into a bracket where they are less likely to have opportunities. If students are not given the guidance and educational tools to over come the statistics and their perceptions, they have a greater percentage of thinking they have less opportunities.

I must note that the Horatio Alger survey stated that the overall consensus of the study was not to single out racial outcomes but student's perceptions of furthering their education. The Horatio Alger survey objectives were not used to define the perceptions of only African American students on furthering their education but of all students between the ages of fourteen and eighteen in various demographic areas within the United States.

Other findings in the Horatio Alger Association of 1999 survey were interesting in regards to student's academics. It stated that a variety of students from lower income households were less likely to:

Take the most difficult and challenging classes they can.
Believe the amount of work they do now is important to success later in life.
Believe that it is important that they do the best in all their classes
Agree that doing homework is important
This information reveals a gap between working hard in school and knowing how to accomplish successful goals to further education. Maybe students need to know how to establish their goals and to complete them. From research, it necessary to create a curriculum for African American students that will encourage them to overcome obstacles they face. This curriculum helps improve student's self-image through the exploration of successful African Americans. The curriculum would help the students become aware of positive achievers from their own cultural and race. African Americans have the intelligence and motivation to succeed; they often lack the skills and knowledge to succeed against the odds of biased school testing and challenges in poor socio-economical environments. As educators, we need to develop, implement and assess teaching strategies with the goal of creating child-centered learning environments that help students overcome these biases. These strategies will initiate and support the process of a developing positive image for the individual student.

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Purpose for Choosing Sternberg's Theory for Designing this Curriculum

The curriculum is designed with the guidance of Sternberg's Triachic Theory. In Sternberg's book, Teaching for Successful Intelligence, he believes in teaching successful intelligence that will be used in everyday life. Usually educational programs develop only in one particular area - analytical intelligence. He has noted successful people use three abilities to achieve success. These three abilities are analytical, practical, and creative. These abilities are vital to living successfully in everyday life. society, students are academically labeled in regards to analytical intelligence testing, but yet living successfully is based on having a balance between having practical, creative, and analytical. If testing is based only on analytical and not the other two abilities, ones self imagine might be lowered. Applying all three intelligences gives the student a balance for success. This will enable the students to set expectations or a set of standards for him or herself, thus continuing the learning process for a successful life. This is when positive behavior of self-image takes place in an individual. I chose Sternberg for the design of this unit to help students explore all of their abilities for everyday and academic success.

Sternberg describes his theory with three intelligences. The three intelligences are creative, analytical, and practical. Analytical intelligence is the internal world of the individual, or the mental mechanisms that underlie intelligent behavior. The second is creative intelligence, which is intelligence and experience, or mediating role of one's passages through life between the internal and external worlds of the individual. And the third, practical intelligence is intelligence and the external world of the individual, or the use of these mental mechanisms in everyday life in order to attain an intelligent fit to the environment.

Sternberg's (1985) theory of intelligence contains three sub theories, one about context, one about experience, and one about the cognitive components of information processing. Sternberg believes that the environment of the individual has to be considered and what the society thinks is intelligent according to their culture. It is then determined whether that person wants to adapt to their present environment, selecting a different environment, or reshape one's current environment. The intelligence is determined when a person is exposed to tasks that are given to them that are unfamiliar or relatively new. His theory also looks at the relationship and cognitive process of how the person controls and monitors the new tasks which are referred to as metacomponents. How the person executes the new tasks that are given are referred to as performance components, and how the person encodes and assembles new knowledge of the current new tasks that the person was given are referred to as knowledge acquisition components. As a whole, the Triachic theory claims different aspects or kinds of intelligence (e.g., academic, practical, and creative). In an article called Current Research on Intelligence, Frank Yekovich gives an excellent example of Kearin's 1981 study of different intelligences in different cultural settings. Kearin found that aboriginal children develop more of their visuospatial memories than Anglo-Australian children, who are more likely to apply verbal strategies to spatial memory tasks than the aborigines, who employ spatial strategies. It is these various kinds of adaptations that Sternberg test in his Triachic Theory of Human Intelligence.

