Motivate 2 Graduate is a Project Based Learning experience in which iJAG students have studied the high school dropout problem in the United States, Des Moines Public Schools, and Des Moines Lincoln High School. Based on research and interviews, students identified student barriers to on-time graduation and then constructed motivators and resources to help overcome those barriers at Lincoln High School.
One barrier that students identified was “sometimes-poor communication among students and teachers”. They found that students who build good relationships with teachers were more likely to seek help, overcome learning challenges, and remain committed to graduating.
To address the student/teacher "communication barrier", students drew from DISC training they had received through mentoring from a classroom partner, Principal Financial Group. DISC theory, researched by Dr. William Moulton Marston at Harvard University, is a method of identifying predictable actions and personality traits within human behavior.
Using this theory, iJAG students determined their own styles, learned how to identify other people's styles, and practiced doing the same with people based on their styles: Dominant, Inspiring, Supportive, or Cautious.
iJAG students decided to create a DISC training to present during Lincoln's Professional Development on April 13. As part of the project, students: • Drafted an email invitation for teachers including a link to take a free DISC test so they could identify their styles prior to the training.
• Created and practiced a DISC presentation to explain the four personality traits and communication tips.
• Developed role-playing scenarios that gave teachers and students a chance to walk in the shoes of all four styles.
• Taught the Professional Development class to approximately 130 Lincoln teachers and administrators
• Solicited feedback from educators and used the feedback to create a student version of the DISC training based on teacher input.
Principal Financial Group mentors taught iJAG students about the DISC personality types and used them at work and school.
Each student presented based his or her strongest personality type. Students preped their note cards and practiced their portions of the presentation. iJAG students prepared DISC scenario packets. The scenarios were based on real student experiences and student/teacher conflicts.
iJAG students provided DISC training on April 13. Students taught the DISC styles and role-played student-teacher scenarios using DISC communication tips.