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Discover the Why for Learning

Session 1
Barbara Bray — Rethinking Learning

What is the Why of learning? The main idea of this conversation is to discuss how we can move from a sense of compliance to a feeling of ownership about what we learn. The idea of school isn't working for most kids. How do we shake up the system so kids address what they need to know and what they want to learn? What does that mean for "school" now? The focus of the conversation will be on redesigning existing curriculum to create a learner-centered strategy so they drive the learning. The UN has developed 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and created lessons around each of the SDGs. One Goal we will focus on is sustainability. The lessons provided by the UN tend to be teacher-centered.

We will review the design thinking process as it relates to lesson design. The presenter will walk the participants through the process using one of the lessons. Participants will be working in groups and will have one lesson to redesign as the presenter explains each of the elements of the design thinking process. The participants will take the role of learners as co-designers of the curriculum. With the first element: Empathy, each group will brainstorm ideas of what that means for a particular audience. They will then brainstorm and choose a problem identified by this audience and create an essential question, a solution and a prototype. The groups will share out their prototypes and have a final group discussion on the process.

Conversational Practice

Each group will have flip chart paper and pens to write how they will use the design thinking process to redesign a lesson.

For Empathy, the groups will use the protocol "Open Space" to self-organize their conversation based on the audience they choose to discuss and how they will learn more about that audience.

For Brainstorm, the groups will discuss and write ideas for a problem they identified for that audience. They will then agree on the main problem and write that on the chart paper as an essential question.

For Ideate, the groups will use the protocol "Whip-Around" to have each member write down a solution to the problem and essential question, and then share thoughts with the group.

For Prototype, this is where the group takes one of the solutions and designs how they will solve the problem. The prototype can be text, a drawing, or an idea.

For Test, the groups will share out their prototype and provide feedback for each other and on the process.

Conversation Links

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Presenter Profiles

Barbara Bray
Barbara Bray
Rethinking Learning


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