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The Analytical, Creative, and Practical Approach

Implementing Sternberg's Triachic theory in a curriculum and instructional method will improve teacher abilities to assess the student's current level of intellectual functioning and to prescribe interventions such as behavior tasks for this social development curriculum. The unit will maximize each individual's potential for encouraging the student's self image. In lesson one of the curriculum unit, the student explores, creates and demonstrates prior knowledge by identify their talents through the creation of a writing piece, drawing, or verbal presentation. The type of student talent is demonstrated through analytical, creative and practical intelligence through the student's selection of being creative, analytical, or practical. The student will think about what talent they possess and then demonstrate their talent. This is an introduction to the curriculum. This is a way for the teacher to have prior knowledge of a student. It allows prior knowledge to be demonstrated and then to build new knowledge from the old knowledge. The second lesson is the analytical intelligence. It is when new information is given to a student and the student relates this new knowledge with prior background knowledge. In this curriculum the new material or knowledge will be the achievements of African Americans achievers. The analytical intelligence is the intelligence that the student already possesses, or prior knowledge, and how the student builds on new knowledge. In this curriculum, it would be the talents that the student demonstrates in the first lesson, and then how he or she builds new information. This new information is analyzed and interpreted through the knowledge acquisition components. The knowledge acquisition components that appear to be central in the intellectual functioning are selective encoding, selective combination, and selective comparison. The students will interpret the new information with the inter-relationship of prior knowledge and create a similar goals and behavioral tasks from one of the African American Achievers that are presented in the curriculum. The analytical activity is to identify the African American achiever goals, behaviors, and tasks. The creative intelligence is initiated in the third lesson when the students must create a goal and behavioral tasks to help accomplish the goal that he or she has set for him/herself. This is the ability to deal with novelty in terms of the knowledge acquisition components working all together in higher order executive processes. The creative activity is to create a list of goals, tasks, and behaviors that the students will use to help achieve their prophecy. The practical intelligence is initiated in the fourth lesson when the students have established the goal and the tasks of behavior that relates to their goal. The practical activity is when the student constructs the collage. The behavioral tasks are represented in the making and presentation of a collage. The goal of the student will have one or more behavior tasks that relates to adaptation to an environment, shaping an environment, and/or selection of environment. The behavior that the students displays while making the collage is one way to help determine if the intervention help the students succeed in his or her positive self image. This intervention curriculum will promote positive self-fulfilling prophecy.

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The Curriculum and Instruction

The intervention curriculum topic is the profiles of African American achievers. These African American achievers have succeeded in one or more categories of Sternberg's Triachic theory: creative, practical and analytical. The students will already have their own prior background knowledge of talents to bring to the first instructional lesson. They will demonstrate their talents in the first lesson called "You are Gifted". The students will have a choice to draw a picture, write a 3-paragraph essay, or verbally communicate what special talents they have to share with the class. The performance component is the selection process in regards to how they will choose and demonstrate their talent. The teacher will then share the outcomes with the class in a nurturing environment.

After self-evaluation, the second lesson of instruction takes place. The second instructional lesson is called "Exploring the Gifts of African American Achievers." At this point, the students are given new information. The teacher presents the profiles of African American achievers. The class will explore and define what intelligences each of these African American achievers possess, and how these African Americans achieved their goals through behaviors and tasks. The instructional lesson will go into detail about what tasks and goals each of these achievers did in order to become successful. The students will have graphic organizers to outline the tasks and goals that the achiever set for him/herself to understand the achiever's goals and what behaviors and tasks they used in order to obtain their goal. This is when Sternberg's metacomponents activate performance and knowledge acquisitions performance. These latter components in turn provide feedback to the metacomponents. This allows the student to prepare for the third instructional lesson.

