Design Thinking: Past and Present
Prior to joining the Educate 78 Team in August, Carolyn was the Executive Director at North Oakland Community Charter School.
Since August, I have watched and listened to over 40 Oakland public school leaders and teachers from many of the diverse public schools here in Oakland – from district managed neighborhood schools to charters schools at varying stages of their own organizational development. These school teams are engaged in different stages and forms of transformational design work in their existing, freshly hatched, or soon to be launched schools. And man is there some inspiring stuff taking place.
I’ve been fortunate to spend a lot of time engaging with the exciting and rapidly proliferating community of school designers and leaders – both here in Oakland throughout the country – who are working through the complex tasks of simultaneously envisioning, designing, supporting, and building the schools that will propel us into the future. There are some great school design lab models out there that we can benefit and learn from, here’s just a few that I spoke to:
Like a lot of kids, I learn best from seeing things in “real life”. And in my empathizing process, I had the opportunity to observe in a variety of newly designed and launched schools where they have endeavored to bake excellence, innovation, and transformation into the school’s DNA in order to better prepare students for the exciting prospects and challenges they will face and the leaders and movers of the 21st century…and beyond. I am finding some great schools that are developing as exciting models for our next generation of school designers to visit and learn from. One of the supports we hope to provide in the lab is compiling a great list of school exemplars and helping teams to visit and experience these types of school communities first hand. While there are many, here’s just a few that I visited or am eager to see from the standpoint of effectiveness, innovation, and serving a diverse student population:
We need your help in identifying great schools to visit.