Phase I: Understand the Challenge

Review the Challenge

Collecting Thoughts


Reframing the Challenge

Narrowing Our Focus

Model adapted from IDEO’s Design Thinking for Educators toolkit.

Link to Voxer group:

Please add yourselves and anyone else who may be interested.

Short link to this document:

Phase I: Ideation

Step 1-1: Understand the Challenge

Review the Challenge

Collecting Thoughts

What needs do you currently see in your community/the world that we can potentially work to fix? (Brainstorming...put down whatever comes to mind)

  1. Change the Attitudes of students and parents
  1.  In what ways will we change their attitudes
  2.  How will we measure the change in attitudes? Will we use a tool?
  3.  How do we change students attitudes with oppositional parent views?
  4. What is the missing link from the Civil Rights movement of the past to the Civil Rights movement of the present?
  5. Sense of entitlement
  1.  Emotional-Healing Curriculum (think of post & Current Stress Syndrome)
  1. Is there anything out there already? Can it be used/or hacked to better fit our specific needs?
  2. The work of Dr. DeGruy is centered on Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome...although this may be slightly different, this framework may still be a jump-off point for our focus.
  4.  Self esteem, self awareness, self respect lessons
  1.  Communication Skill Building
  1.  What are appropriate ways to communicate feelings/struggles/needs?
  2.  What are the challenges and possible solutions that face students in urban schools?
  3. How to involve local churches and organizations as support?
  1. Campaign to dialogue with the police for the purpose of educating effective methods of communication with youth in urban communities.
  1.  Start with community events, activities, leadership
  1.  Change the narrative surrounding students of color
  1.  Historical understanding of heritage and race: remembering and then ….
  2.  How to handle racism, stereotypes in a correct manner (tools for their toolkit)
  1.  Make the media push the positive
  1. How will we accomplish this?
  2.  This may be too may also be out of our “control”... but if we begin to build the supports we are currently brainstorming, positive results will bring forth positive publications and perhaps the “media” will pick it up/report
  3. Media is often controlled and can spin the stories to their liking. Here is a way to change that story:

  1.  Empower the students to empower themselves
  1. Teaching students how and where to search for data and fair and accurate reporting
  2. Introducing them to spaces (digital and IRL) where honest dialogue is being had and students can begin to learn to critically think.
  3. During the CR movement students would learn how to deal with everyday racially motivated situations that occur ...they would literally role play and dissect each other’s actions to determine if predetermined outcomes would realistically occur. Students need this kind of guidance still in how to appropriately deal with racial situations or micro-aggressions that they encounter in their school and personal lives.
  1.  Teach lessons that highlight diversity and diverse perspectives in history, science and the arts
  1. Would we be addressing districts or individual educators?
  2.  How do we include the community in the learning process as well (businesses, Stakeholders, potential employers)?
  1.  Campaign in our schools and districts to change curricula that ignore and marginalize voices of color
  1.  What stakeholders can we involve?
  2.  What would a truly inclusive curriculum look like? (We had some discussion about this in Edumatch several months ago)
  1.  Systematic School-Wide approach to supporting students who are victims/witnesses to violence or other traumatic experiences.
  1.  Push positivity
  1. I think this may be too vague of a concept...
  2. How can we teach students to view things as opportunities not obstacles?
  3. How can we teach students problem solving and the power of choices?
  1.  Promote positive relationships/partnerships between police and community
  1. How can we integrate this with the content, skills and or strategies we teach?
  1.  Create an app that alerts your family/friends, automatically uploads an audio/video to the cloud (in case your phone is confiscated) and/or forwards to your email or trusted source, begins tracking you and forwards that data, is shadowed so the police or whoever doesn’t know they are being recorded, can be shut down via a trigger word that you give it, has basic rights info on it with current “what to do it” info as well.  
  1.  Create opportunities for students to voice in solving this….


In the Collecting Thoughts section, go through and list your questions, comments, and feedback under various ideas.  Don’t be afraid to be constructively critical.  The goal is to come up with some actionable steps.

