Cohort 21 participants are deep thinkers. They can’t help but be just so, because they are designers. Our 2nd F2F, hosted by The York School, brought together like-minded educators from CIS Ontario schools to push our thinking about what is possible in our schools and our classrooms, and how we might shift the mindset of students and our colleagues to deepen the learning experiences within our schools.

Using Design Thinking protocols, which is a human-centered approach, participants thought long and hard about their end-user, had their assumptions challenged by their colleagues, and used this feedback to further refine their action plan.

@dbailey writesMy thinking has changed in lots of ways but especially with regard to where student input and choice comes in – as “users” and “choosers” of the learning processes we plan. 

@ggrise reflected on his students input as well: The shift of thinking for me occurred when working through consolidating my original HMW question after spending time thinking about understanding my user. It really highlighted both a deficiency in my understanding of what the current student body at Havergal thinks and feels about civic action linked to their personal values and passions and what I see as an outside observer.

There were also some participants that are pushing themselves outside of their comfort zone throughout this process. This is well articulated by @jsmall in his recent post: In the last few weeks I have sought out alternatives to the feeds I am used to. Actively listening to the voices habitually kept on the peripheries. For now, this is all I will do, seek out opportunities to attend to the thoughts that disrupt the comfort of my homophily.

These are the types of explorations that, through our use of Design Thinking, we cultivate in our participants and our community as a whole. There are a whole pile of blogs pouring in, and you can read them on this site. We encourage you, whoever, and wherever you are, to engage in our conversations, share your learning, and your hopes for the future of education.

See you out there,

Cohort 21 team.

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