Today’s session with design thinking was an extension of some of the PD I’ve done during this year with @fdesignschool about design thinking and defining a clear problem with specific steps to a conclusion.
The energy and enthusiasm was contagious! When 40+ teachers collaborate it’s hard to not feel like we can tackle any issue and each of our problems are inconsequential when thinking about
My favourite activity had to be the crowdsourced inspiration in the hallways of The York School; receiving almost a dozen comments from fellow educators on my “How Might We” question about inspiring and encouraging students to recognize the impact they can have as engaged and active citizens. Although rooted in the expectations on graduates of the the CHV2O curriculum, the question also links to Havergal’s strategic plan goals of ‘Building a Bridge to the Future’ concerning civic engagement. Interweaving these into a plan has become my goal for Cohort 21 this year.
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. To correct this, I’m going to interview grade 7 to grade 12, and hopefully some alumni, about what they have felt was a real impactful action they took at some point in their lives and how it was connected to their learning experiences. Hopefully the interviews will help to define specifically what actions are most frequent and most memorable and be able to shape future directions to foster more of these to a broader range of students.
Before today’s session I used to think that my action plan for Cohort 21 would involve a strategy of implementing some technological innovation into my classroom; Google+, Diigo, Twitter, or other… but now I think these really are only tools to further my real goal – creating an atmosphere where students are encouraged through both classroom learning and connections to the community to take real, purposeful steps to make and celebrate a change on an issue they feel is important.
I’m looking forward to collaborating with @vboomgaardt on resources and tools to further our action plans and have been lucky to work through reflecting and validating my goals with @jwood today at the second Face to Face session.