Reframing the Challenge

Given the constructive feedback, please revise each idea from Collecting Thoughts into a “How might we…” question.  Please keep the numbers consistent.  If something is not clear, leave a comment with a suggestion.

  1.  How might we collaborate to change the attitudes of students and parents towards ____________ (see Nicolette’s comment/question)?
  2. How might we develop an Emotional-Healing Curriculum to address Post and Current Stress Syndromes?
  5. How might we change the narrative surrounding students of color in society, while simultaneously empowering students to combat it from within?
  6.  How might we shift the societal climate in order to make positivity regarding students of color go viral on social media?
  7.  How might we assist students in finding and creating spaces for critical peer dialogue, to combat unfair societal bias?
  12.  How might we promote positive relationships in our community between law enforcement and citizens, grounded in the work that we do in our classrooms?
  13.  How might we create opportunities for students to have a voice in solving this?

Narrowing Our Focus

Please use the Google Form here to vote on our first area of focus for the group.  Always feel free to add to previous sections.

Step 1-2: Prepare Research

We have now identified our first area of focus, “How might we create opportunities for students to have a voice in solving [previously identified community problems].”

Select Research Participants

Please fill in the table below with your ideas for participants that we can connect with to best inform our strategy moving forward.  General ideas are fine, but if you have any specific contacts, please feel free to add those as well anywhere in the table.  ***NO IDEA IS PROPRIETARY...ADD ON TO WHAT OTHERS HAVE SAID***  Remember, the more variation of lenses on the topic we can include, the better (View p. 29-30 of the IDEO Design Thinking Toolkit for a more detailed description).  Add more rows as necessary.

Occupation/Role in Society


Students (Grades 3-college)

We need to ask students about their views, what they would like to see, their ideas, etc.

Teachers (Grades PK-college)

Teachers will be the ones on the forefront of this change. We need to ask them their ideas, what they see the needs are, etc.

Creative Community (i.e. artists, photogs, musicians, poets, graphic artists/designers)

These individuals are usually great at storytelling through a mixture of mediums and would allow students to use their voice creatively or in ways that swirl in their head but not sure how to get it out.


I think talking to students who do Not connect with school

Have students create a film/documentary or even a series of YouTube videos

review boards (potentially)

if we want to make this a full-blown study


Police Officers

Hear their viewpoint on what they think would be beneficial

Churches and community organizations

Some are already doing this work. Brainstorm with them

Local Library Staff

Local libraries offer a variety of community activities throughout the year. They also provide free meeting space (there are some guidelines for using this space), bulletin boards and other ways to distribute information.

Build a Question Guide

Brainstorm a list of questions for each of the participant types above.  Please add or edit questions as you see fit.



Students (Gr. 3-16)

  1. What are the challenges you see in your community?
  2. What do you think can be done about these challenges?
  3.  Do you connect with school? Why or why not? (If NO: what can teachers do to help change your perspective?)
  4.  What role can students play in addressing these challenges?

Teachers (Gr. PK-16)

  1. How can educators work with community to help empower student voice?

Creative Community (i.e. artists, photogs, musicians, poets, graphic artists/designers)

  1. How do the arts help to cultivate student voice?
  2.  How can we solicit the support of prominent artists who support youth movements?

review boards (potentially)

  1. What must we do in order to get permission to do a research study?

Dane and other Student edcamp organizers

  1. What tips do you have to help cultivate student voice?

Police Officers

  1.  What activities/programs have you, your colleagues and/or your department engaged in to build rapport and trust with youth?

Churches and community organizations

  1. What work have you already done with students in helping to empower them in the community?
  2. What lessons have you learned from your work?
  3.  How can local churches join forces with the local schools to support         youth?                                        

Local Libraries

1. What services and activities do you currently offer that support students’ voices?

2. How might you collaborate with youth to broaden the reach of their voices?


On this sheet, please take notes on whomever you may have spoken with/resources collected.  Please use the Question Guide as a framework, and feel free to add more columns as needed.  The document is set to private, given the potentially sensitive nature of this work.  Click on the link to request access.