The students are given new information about African American achievers and need to identify the task and goals for each African American profile. By having all components working highly interactive, the third instructional lesson takes place. The third lesson is about comparison. The comparison is the talent the student already possesses and the talent of the African American achiever. The student also evaluates the tasks of the achiever. The cognitive action in this lesson has three parts: having the student analyzes his/her talents, analyzing the achiever, and comparing the first two parts to come up with behaviors and tasks in order to succeed the students' goal. The student then has to come up with a plan of behaviors and tasks in which the student will be able to succeed in his or her positive goal to become an achiever.

The third instructional lesson is where the external world meets the individual. There needs to be a lot of nurturing and cultural awareness on part of the teacher, for this process to be a success. These tasks have to generate meaning and be purposeful in order for the student to successfully change his behavior and perspective in order to achieve their positive goals. The third lesson is called, "Reach for the Stars". The student selects one type of career. Whether the career will be more focused on creative, analytical, or practical goals, usually one type of occupation has more than one type of intelligence. The student will than set a goal and create tasks and positive behaviors in order to obtain their career goal, and succeed in going towards that career path.

The third lesson will have a graphic organizer for the student to fill out his or her goal, behavior and tasks. The next part of the lesson will be reflection from the first lesson. The student will take his/her talent describe in the first lesson and compare it to the goals and tasks that the students set for themselves in the third lesson. They students will explore how their talent is going to help them succeed with their goals. This is where Sternberg's intelligence behavioral goals are expressed. According to contextual sub theory, intelligence thought is directed toward one or more of the three behavioral goals: adaptation to an environment, shaping of an environment, and selection of an environment. This is not a random or aimless mental activity that happens to involve certain components of information processing at certain levels of experience. Rather, it is actively purposefully directed toward the pursuit of the global goals that serve a purpose and meaning for people's lives. It is again stressed that the school environment be a positive setting for the student. The student will start to identify which behavioral tasks and goals he/ she needs to act upon in order to obtain the goal. These behavior tasks and goals will be written down in the graphic organizer.

The last part of lesson three will conclude the four objectives. Those four objectives are as follows: who am I and what talents do I have, what to a want to be, how will I do it, and how can I change to help achieve my goal. At the end of the lesson the student will summarize the objectives and sign a contract for the year. The contract will have a goal, behaviors, and the tasks of how the student accomplishes the goal. The tasks will have behavior tasks such as respecting others, and having patience for others. These are just a few examples of how the student will perform in demonstrating the tasks.

The fourth lesson called 'I Have a Dream to Make" the students will create a collage. This collage will allow them to express their talents and to motivate them in pursuing their goals. This is the activity of practical intelligence. The students have been given information, now how will the students use the information? The will use this information by executing positive behavior while completing the collage to move closer to the their goal. There are four major components to the collage: showing themselves at the present time, who they want to be, how are they going to do it, and the attached goal contract. There will be guidelines the teacher will present in designing the collage, and a sample will be shown for better understanding. The student collages will be displayed in the Media Center for everyone to enjoy.

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Lesson Plan 1: You are Gifted


The students will explore and demonstrate their present talents through selection of creativity, analytical, or practical experiences.


Invite the children by letting them tell you what they like to do or what they are good at doing. Display three charts that will be titled: The Arts (Drawing), Writing, and Presentations (Talking). Let the students discuss what they like to do and their talents. While brainstorming with students, record answers on the appropriate charts. Allow the students to have a discussion regarding the recorded answers on the selected charts. Ask the students to demonstrate their talents by having them select one of the three ways they feel more successful and comfortable in displaying their talents. If the student chooses to draw a talent about him/herself than the student's selection is the creative process. If the student chooses to write about him/herself then selection is the analytical process of writing an expository piece of work. If the student chooses an presentation than the students needs to summarize about him/herself on note cards and verbally talk to the class using the note cards. This verbal presentation will be the practical process. Discuss with the students their selection. Have the students think about why they chose the selection. Allow each student to discuss, read, or show the process they selected. Using the chart paper titled, "Why you are Gifted", record students answers of why they selected one of the processes.


