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Posted by on Nov 14, 2015 in General | 0 comments

Peer Leaders designing transformative change in their schools

DTBrainstormDay 1 for our Design Thinking Workshop involved Lincoln and Mission High School Peer Leaders, designing solutions for their peers who, from data, research, and empathy work, the Peer Leaders know to need greater individual, interpersonal and institutional support. Starting from the user, from people–this is step one of the design thinking process.

Design thinking is a process of finding solutions to an existing problem with an empathetic lens. This process supports the idea of trust amongst the designers–in our case, Peer Leaders, to serve the focal group that Peer Leaders have identified as needing support at their specific school sites. Learn more about the framework

The process is broken down into 3 phases: DISCOVER, DEFINE, DO.

Discover: Identify the focal group that needs support while staying connected to the heart; having genuine empathy for the focal group.

Define: Leaders at each site focused and synthesized their learning about their focal groups into insights and then “How might we…” questions that inspire creative solutions.  In one example, Balboa High School students asked, “How might we get people to listen to English Language Learning students so that their voices matter?”  One of the “How might we …” questions that came out of the Burton High School team was, “How might we change things so that our mentees (African American and Latino 9th and 10th graders) give up and see the school-to-prison pipeline as their harsh reality?”

Do: The transformative change projects that will come after students continue developing their ideas into projects that will create change institutionally to support their focal groups.

The Design Thinking Workshops were created to engage two high schools at a time, and ensured that all high school programs moved through the process.  We’ve held four days this fall:

  • Day 1, 10/15: Lincoln and Mission High School Peer Leaders
  • Day 2, 10/23: Galileo and Balboa High School Peer Leaders
  • Day 3, 10/27: June Jordan School for Equity and Thurgood Marshall High School Peer Leaders
  • Day 4, 11/6: Burton and Lowell High School Peer Leaders

Peer Leaders came together; shared their discoveries, desires for change, and creativity across schools. We’re excited to see what solutions they iterate while learning through doing back at sites!

More information on our Facebook page.

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