Trials of Finding Information

Whew! It was tough deciding on a topic to make an infographic on. However, this was nothing compared to finding relevant information so I did not end up comparing apples to oranges.

Initial Plans

I wanted to do a correlation of high school graduation rates and low income students as it is of importance to me. I found a lot of information on race, ethnicity etc. that also correlated to levels of high school graduation.

  1. However, I did not want to ‘box’ myself into making broad generalizations (which may be true most times but not always) by relating high school graduation to African American, Hispanic, Asian and Caucasian races.
  2. It is possible to find information on low income level students and rates of high school graduation however, the last real survey was done in 2002, 2009 and then 2016. I could not find a timeline that would make sense as the surveys did not have a linear progression to show data as I wanted to use bar graphs and not linear graphs. Number of High Schools With Low Graduation Rates is Rising
  3. The data available for 2002 and 2009 focused on drop out rates of students while the data for 2016 focused on graduation rates. National Center for Education Statistics and Addressing the College Completion Gap Among Low Income Students

FIRST PROBLEM: Line graphs would also end up making assumptions for gap year data on graduation rates for low income students which would not be correct.

SECOND PROBLEM: Comparing drop out rates to graduation rates where the exact numbers of students is not given (to calculate drop out rates i.e. Total No. of Students – Graduating students) was not available.

THIRD PROBLEM: As highlighted by PBS Newshour many high schools are switching students who are not likely to graduate to ‘alternative’ schools so their school graduation rate remains high. Minority Students lag in graduation rates.

I was not able to determine how different the levels of education in an alternative school were compared to a traditional high school. And the first two issues did not promote making an infographic that would be easy to understand or push the message that high school graduation rates/dropout rates were highest in low income groups even as recent as 2016-17 according to the cautions of this article on infographics.

Getting Over My Disappointment

So, I picked another topic….. I went to my subject which has been English and Social Studies to see what I could make an infographic about. The inspiration came from a series of after school writing workshops that I conducted at the Dhahran Elementary Middle School for 8th graders.

We wrote live (quick 10 minutes of writing), including me, working on sample introductory, body and concluding paragraphs in one hour. We worked across the three genres of writing that are discussed in the infographic below. While writing, advising the students by critiquing their writing as well as mine with a live audience we all learnt a lot.

Most importantly, I was able to succinctly break down similarities and differences between the genres and make it clearer for students on how to orient their thinking and writing.

I think the level of interest and commitment to this after school club also endured due to the topic that we picked:

The Christ Church shooting in New Zealand and the role of social media as the shooting was streamed live before being taken down.

It fired up the students to take opposing points of view while we worked on a narrative story, an information piece and an argumentative essay.

Therefore, this infographic below reflects my learning (briefly) about the different type of writings that students undertake during school.

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