Emphasize that all three selections are equally powerful and important. Let students explain their talent to the class. Discuss how these might help them in becoming a better citizen in society. Then explain to the students that they will be exploring successful African American who have used one or more of the three process to become a successful citizen in both the United States and globally.

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Lesson 2: Exploring the Gifts of African American Achievers (Consists of 3 weeks)


Exploring African American Achievers. Students will:

1. Appreciate and know the struggles and ways in which these achievers became successful.
2. Sequence the events of how these achievers became successful
3. Identify the achievements of each achiever.
4. Identify the achievers determination (behaviors) and how they got to their goal successfully.
First Week, Part 1: Exploring the Gifts of African American Achievers

First African American Profile: Clementine Hunter: Creative


Graphic Organizer for each Achiever: Clementine Hunter
Students Pencil
Books for Display
____ Talking With Tebe: Clementine Hunter, Memory Artist by Clementine Hunter, Mary E. Lyons
____ Clementine Hunter: American Folk Artist by James Wilson
Class Reading Material: Brief Biography of Clementine Hunter
Reading Material for First Week, Part 1: Talking With Tebe: Clementine Hunter, Memory Artist. By Clementine Hunter, Mary E. Lyons

Clementine Hunter has been called a primitive artist, a folk artist, a naive painter, and a memory painter. Her bold, exuberant style defies all conventions of traditional art forms. As one critic stated, primitive art reveals a "flash of the spirit." And that spirit for Clementine was the art of living cultivated by blacks in the old South. They learned to make the most of, and celebrate, life in their own way. This books describes Clementine Hunters Life through struggles and success as a painter.


Show paintings by Clementine Hunter. Discuss with students the creativity of Clementine Hunter. Introduce to the students the importance of her artwork. Explain why it is meaningful to her culture and others outside her culture. Allow students to read a brief biography of Clementine Hunter. Introduce the 2 books that are on display. Introduce the book, Talking with Tebe by Mary Lyons. This book consists of 160 pages. This book takes a week to be read and taught the lesson. This book is a narrative story about Clementine Hunter's Life. Tebe in the story is Clementine. After story has been read, have students fill out graphic organizer. The graphic organizer reflects three major objectives. The three major objectives are sequencing of lifetime events, tasks that the achiever did during these lifetime events, and behaviors that were displayed during the time the tasks was accomplished. Look at the model for the graphic organizer for better understanding. While working with the students, go over the graphic organizer and fill it in while having a discussion about the reading. Instructor needs to make sure that all students must fill out entire graphic organizer to complete the objectives for the lesson.


Students will verbally explain the importance of Clementine Hunter and what objectives she demonstrated to get to her goals.

Second Week, Part 2: Exploring African American Achievers

Second African American Profile: Benjamin Banneker: Analytical


Graphic Organizer for each Achiever: Benjamin Banneker
Students Pencil
Books for Display
____ Benjamin Banneker : Astronomer and Mathematician (African-American Biographies) by Laura Baskes Litwin, Benjamin Banneker
____ Dear Benjamin Banneker by Andrea Davis Pinkney, Brian Pinkney (Illustrator)
____ Bedini, Silvio A.: Life of Benjamin Banneker: The Definitive Biography of Benjamin Banneker
Class Reading Material: Brief Biography of Benjamin Banneker
Reading Materials for Week 2, Part 2: Benjamin Banneker : Astronomer and Mathematician (African-American Biographies). By Laura Baskes Litwin, Benjamin Banneker

Benjamin Banneker was a great mathematician and astronomer. One of his first contributions was that he made an almanac that held essential information for farmers and travelers. His first one was published in 1802.Another contribution was the watch he made entirely out of wood. He had borrowed a watch and used it as a model to make a wooden one. Finally, he was one of the first African Americans to speak out for racism and slavery. He is known around the world for his achievements.


