"Video Self-modeling (VSM) refers to "the observation of images of oneself engaged in adaptive behavior."(1) The Scotomaville series for Kansas City exemplifies adaptive maturation. First, the Author and curator, Daniel Comp, learned to windsurf decades before visually - with VHS tapes. In the Scotomaville series, he learns to wind-foil, with repeated failures while recording 30 episodes. The aim was to help others watch his 'journey with a purpose', his expedition of a Personal Everest. While editing the episodes, and especially by binge-watching himself, Daniel practiced what he discovered afterward: self-reflection.
According to Nick Wignall, "self-reflection is the ability to pay attention to your thoughts, emotions, decisions, and behaviors."(7)
Studies report that "cinematherapy and video treatments are artistic therapeutic techniques by which the individuals are exposed to their psycho-physical difficulties through the stories of the characters on the screen who are coping with the same issues that the patients are."(2)
The Scotomaville Episodes journal Daniel and Angelina's transformation of run-away frustrations with life challenges while working within information technology to a much calmer, mature character, understanding the dynamics of emotion and critical thinking.
"Video modeling is a mode of teaching that uses video recording and display equipment to provide a visual model of the targeted behavior or skill. Types of video modeling include"(3):
All four forms of video modeling are at work in the Scotomaville series. In addition, the platform provides guidance and support following the community development trilogy: I Do, You Watch; We Do, We Watch; You Do, I Watch
You can watch an extensive self-reflection journey through 30 episodes on the Scotomaville Youtube Channel. You will learn by observation and mimicking while creating your video journal - the story of your Expedition - a journey with a purpose.
Through a Scotomaville Expedition, you will cultivate openness by understanding that "we don't see things the way they are; we see things the way we are." Your observation skills will improve by journaling with a smartphone to document your journey with a purpose. Objectivity is enhanced by being 'roped-in' with other Kansas City explorers, peers that are sharing their journey, and with the support and guidance of a Facilitator, one that has gone before you, so in the words of Blaise Pascal, you can "follow in the way they began."
This is Episode 5 of Volume One uploaded two years before writing this article.
Because video modeling can be considered an evidence-based practice, its use in the school environment is justified and provides an effective tool for instruction and intervention... and positive behavior supports.
"Video modeling is a promising behavioral intervention that has myriad applications... Video modeling uses visual cues, an effective strategy for instructing... visual learners, and modeling, an evidence-based strategy that is effective across ages and populations. Recent research qualifies video modeling as an evidence-based intervention. Video Self-Modeling in particular is effective because the individual’s central role in the video sequence builds confidence and is highly motivating... because the method itself is intrinsically reinforcing."(4)
You can learn self-reflection skills with modern tools by participating in a Kansas City supported expedition or free-climbing the Scotomaville videos online. The facilitated Expedition requires an hour per Episode to watch the video, journal in the 336-page full-color workbook, and interact with other readers and explorers in an online discussion. We recommend a pace of one Episode a week, for a total of 30 weeks. Creating the story of your journey in Kansas City can be as little as a year and up to a few years as with the Scotomaville series that Daniel authored/curated.
"To be effective, several times and activities should be identified that will allow the learner to practice the target skill or behavior. The best person to serve as the model is a peer who is physically similar to the learner and respected by the learner."(5)
Daniel Comp is the primary model for the Scotomaville series. He demonstrates the frustrations of dealing with aspects of highly functional autism, including the lack of social awareness, awkward disclosures, outbursts, and fixation. The Episodes are humorous, and Daniel's insights are shared with compassion and transparency. The cherry on the series is that he begins with a commitment to the journey, not knowing the terms, methods, or effectiveness. It ends with a video series, a 336-page workbook, a training and support platform, and a model for understanding that others can follow.
The Scotomaville series covers three years of transformation of the author/curator through the self-reflection process using Video Modeling. The episodes were shot across the United States, at different times, with many challenges to overcome.
It's always better to take action - even if poorly executed - than to freeze and not act.