Capturing Authenticity, Transforming Perception: One Teacher's Efforts to Improve Her Students' Performance by Challenging Their Impressions of Self and Community

Fall 2008

Source: Harvard Educational Review. Vol. 78, Iss. 3; Fall 2008. p. 529-550

In this essay, the author describes the efforts of a public school teacher to improve her students' writing by attempting to increase their connectivity to their community.
By designing photojournalism projects that prompt students to capture their authentic experiences, the teacher hopes to challenge the students' negative perceptions of their community, which she believes have a negative effect on her students' performance in school. The author elaborates on the personal and pedagogical dilemmas that the teacher faced while engaged in this work. Furthermore, he describes how the teacher's instructional objectives and pedagogical approaches evolved as she gained an appreciation for the complex issues that arise when teachers and students attempt to depict their community.

Updated: Nov. 30, 2008