Show the farmers almanac and tell the importance of the almanac. Discuss with students the creativity of Benjamin Banneker. Introduce to the students the importance of his scientific discoveries and his writings. Explain why it was meaningful to his culture and others outside his culture. Allow students to read a brief biography of Benjamin Banneker. Introduce the 3 books that are on display. Introduce the book, Benjamin Banneker: Astronomer and Mathematician (African-American Biographies) by Laura Baskes Litwin, and Benjamin Banneker. This book consists of 112 pages. This book takes a week to be read and taught the lesson. This book talks about how Banneker farmed tobacco for the first 40 years of his adult life, then suddenly developed a burning interest in astronomy that led to several popular annual almanacs, a pointed letter to then-Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson challenging his racist views, and to becoming a cause celebrity for the early abolitionist movement. After story has been read, have students fill out graphic organizer. The graphic organizer reflects three major objectives. The three major objectives are sequencing of lifetime events, tasks that the achiever did during these lifetime events, and behaviors that were displayed during the time the tasks was accomplished. Look at the model for the graphic organizer for better understanding. While working with the students, go over the graphic organizer and fill it in while having a discussion about the reading. Instructor needs to make sure that all students must fill out entire graphic organizer to complete the objectives for the lesson.


Students will verbally explain the importance of Benjamin Banneker and what objectives he demonstrated to get to his goals.

Third Week, Part 3: Exploring African American Achievers

Third African American Profile: Jackie Robinson: Practical


Graphic Organizer for Each Achiever: Jackie Robinson
Students Pencils
Books for Display
____ Jackie Robinson: Young Sports Trailblazer (Childhood of Famous Americans Series). By Herb Dunn, Meryl Henderson (Illustrator), Dan Gutman
____ Jackie's Nine : Jackie Robinson's Values to Live By. By Sharon Robinson
____ The Story of Jackie Robinson: Bravest Man in Baseball. By Margaret Davidson
Class Reading Material: Brief Biography of Jackie Robinson
Reading Materials for Week 3, Part 3: Jackie's Nine: Jackie Robinson's Values to Live by Sharon Robinson

Jackie Robinson was the first black in the big leagues in 1947, he starred for the Brooklyn Dodgers for a decade, showing class and poise even as he was vilified by racists in the stands and on the field. His behavior was subversive: He forced America to watch integration work. He broke the color line in what was then the national pastime.


Discuss with the students about baseball and Jackie Robinson. Allow students to read a brief biography of Jackie Robinson. Introduce the 3 books that are on display. Explain to the class that Jackie Robinson did not always succeed in everything. This book is devoted to each of these nine principles (courage, determination, teamwork, persistence, integrity, citizenship, justice, commitment and excellence), the author includes an entry by or about her father, a recollection of what she considers a memorable event in her own past. Discuss with students the practical processes of Jackie Robinson. Introduce to the students the importance of his dream, morals and ethics to get to his goals. Explain why it was meaningful to his culture and others outside his culture. While working with the students, go over the graphic organizer and fill it in while having a discussion about the reading. The graphic organizer reflects three major objectives. The three major objectives are sequencing of lifetime events, tasks that the achiever did during these lifetime events, and behaviors that were displayed during the time the tasks was accomplished. Look at the model for the graphic organizer for better understanding. Instructor needs to make sure that all students must fill out entire graphic organizer to complete the objectives for the lesson.


Students will verbally explain the importance of Jackie Robinson and what objectives he demonstrated to get to his goals.

Model for Graphic Organizer:

(figures availabale in print form)

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Lesson 3: Reach for the Stars


Students will:
1. Set a career goal.
2. Compare their talents to one of the talents of the achiever.
3. Create positive behavior tasks to complete the their goals similar to the achiever.
4. Write on a graphic organizer these behavioral tasks and the goal that will be completed.
5. Complete a Goal Contract pertaining to four major objectives:
____ Who I am
____ What talents do I have
____ What do I want to be
____ How can I accomplish my goal


Students Pencils

Graphic Organizer on Behavioral task Pertaining to Goal

Goal Contract Worksheet

Graphic Organizers from all three achievers (completed)

