12 Days to Go (and not very close): Listening to Young People First to Transform Education
Through Imagining Learning, Listening Sessions are arranged across America to ask students how they want to learn and change their education. By providing a forum where students can trust educators with their honest opinions, Imagining Learning has the potential to change education as we know it. Read more from founders and GOOD members David Loitz and Charles Kouns.
Check it out, Imagining Learning was choose to be part of their Saturday push for good series! This is for our young people and the future of our planet. From my heart I ask you to donate today. Every dollar donated will be repaid ten-fold in positive energy. Just remember what it was like to be a young person and how powerful it was or is to be listen to and be asked to engage in a project trying to make the world better! You can bring that experience to young people all over the country! Please donate today!
We work with teens, ages 13 to 19-years-old, and ask questions based on the word “HOW?”—How would you create a learning journey for yourself and others that you would love? How do you want to learn? How would you make a school no one wants to drop out of?
But we don’t just ask questions. During the final section of the session, participants express themselves artistically by co-creating and sharing 4 1/2 foot by 6 foot paintings, which are visual representations of their ideal learning experience. This process is important as they unlock a vision about what education can be while providing a way for them to activate the power of their voices in a way that they feel seen and heard.
Here is an example of what students produce in Listening Sessions:
“This is not so much a blueprint as it is an abstract expression, trying to capture how it might feel to be there.
The bright colors represent energy and vitality. The person with the many paths coming from their gut represents the fact that the school gives the students the ability to make their own choices and those choices will lead to many paths. Because those paths are uncertain, the footprints represent the walk from one door (on the left) through the unknown to the other door (on the right). While you don’t know where you are going, you do end up where you want to be.
The vines with hearts represents growth, life. The heart represents being treated and treating others with love. The symbol is a combination of the equal sign and the plus sign and stand for inclusion and equality. The person with the movement in the upper left of the painting gives the sense that the experience is motion.”
Student responses during to the sessions have been overwhelmingly positive with us often being asked, “Can you come back tomorrow?” They ask us to return for two reasons. One, they feel invited into the process of changing education for the first time. Two, through our act of trusting and believing in their ability to offer meaningful contributions to the educational conversation, they feel seen and heard—by us and by each other. Indeed, the first thing we usually hear at the end of a Listening Session is, “Thank you for listening, no one ever asks us what we think.” Our adult hosts have also said they see the teens transform right before their eyes.
To date, we have led 20 Listening Sessions in seven states, predominantly on the West Coast and in the South where we recently conducted six Listening Sessions in South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. We intend to lead at least 50 more all across the country with students from all backgrounds and walks of life.
By repeating Listening Sessions with young people from all walks of life, all over the country themes are beginning to emerge that can help create a national vision of what young people want in their education. This “collective voice” can be the starting point of a new conversation, an intergenerational conversation about education.
We are not waiting for youth to reach a breaking point. We are proactively engaging young people by providing positive venues and space for them to express their ideas, stories, and voices. They have an answer for us—not to the “why,” but to the “how”—if we all would just listen.
Click here to donate and help Imagining learning ask young people how they would change education!
Art gives young people the means to express and unleash their true potential! Tests on the other hand limits their expression to fit neatly on a scan tron. We choose art!
You should see how young people dream when we give them paint and a blank canvas to vision their ideal education in our listening session.
Imagining Learning: Asking Young People How They Would Change Education! (by cwk4328)
- You can help us reach over 50 communities in the next year by donating.
- You can help amplify and activate young people’s visions of education by donating a few dollars.
- You can help bring a major exhibition of Youth Voice and Vision to Washington DC in 2015!
- You can be part of a documentary film showcases what young people are experiencing in school and how they are creating changing it.
You can do all this and more by just donating 5-10 dollars! We have had over 50 donors pledge money to our campaign in the first week. Our goal is to reach 1000 donors by June 13th!
I know we can do it, I have see tumblr do some amazing things. At the moment I have 39,000 followers. I just need 1000 of you to step up to the plate! Be part of the change!
If you enjoy all the content I post on Adventures in Learning, think of this as a small way to give back. I know my supporters are generous! I seen it over and over again! Take 5 minutes and go donate now. Message me and tell me you donated. I have special AIL gifts for everyone that donates and messages me.
3 steps to helping:
2. Reblog this post!
3. Message me
Thank you in advance!
-Adventures in Learning
What’s a Imagining Learning listening session look like? This great short film created by Bo Adams showcases our listening session at Unboundary in Atlanta, GA! help us give this experience to other students by donating here
We need $446.00 to fund the next listening session! Every dollar counts! That is only 20 donating 25 dollars!
Do you want to bring a listening session to your community? Find out more here
We need $446.00 to fund the next listening session! Every dollar counts! That is only 20 donating 25 dollars! or 44 people donating 10 dollars! I have 39,000 followers I think we can do it!
Donate here http://www.incited.org/projects/13
When you donate, message me and I will give you an additional gift. I have some fun stuff to give away from my favorite education books to Hand drawn art to creating personalized education memes for your blog!
Whatever you do, Please reblog this and thank you in advance for your generous support! I know you all are helping to create an education system that treats students, teachers, and communities as if they matter!!!
