When we created SHIFT Lab, a year-long professional learning stream for educators at TELUS Spark, we took a human-centered design approach. Participants experienced the impact as we responded to their feedback with a revised schedule in the middle of their summer intensive week. I am always questioning the balance between co-design and required components (some participants said if they’d have had the choice they would have opted out of some sessions that greatly impacted their learning). I would love to hear how other learning leaders and administrators tread this fine line.
Each SHIFT Lab participant writes a Design Declaration, an overarching question they are looking to explore in their practice, that we commit 16 FTE hours to support. This terrified me. How are we going to support 41 teachers with their diverse learning goals? To give you a sense, here are a few of the Design Declarations written by SHIFT Lab teachers that we are supporting this year:
- “How might we use design-thinking to create inclusive and empathetic learning with our PLP (Paced Learning Program) class?”
- “How might we move students from modeling solutions to authentic prototyping during critical problem-based learning?”
- “How might we develop a positive, encouraging environment where ideas are celebrated as highly as results in students and teachers?”
We have only just begun our year-long learning adventure. Stay tuned for May when the teachers share what they’ve learned during the year and we can gauge how successful we were with supporting their declarations.
Stephanie Nemcsok (@book_traveller) is the Professional Learning Specialist at TELUS Spark, The New Science Centre. As a museum educator and nerd, she gets so excited about things that she will uncontrollably wave her arms like Grover.