Students Previous Work from Lesson 1 (completed)


Students will discuss a career goal. An example might be that they what to become a musician or writer. They student will have their work from Lesson 1 and Lesson 2 to help them compare their goal (musician or writer, etc.) to what they are at the present time (creative, practical, or analytical). They will compare their talents to one of the achievers. They will then, analyze the tasks and behaviors of the achiever and how his/her behavior affected their achievements. The students create their own behaviors and tasks of how they are going to achieve their goal that will be similar to the achiever. The students will demonstrate this by filling out the graphic organizer called Behavioral Tasks Related to their Goal. After the goals and tasks have been completed, students will fill out a Goal Contract. This needs to be completed before moving on to lesson four.


Students will discuss their contract with the classroom community. They will identify their tasks and share ideas with their classmates.

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Lesson Four: I Have a Dream To Make


Students willl create a collage based on the following four major objectives:
Who I am,
What talents do I have
What do I want to be
How can I accomplish my goal

Materials and Resources

Media Center
Newspapers Clippings; Pictures from Journals, Magazines, and Posters; Graphics from Computer, and Internet: and students own personal creative art (drawings).
Teacher will have display model for students to have a guideline
Student guideline worksheet for collage.
Poster board
Scissors, Markers, Crayons,
Index Cards (writing action words for behavioral tasks)
Goal Contract
Photograph of Student

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Teacher will discuss the making of the collage, the title and the four components of the collage. The collage will be divided into four sections representing each component. The first component will be: Who I am. In this section the students will have a photograph of him/herself. This photograph will be placed in the center of collage. The left side of the collage will represent what talents the student possesses. The students will demonstrate by selecting one of the three talents of creative, practical, or analytical approach. An example would be if the students like to write. Then he/she will show a picture of the action of writing, or a graphic of a pen. The student will label on the upper left hand corner "My Talent". The right side of the collage will display the career or career-related things that the student wants to possess. An example would be if the student wants to be a musician, then he/she would show a picture of a famous musician, or a profile that would fit that description. The behavioral or action words will be spread out equally around the pictures or graphics. The behavioral words are action words that demonstrate how the student will accomplish his or her goal. A few examples of behavioral words would be as follows: commitment, respect, discipline, patience, and determination. These behavioral words would be put on 3" by 5" index cards and glued around the collage. The Goal Contract worksheet would be stapled to the bottom of the collage. It would then be displayed in the Media Center for the school community to enjoy. Students Basic Guidelines for Collage

Needs to be a Poster Board 3'x 3'
Has to have 5 Behavioral Action Words related to students tasks and goal
Left side of Poster Board Needs to Have a Title of My Talent
Right side of poster board needs to have a Title of Who I Want to Be
Main Title Needs to be I Have A Dream to Make (Capitals Letters)
Neatness, Clarity, Correct Spelling and Grammar
6 Colorful & Accurate pictures representing My Talent & Who I Want To Be
Goal Contract Needs to be attached to Collage


Students will discuss collage in front of classmates, parents, administrators, and guest before displaying their work in the Media Center.

Model for the Collage:

The Assessment

The assessment is an important part of the curriculum. It defines whether the goals and the objectives of the curriculum were completed with success. In addition, it shows patterns of change in regards to the implementation of the curriculum. Assessment shows where and when the changes and effects toke place at certain points during the instruction of the curriculum. The assessment monitors the behavioral patterns of the students before, during, and after the instruction of the curriculum.

The assessment is a quantitative study. It is an experimental design determining cause and effect. The students will face the challenge of not knowing how to achieve. The cause is the treatment, the treatment is the African American curriculum; it is the independent variable in the assessment. The effect is going to be based on behavior. The effect will have two dependant variables. The two dependent variables of behavior will be assessed. The first dependant behavior is how many times the students raise their hands during instructional lesson. The second dependent behavior will be how many times do the students shout out the answers to cause disruption during the instructional lesson. This assessment is tested out on two groups. One group will be manipulated with the independent variable (with intervention program), while the other group will be the controlled group (without intervention program). Each group will have a total of six assessment tests. Each test will be focus on the two dependent variables. There will be two pretest, two intervention tests, and two post-tests. There will be a total of 12 sets of data to compare and contrast. This data will be collected, analyzed, and compared from the pre-beginnings of the curriculum to the post-end of the curriculum to determine if behavioral patterns have changed in the 2 groups of classes.

