I’ve previously posted about a simple writing exercise that was shown to particularly help African American students increase their academic achievement (see Useful Writing Exercise For Helping Students Develop Self-Esteem) and expanded that into a full-fledged lesson plan in my book, Helping Students Motivate Themselves.
Two new studies have now shown that it can be equally effective with Latino students.
My previous blog post and the new studies (along with my lesson plan) do a good job explaining the process but, simply put, the idea is to have students write briefly about values that are important to them.
Here’s how one of the researchers behind the new studies describes why it’s effective:
“When you look at what the students write, you see that they are generally not boosting their egos or self-aggrandizing. What they do is remind themselves about who they are, and what is important to them. They are reaffirming a narrative about themselves that they are okay people who have core values that will be with them through the ups and downs of school. And this helps the students see threatening events from a broader perspective, and these threats become less of a stressor and less disruptive of their academic motivation and efficacy.”