-adventures in learning
Imagining Learning is working with young people across the country to create a national collective vision of how they would transform education. We believe that young people have an innate wisdom and authenticity about how future generations would best be educated, but they aren’t usually invited to participate in discussions or decision making in their communities.
Imagining Learning is built on the idea of Listening. Our Listening Sessions are designed to create an appreciative environment of trust and openness so their natural wisdom can emerge. Within each Listening Session, young people, ages 13 - 19, co-create paintings containing their visions for transforming education. These paintings are visual stories containing the key themes that each group believes is essential to changing education. Visit our gallery to see some of these paintings.
As we do Listening Sessions with young people all across the country, certain themes appear over and over again. These represent their collective voice, a voice rich in passion, ideas, and wisdom. Currently, we have done 20 Listening Sessions in locations such as San Francisco, CA; Birmingham, AL; Seattle, WA; Jackson, MS; Portland, OR, etc.
Please take a moment and check out Imagining Learning’s Crowdfunding campaign! Imagining Learning is my passion work and important part of how I think we can transform education! I ask if you enjoy my blog, please visit the campaign and see what lights my fire every day!
We won’t go without you! In preparation for the launch of our first ever fundraising campaign next week, take a look at the communities that have requested we come and lead an Imagining Learning Listening Session!! We have been averaging about 2 a week for the past few weeks! Join the Imagining Learning Listening Session family
Here is a map of the Places Imagining Learning hopes to do listening sessions in the next year! Do you want to be added to the list? Any help sharing out Imagining Learning over the next week or two, will really help us fill this map up with more Blue dots! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in helping organizing a listening session or check out our website at www.imagininglearning.us
Bring a Listening Session to your Community!
What does offering more control to student learners look like? Below I provide some examples – patches to a quilt of sorts. My examples are by no means exhaustive. But I think seeing examples helps.
- Students being more in control lies at the heart of Dewey – “learning by doing.” On such a foundation, the progressive education movement grew. The posts coming from Tom Little (@ParkDayTom) provide numerous exemplars.
- Caine’s Arcade
- Gever Tully’s Tinkering School and Brightworks School
- MVPS 1st Graders designing and prototyping better bus stops (here, here, and here)
- King’s Ridge Christian School – 5th graders control full operations of Tiger TV
- Trinity students design and prototype better running gear for a faculty member
- Hacker Scouts and Hackschooling
- Katie Salen of Parsons, Institute of Play, and Quest to Learn (Gaming School)
- Design thinking to create solutions instead of waiting for a knight on a white horse
- Any of the examples from Suzie Boss’ book, Bringing Innovation to Schools
- The Independent Project
- Triangle Learning Community
- Imagining Learning, listening sessions, and student voice
- NuVu Studio at Beaver Country Day School
- Brittany Wenger and cancer detection
- Emily Pilloton and Project H
- Connie Yowell and Interest Education
- Geoff Mulgan and the Studio School
- Maplewood Richmond Heights Middle School - School as Expedition
- John Hunter and the World Peace Game
- The Nueva School iLab
- Riverside School
- Leadership + Design Summer for Educators
- Solving America’s Innovation Crisis
- Sugata Mitra and Hole in the Wall
- Khan Academy Projects could inspire some ideas for learner exploration
- Student Experience Lab at Business Innovation Factory
- The Case for Curiosity
- Beau Lotto + Amy O’Toole: Science is for everyone, kids included
"I think if more kids or students had the experience of an Imagining Learning listening sessions there would be a lot less apathy, there would be a lot more people stepping up to the plate to change the world, to be the change, really. That is what is missing, we need empowerment to be the change, so that things can get better and that is what the listening session gave me.” - Mackenzie A, student from an Imagining Learning Listening Session in California.
The students from the NSU view the budget cuts and policies as an attack on their democracy and public education in this country. One of the leaders of the Newark Students Union tweeted, “Let’s show them that we’ve actually learned something in our history classes.” This action they organized beats any bubble test, quiz, or worksheet any teacher could give to assess student learning. This was authentic, it mattered to them, and their passion was made manifest
“Creativity is Contagious. Pass it on!” Albert Einstein
Source (Imagining Learning)
Pass it On!
Student Voice is a grassroots support network that serves to aid and empower students in their efforts to be heard and earn their rightful seat at the table.
It is a movement for students, by students, connecting and organizing America’s most underrepresented population – the students. We aim not to change a culture that ignores student voice, but rather create a culture that embraces it.
Through the utilization of social media, millions of people have taken notice of students speaking out using the #StuVoice hashtag, thousands have read student entries on this very website, and we have become aware of hundreds of student-led protests across the United States alone.
Student Voice aims to unite these voices into a powerful unified entity.
We take no stance on any issue other than those that are supported by students.
Students from all different socioeconomic, geographic, and racial backgrounds connect through Student Voice both virtually and face-to-face. These relationships have empowered students to devise youth councils and organize education policy advocacy campaigns.
From Fargo, North Dakota to New York City and as far as Nairobi, Kenya, students are sharing their unique perspectives and differing views on suitable solutions to improve education and public policy at-large worldwide. No story is left unheard and no perspective is left unaccounted for.
Together we are uniting and centralizing the Student Voice. Together we are enhancing our voices and empowering our peers. Together we are creating change at a local level, on an international scale.
We are students. We are change-makers.