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Work Cited

Clark. Reginald. Family Life and School Achievement: Why Poor Black Children Succeed or Fail. University of Chicago Press. 1984

Drew, Clifford, Hardman, Michael L., Winston-Egan, M. Human Exceptionality, Society, School, and Family. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. 1996.

Entries in Sternberg, RJ (editor). (1994) Encyclopedia of Human Intelligence. New York: McMillan Publishing Co.

"Practical Intelligence." Wagner. R.

"Street Intelligence." Nunes, T

"Problem Finding." Csikzentmihalyi, M.

"Triachic Theory of Human Intelligence." Sternberg. RJ

"African Americans." Wilson, MN

"Socioeconomic Status and Intelligence." Turkheimer

Grigorenko, Elena L., Sternberg, Robert. Teaching for Successful Intelligence: To Increase Student Learning and Achievement. Arlington Heights, IL: Skylight Professional Development. 2000.

Lynn, R. "Direct evidence for genetic basis for black-white difference in IQ." American Psychologist. 1997. 52(1), 73-74.

Madhere, S. "Beyond the Bell curve: Toward a model of talent and character development." Journal of Negro Education, 1995. 64(3), 326-339.

Sternberg, R.J. Beyond IQ: A triachic theory of human intelligence. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. 1985.

Sternberg, Robert J. Thinking Styles. New York, NY. Cambridge University Press. 1999.

The State of Our Nation's Youth 1999-2000. Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc. Alexandria, VA. 2000.

"U.S. Census Bureau reveals new facts about African American." United Methodist News Service. Nashville, TN: February 1999 (059).

Teacher References

Alexander, E. Curtis. A Methodology For Teaching The Culturally Particular African American Child.

Bedini, Silvio A.: Life of Benjamin Banneker: The Definitive Biography of Benjamin Banneker

Crane, Jonathan. (1994). Exploding the myth of scientific support for the theory of Black intelligence inferiority. Journal of Black Psychology, 20(2), 189-209.

Davidson, Margaret, The Story of Jackie Robinson: Bravest Man in Baseball

Herb, Dunn, Henderson, Meryl. Jackie Robinson: Young Sports Trailblazer (Childhood of Famous Americans Series)

Haskins, James. African American Entrepreneurs (Black Star Series). School and Library Binding, 1998

Henderson, Susan K. African-American Inventors III: Patricia Bath, Phillip Emeagwall, Henry Sampson, Valerie Thomas, Peter Tolliver (Apstone Short Biographies). School Binding, 1998

Hunter, Clementine, Lyons, Mary. Talking With Tebe: Clementine Hunter, Memory Artist

Litwin Baskes, Laura. Benjamin Banneker: Astronomer and Mathematician (African-American Biographies)

Metcalf, D. Portraits of African American Achievers. Good Apple. 1996.

Pinkney, Davis, Andrea, Pinkney. Dear Benjamin Banneker

Robinson, Sharon. Jackie's Nine: Jackie Robinson's Values to Live by

Wilson, Amos N. Awakening the Natural Genius of Black Children.

Wilson, James. Clementine Hunter: American Folk Artist

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I would like to thank my students at Jackie Robinson Middle School, New Haven, Connecticut, for inspiring me to write this curriculum. For I am their teacher but they are my teachers as well. In addition, I would like to thank Linda Jarvin at PACE, Michelle Wooding for her support and future teacher-friend, my professor Dr. Robert Schultz at the Yale Child Study Center, and my friends and family. This year was a growth and rebirth of practical experience both personally and in my career.

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