Lesson Study #3:
Critical
Consciousness, Micro aggressions, and language to take action

What is Lesson Study?

Lesson Study is an opportunity for educators to take a close look around a specific concept deeply. By stepping back to listen and observe, we are able to examine different forms of thinking in different learning environments. Lesson Study allows for a group of colleagues to come together and inquire and reflect on a specific lens to help grow in our profession. 

Research Question

How can we help students employ language to challenge and counter systems of oppression?

Equity Goal

Students will understand examples of micro aggressions and be able to use perspective taking, non-judgment, recognition of emotions, and communication of emotions to respond and act when being called in.

Content Goals

Students will be able to respond with empathy when a micro aggression happens to them and when they perpetuate one.

Theory of Action

If we as teachers model awareness through stories (fiction and nonfiction) and provide opportunities for students to learn from each other’s lived experiences, then students will develop critical action by witnessing, processing, and responding to micro aggressions.

Lesson Overview

In this lesson, students are learning about how to recognize and react to microagressions in an empathetic way. Students begin the lesson by reflecting on how their body feels when they get angry. Then they watch a TikTok video of a microagression occurring and write down what they might say. Then we will teach the students the key aspects of empathy and how they can respond to the microagression in an empathetic way. Students then re-watched the TikTok video and rewrote how they might respond given their new understanding of responding in an epathemic way. Students then reflected on how their responses changed from their first answer to their second answer. For the full lesson plan click this button:

Click below to read more on the studies we read that influenced the creation of our lesson:

Focus Students

Focus student 1:

  • Why Chosen: High Social Status, High Academic Status extremely great at art, fun and so well likeable and agreeable. Identifies as non-binary

  • Description: F1 is new to High-Tech high this year.  He is incredibly forgiving, kind and personable and everyone wants to be his friend. He works incredibly hard and it's the first to share his thoughts. He thinks outside the box and is incredibly gifted with art. 

  • Goal for focal student: My goal for F1 is that he will be able use his self awareness to advocate for his needs when he has a bad brain day.

Focus student 2:

  • Why Chosen: F2 is incredibly gifted with building fur costumes and animatronic heads that one can wear. He is transitioning this year and has had 3 name changes so far.

  • Description: F2 is an incredibly gifted and artistic student who is on the spectrum. He loves Engaging in activities that are hands on like clay, sculpting, costume making and can sometimes struggle to make human connections with others.

  • Goal for focal student: Empathy and emotions are sometimes challenging for him to process 

Focus student 3:

  • Why Chosen:  F3 (High Achieving, Low confidence, low social status) bubbly, fun and loves school. Low self esteem, low self worth. Student is very similar to who I am/was as a student.

  • Description: F3 is a very high achieving student who enjoys working with people she feels comfortable with. She will always be the first one to volunteer to share out to read aloud or to support someone who is struggling. F3 always tries her hardest and asks a lot of questions.

  • Goal for focal student:  My goal for F3 is that she will become more confident in herself and become an independent learner. 

Student work

Below are the exit ticket responses from our three focus students. ​​

  • How did your second response change from your first response?

  • Did you notice the use of any empathetic language?

  • In what areas can you grow?

Focus student 1: “In my first response, I felt the need to argue. But in my second response, I tried to use a little more empathy and softer language by explaining to them and communicating with them. I grew, because I calmed down more about the situation and felt less like I needed to make a point by using harsher language.

Focus student 2: This student did not complete their exit ticket.

Focus student 3: I think it changed because there was less action because instead of having someone who had power over him talk to him, I just tried to connect with him. I noticed I was say “how does ____ feel” or “how does this make _____ feel”. I can grow by actually learning to say this in real life and try to stay calm and control my emotions so I can actually talk.

Lesson Study Reflection

Content Concept

  • Watching my lesson study host, Mo, actually teach about microaggressions in the classroom 

  • Foundational truths in the class 

    • Microaggressions are real and we will not be...homophobic, racist, abelist, etc.

  • Shifting the question from “what are microaggressions?” to microaggressions are real and how do we recognize them

  • 3 aspects of critical consciousness: recognition, agency, and action

Student Thinking

  • Supporting students with metacognition/self awareness so they feel safe and prepared to respond (Ex. body check in beginning of lesson)

  • Journals, turn and talks, and  provide space/time  for organic role plays

Teaching and Pedagogy

  • The process of Witness, Process, Respond