Youth Voice in Democracy

Updated: Oct 7, 2020

This month we are hosting a series of design thinking workshops called, Youth Voice in Democracy. Today was the first workshop and it went well. We had 8 youth and 3 parents engaged in the process. Design Thinking is a methodology for tackling challenging problems and creating game-changing solutions. It is also known as "user-centered design," so as a democratic school that believes in centering youth voice and choice, we know the importance of engaging youth in our foundational work.

We asked participants to start with some empathy mapping. Thinking about the school of the past and the school of the future; what are you thinking, feeling, saying, and doing? The responses were illuminating and reinforced our belief in the need for our school and its healing centered approach.

Next, we defined the "problem" by flipping it from a negative issue into an inspiring provocation: "It would be game-changing if..."

From here we brainstormed many solutions and possible elements for the school of the future. I am pretty much certain that critters of all kinds will find their way into our school community.

Most of our time was spent on building prototypes for our ideas. I saw a computer work station, a choose your own adventure learning kit, a Hawaiian vacation (abundance thinking at its finest!), a stress management strategy box, a cozy library, and a learning inspiration box. Most prototypes needed more time to complete... the next step will be the test! Sharing our ideas with each other and getting feedback.

Join us!! Details here! Workshops are donation-based, so pay what you can.

We are looking for material donations to keep our prototyping supplies fresh:

Boxes, art supplies, interesting bits of this and that, hot glue guns, tape, paper, magazines, interesting pieces of tinker crates, and other random whatz-itz. Yarn, fake flowers, fabric, and buttons. Rubber bands and recyclable whatchamacallits. Odd letters and shapes for tracing, gluing, or reimagining. Paper, air dry clay, and an assortment of containers that inspire the creative mind. Just imagine you are a child and you came across the "junk drawer" of a cool old lady... one person's trash is another's treasure.

If you have some supplies such as described above... email to schedule a pick-up or drop-off at our school.

Looking Forward!

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