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Design for Change (DFTC) begins with an easy and simple concept, “CANT,” that children CAN do. DFC is an effective yet simple concept that enables children to identify problems and solve them through creative thinking.

A DFC child knows how to “put aside” her own needs and thoughts for the benefit of others. When she finds that her behavior is harming another child, or causing harm to herself, DFC shows her how to modify her behavior. For example, a child who is constantly in trouble at school or who makes too many mistakes, is asked to pick out what she does not want to do for the day. She chooses something she wants to do, like take her clothes off in front of the mirror. She also takes responsibility for her behavior by recognizing the need to take care of herself first before trying to make someone else feel better.

As the DFC child starts to look at the world differently, her ability to be creative becomes evident. She will come up with a problem that others are facing. This problem will be solved through creative thinking. When a problem cannot be solved using logical thought, DFC will work out a solution. Her solution may be as simple as writing an essay, or developing a project to help others. DFC will then take charge of the problem, knowing that she is in control, but working towards it using her creativity. DFC will come up with a problem to solve using her creative thinking power, but the most important part of her process is her willingness to solve problems and to take responsibility for her own actions.

Once DFC starts to see herself as a leader, she is ready for a design for change. A DFC leader works with her team to create a plan to change a problem, or to create a new problem that will solve a problem. The plan will include a clear description of what the problem is, how it was created, and how it affects others. This plan will be developed with DFC’s full involvement, in collaboration with her team members.

Working with a group, DFC will find ways to communicate ideas to her team members in ways that they will be able to understand, even if they are not able to understand what she is saying. She will also listen to their ideas and suggestions, and work out a plan for them. based on the information gathered from their ideas.

When working with a DFC team, be sure that you listen to your child and engage with them. They can help you to solve problems and guide you through the design for change process.

David Barnes

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November 2020
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