To explore curricular materials create by the DYN teams please visit

The DYN curriculum model is based on the reality that while youth (particularly urban youth) are often disengaged with traditional school learning there are many examples of learning environments where the same youth are engaged and committed to the development of a set of skills. Our model is based on research about what makes these environments work. In many of these successful learning environments, students have clear images of the roles and the developmental stages required for accomplishments they care about. In basketball, for example, those wishing to be good point guards understand that they need to learn to dribble, shoot, and pass the ball while students focused on becoming good centers know they need to learn to post up, defend the basket, and rebound. Once students develop some of these abilities, they recognize that they must be able to read the floor, run plays, and predict opponents’ actions (Nasir, 2002). However, if we were to ask a group of young people from the inner city about the roles or developmental stages of becoming a graphic artist, recording engineer, cinematographer, or game designer, most would not have a realistic picture in mind.

The DYN curriculum model is designed to engage urban youth in authentic roles in goal-based scenarios that provide multiple pathways to new media literacies. Our goal-based curriculum is organized into three tiers that provide mentors and students with opportunities to focus on each of the three concurrent dispositions—critical, constructive, and social—of the DYN developmental framework. We are using the curriculum model to design New Media Arts classes to develop breadth across modes of communication and a collection of after-school program pods that allow students to explore their new media interests in more depth. Both in-school classes and after-school pods are led by mentors who themselves are accomplished new media artists. An authentic new media learning environment centered on a private social networking website extends and enhances students’ social interactions with their peers and with mentors.