In building a design challenge for a group of public schools within the Poway Unified School District, we have defined a short list of essential guiding questions:
- How might we re-structure foundational elements of the traditional school model (time, space, leadership, allocation of people and budget) to increase effective differentiation of learning that will meet the needs of each individual child?
- How might we leverage the knowledge, build on the success, and learn from the failures of similar ongoing work by peers around the district and around the world, in near-real time?
- How might we amplify the remarkable talents of PUSD educators in a process of ongoing organizational evolution?
- How might we incorporate the powerful collaborative routines embodied in the design thinking process into our ongoing school operations?
This design challenge draws on the work of the Stanford d.school, a group of Atlanta public and private schools that have organized a challenge as AK12DC, and schools I have interacted with from next door to India and New Zealand. We are using guiding materials from the d.school and from Mt. Vernon Institute for Innovation. These challenges seem to have one over-riding connecting theme: building a comfort and capacity for innovative change that in turns builds value for the school organization.
Are you ready to create or join such a challenge? Are you asking these essential questions? Steal, share, discuss, modify, debate!