An Introduction to Micromessaging The Office of Career Readiness NJ Department of Education
Micromessaging – Do Now Activity: Upon entering the workshop, read the following and write down messages that you receive from this advertisement. “With the Arduino*, Now Even Your Mom Can Program.” Activity: Now rewrite the advertisement and share your response with the group. *Electronics platform
Micromessaging – Do Now Later that day: October 27, 2011 Dear Members and Readers, Please accept our sincere apologies for the headline in today's Tech Alert: "With the Arduino, Now Even Your Mom Can Program." The actual title of the article is "The Making of Arduino." IEEE Spectrum Activity: Compare/contrast your advertisement rewrite to the magazine apology.
Presentation Goals By the end of the workshop participants will be able to: • Define micromessages, micro-affirmations, and micro-inequities • Describe the key elements of micromessaging • Assess the impact of micromessaging in schools • Develop a plan to intentionally employ positive micromessages in your classrooms.
Micromessaging – Definition Micromessages are those small, subtle, universally understood messages that we send and receive through words, gestures, body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions whenever we interact with others. Three important things to know about micromessages: • they can be positive or negative • they are often semi-conscious or unconscious • they have a greater impact on the performance of underrepresented populations, particularly in schools, i.e., students with disabilities, socioeconomically disadvantaged, limited English proficient, non-traditional by gender, etc.
Micromessaging – 2 Types Micro-affirmations Positivemicromessages are micro-affirmations we send that recognize and validate others in positive supportive ways. They cause people to feel valued, included, motivated, confident, and encouraged. Micro-inequities Negativemicromessages are micro-inequities we send that single out, overlook, ignore or discount others, usually based on unchangeable characteristics such as ethnicity, gender, disability, etc. Activity: Think of a time when you received a micro-affirmation or a micro-inequity. With a partner, describe how it made you feel at that moment. Explain any long term effects. Share with the group, if you desire.
Micromessaging – Six Key Elements What is said Verbal Feedback messages Praise and Criticism How it’s said Para- Verbal Para- Verbal Micromessages Body language Non- Verbal Omission What is not said or not done Contextual Who or what else is present – culture, artifacts, etc.
Micromessaging – in Education In 2007 the National Science Foundation awarded the National Partnership in Equity (NAPE) a grant to work with states to increase women’s participation in nontraditional fields. Through this work NAPE identified a critical phenomenon: “that the communication of unconscious beliefs or biases, despite educator’s best intentions, can discourage underrepresented students from pursuing STEM and other high wage, high demand careers.”
Micromessaging – Why it matters in schools Impact Intent Engagement with students in the classroom Teacher Micro Messaging Student Performance Small and seemingly insignificant behaviors may result in unfavorable learning outcomes. Impact is More Important Than Intent!
Micromessaging– Why it matters in schools The renowned economist Mary Rowe (1990) who conducted extensive research on underrepresentation at MIT describes micro-inequities as “small events” that occur whenever people are perceived as different that when accumulated over time, can damage individuals’ self-esteem and performance in the classroom.
Micromessaging– What it looks like in schools Micro-inequities (examples) • Chronically mispronounce select student names • Tolerate calling out answers from some students but not others • Discipline boys more severely than girls for similar behaviors • Avoid eye contact with select students • Sigh when certain students get the wrong answer • Only use males as examples of scientists or females as examples of nurses Add others to the list based on your own experience
Micromessaging – What it looks like in schools Micro-affirmations (examples) • Meet and greet your students at the door • Listen whenever students are talking • Assign females and males to activities based on skill, not gender • Celebrating the backgrounds and cultures of all students • Affirm students for their effort, not perceived attributes • Implement a system for calling on all students; shuffled index cards • Ensure classroom and curriculum are culturally responsive Add others to the list based on your own experience.
Micromessaging – What it looks like in schools Activity: Show: • a micromessaging video you may be familiar with: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASDzcvyatgw (Consider: Stereotypes in the Classroom; John Stossel) Discuss: • Work in teams and discuss strategies that might help to combat the classroom stereotypes described in the video.
Micromessaging – The Wheel To connect the work of Rowe and other researchers, NAPE created the Culture Wheel to advance an understanding of how culture, micromessaging, and student behavior interact.
Micromessaging – The Missing Link; Examining the Small On a piece of paper write a specific incident when you were… • unintentionally discouraged or hurt by something SMALL a teacher said or did (micro-inequity), or • deeply valued by something SMALL a teacher said or did (micro-affirmation). Which of the 6 key elements were employed by the teacher? Make a connection between intent and impact Describe any long term impacts
Micromessaging – Strategies Teachers want strategies that: • counteract micro-inequities by building micro-affirmations • are based on data driven research based analysis • are based on observation and reflection • lead to equitable classroom environments Here are just a few!
Micromessaging – Strategies for Educators Strategies • Know what your students bring to the classroom. • Be aware of the micromessages you are sending, both positive and negative. • Make a concerted effort to practice micro-affirmations and counteract micro-inequities. • Work with peers and mentors to identify unintended biases that impact student performance • Make your classroom culturally responsive. • Be diverse in the examples used in the classroom to illustrate concepts and ideas. • Plant micro-affirmations in your daily lessons. • Teach students how to use micro-affirmations when communicating. • Take advantage of professional development opportunities that address micromessaging. • Educate parents in the use of micromessaging at home to encourage students through affirmation to believe in their dreams.
MICROMESSAGING – Strategies Team Work - Activity • Separate into teams • Select a strategy from the list • Develop a plan of action to address the strategy and evaluate the impact • Share your plan with the group One person can cause a change but it takes a team to reorient the culture. Start by creating awareness.
MICROMESSAGING RESOURCES Association of American Colleges & Universities; Adjusting Micromessages to Improve Equity National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity – www.napequity.org Rowe, Mary, MIT 2008. Micro-affirmations & inequities Barriers to Equality: The Power of Subtle Discrimination Sandler, Bernice. 1986. The Campus Climate Revisited Wellesley College, MA; Partnerships for Diversity – firstname.lastname@example.org Young, Stephen; Micromessaging, McGraw Hill 2008
MICROMESSAGING Thank you for your participation in today’s workshop. For additional information, technical assistance, or professional development, contact: Charlotte Gray NJ Department of Education Office of Career Readiness email@example.com