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Adults and children learn much about change through the Design for Change Challenge which indicates that “can” are the only two words that matter. The children who have come through this experience are changing their lives. This year, Design For Change reaches more than 31 countries and more than 300,000 classrooms inspiring millions of young people, parents and teachers, all around the world to embrace the fact that change can be made and they too can help make that change happen!

The Transformational Design Process is designed to help students to understand how they can develop a “vision” for change, then begin to plan their own personal vision for change. Design for Change recognizes that a vision for change does not necessarily have to involve finding someone else to do the job for you. There are many other ways in which you can bring your ideas and feelings to the process and design a “vision” for yourself and your school.

As a teacher, you can help to design your vision for change by using your resources to make your work more effective and more engaging. Teachers can create activities or games which will help their students to reflect on how they feel about change and how they can relate to it as it happens within their school. Teachers can also use the challenges associated with Design for Change as a means to challenge their students. Teachers can make a list of possible challenges they might face when Designing a Vision for Change takes place. These might include challenges from students (not only about changes but also how they relate to change as it occurs), problems with funding, difficult relationships between students and parents and other issues related to the implementation of the Challenge.

Design for Change also recognizes that a well designed vision does not always translate into an appropriate action plan. Teachers need to work closely with their students to develop an action plan that works together with their vision for change. Teachers can encourage students to communicate clearly with their classmates, families and/or other adults in the community to share their thoughts and their feelings about the Challenge and to ask questions. the adults about the planning of the Challenge. When students are able to express their ideas and feelings and to ask questions, they are likely to have more participation in the process.

Part of designing for change is to encourage students to feel that their voices count and to an important part of the decision-making process. Students need to be encouraged to get involved in the process so that they are aware of the many different perspectives that are considered by everyone in the process. The Design for Change has created a website where teachers can make lists of questions they wish to ask about the Challenge and have questions to ask themselves. Teachers can also encourage their students to use the sites to write their thoughts and concerns and ideas. Once they have posted their thoughts and questions, teachers can post links to their comments and responses so that students can see what others think of their posts and ideas.

Designing a Vision for Change is an important part of the Challenge and teachers are encouraged to use the process to encourage their students to work with their peers and to engage in the Challenge with them. They need to know that they matter and that their input and thoughts count in helping design the Vision for Change.

David Barnes

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November 2020
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