We wrapped up a very busy week at the LREI Innovation Institute capping off the week with presentations by 4 teacher groups. Each of our teams went through several rounds of prototyping. They did research and interviewed end users. Feedback from users was key in several groups pivoting to move in completely different directions than where they started. Teachers learned that the design thinking process is not linear, to say the least! And as designers and facilitators, these were beautiful moments for us as they demonstrated that the teams had learned a key component of the design process. It ebbs and flows with both redirects and refinements. Design is messy!
Below a brief accounting of team projects.
In-House Field Trips: Lower School saw an opportunity in a problem. What do you do with a big staff and no space to meet comfortably each week for the "standing" (literally and figuratively) all staff meeting? Teachers designed a process to break the all-in-one meeting up into smaller groupings led by teachers—creating opportunities for growth and leadership—as they share knowledge or skills from their professional practice or personal passions. And the model is designed to be self-organizing, creating a virtuous circle of self-empowerment.
Meet Me at the Stoop: The Middle School team redesigned faculty meetings and created an analog, low-fi way to build purposeful conversations week to week. The stoop is both a literal space and a bulletin board that prompts, captures and advances the weekly conversation. They even found a way to include student voices in the conversation. Bonus!
We Do Science: The High School Science Department took this time to reimagine how they do science in 9th and 10th grades. The faculty brought lots of research on different pedagogies and methods that they plan to test. They will be experimenting individually to find what meshes well with their individual teaching styles. They plan on prepping students to expect much more hands-on experiments in their science classes at LREI. The goal: at the end of 4 years LREI students, regardless of whether they continue with science have embedded habits of mind that inform all aspects of critical thinking.
Do it Together (DIT): This High School team redesigned Advisory Time with students. Reexamining the original purpose of Advisory Time they created a solution so elegant that it creates community building on three levels: faculty to faculty, faculty to student, and student to student with no additional resources necessary. And it sounds like a lot of fun, too!
Job well done and we can't wait to check-in to see how implementation goes in the fall! All 4 teams are prepared to iterate and refine as they go.