How might we develop creative capacity and increase the social impact education has in our communities NOW. How might we “Design for Change”. I believe schools should have an impact on their neighboring communities NOW, not in the future. While many schools do a great amount of community service work it tends to be community service as an event, rather than a way of being. I wanted to explore how we can pivot that extra-curricular experience into a curricular one.
It turns out we are not the only school in the world wrestling with this. A while back a friend of mine, Christian Long, shared the Design for Change program, a community of schools from over 60 countries who are designing solutions to complex problems in their schools now and sharing their stories. Their website poses:
“What if – Every Today - education believed its mission was to empower every child with the ‘I CAN mindset’ – that children are ‘Not helpless, Change is possible and They can drive it’.”
The “I CAN Mindset” is what really resonated with us.
Introducing, the Change by Design course for middle school students which we launched in August 2018. I know this is a late post, better late than never. This semester Mercedes Ugarte and I are co-teaching this course with around 30 students enrolled. In this series I am going to try to share the process, product, and stories of this experience. Next up, the intro with the Fix It Challenge. Stay tuned.
Going back to the classroom after four years out has been an invigorating and re-energizing experience I think all leaders need to experience. I don’t understand leaders or teachers who say they “need(ed) to get out of the classroom.” I think what they are really saying is, they need to get out of education. You would never hear this from a musician or athlete. They’d never say, “I just need to get off the stage or field”. Nonetheless, going back into the “classroom”, which is actually a design studio in this case, has been a great experience I look forward to sharing more of.