Changemaker School Districts
Changemaker School Districts are educational environments that inspire students and teachers to discover their purpose, potential, and passion for learning and social impact.
We are partnering with school districts who are ready to integrate changemaking into their institutions and transform their school districts into innovative, educational environments that enable students and teachers to become powerful changemakers.
Why do we need changemaker education?
We live in a world of unprecedented change. Sixty five percent of the best jobs of tomorrow do not exist today. How are we preparing students to navigate and contribute to this world? From climate change to unemployment to inequality, social problems outrun the solutions.
We need to re-imagine education to support teachers, parents and administrators to prepare students to thrive in this rapidly changing world.
Students feel engaged and self-motivated to learn.
Students actively practice their changemaking skills of empathy, teamwork, leadership, problem solving.
Teachers rediscover their purpose and joy for teaching.
Communities value and actively support students to be drivers of change.
How It Works
We partner with innovative school districts to establish an “Everyone a Changemaker” culture. We do this by co-creating innovative ways to integrate changemaking into district mindsets, systems, curricula and cultures. We do this through the Changemaker journey, where we meet with select administrators, teachers and students to adapt the “Everyone a Changemaker” framework to the unique needs and aspirations of their schools and classrooms.
*Evaluation data from the Changemaker Education Pilot with Anne Arundel School District in Maryland, CREC & Cromwell School Districts in Connecticut
The Changemaker Journey
Case Study: Changemaker Partnership with Anne Arundel School District
“We talk about consumers and producers and in much of education the student is a consumer if we don’t challenge them to be a producer. The Changemaker movement has helped us help teachers help students become producers.”
— Maureen M. | Deputy Superintendent | Anne Arundel School District, MD
Over the ten-month pilot, 40 educators were introduced to the Changemaker Education Framework, and they co-created ideas to integrate changemaking into the K-12 STEM and Service Learning Programs. The challenge was to create opportunities for students to solve problems in their community which were important to them. The students received academic credits for their solutions.
The Anne Arundel school district, the 47th largest in the U.S., has now made changemaking core to their five-year strategy and they continue to integrate it into their district-wide curricula, professional development and hiring practices.
How Anne Arundel School District Integrated Changemaking Skills with STEM
Changemaker Communities worked with Dr. Kristina Gillmeister, the STEM coordinator for the schools. We recently interviewed Dr. Gillmeister and Laura Pinto, the Social Sciences Coordinator for the Middle Schools, about the impact on the surrounding communities. What follows are brief summaries of four student team, and how these teams transformed the communities' attitudes about young people.
In the Music Initiative, a student team demonstrated the impact of music on dementia patients. Students on the team loaded MP3 players with generation-specific music for a County facility's residents.
The availability of songs that defined a patient’s generation has had a marked impact on the wellbeing of facility residents. This has transformed the way the County Department of Health and Aging views middle school students: as full thought partners in co-creating new possibilities for service delivery. The Department has since rolled out the Music Initiative across the county for citizens living with dementia, promoted it to other County Departments of Health and Aging, and continues to actively seek additional collaborations with student-led teams from the middle school.
Another student team created the Outdoor Classroom Initiative, designed as a first step to create outdoor learning in the center of campus.
The next step in this initiative is to undertake additional research to fulfill the vision of transforming the area around the school into a large-scale Center for Outdoor Learning. This student team has pulled in a range of experts to consult in their next steps, including County officials overseeing education, parks, and the environment. The team solicited in-kind donations and fundraised to cover the additional costs of moving the initiative forward.
With THE LAUNCH the Bee Initiative, a student team’s research into the effects of pollutants on the local bee population, quickly RESULTED inthe establishment of a permanent Bee Lab at the school.
The Lab is fully equipped with tools necessary for the project, including 3-D printers capable of printing honeycombs. These printed combs eliminate much of the bee labor required for comb creation, thus allowing bees to focus on pollination and honey gathering.
the Portable Planetarium project began with a student team’s interest in designing and building a planetarium at the school and producing a presentation on Supernovas.
This initial project quickly transformed after the team sought out and learned from a similar effort underway by graduate students at Johns Hopkins University that focused on the planetarium shortage in the Global South. The student team at the middle school identified a shortage of astronomy in the curriculum of nearby primary schools, lobbied for its inclusion in the curriculum, and built a larger, more advanced version of the planetarium that could host more students for astronomy productions.
What People are Saying
Changemaking in Practice
To see the impact of culture of empathy and changemaking, created by students and teachers in our partner school district visit:
Anne Arundel School District, Maryland: https://twitter.com/search?q=sparkaacps&src=typd
Fitchburg & Leominster School Distict, North Central Mass: https://padlet.com/tvipin/j0l0t7xe0z6h
Integrating Changemaking into STEM education: Student led social change examples (attach the document with this email called accelerating young people)
Equipping students to lead in our rapidly changing world: http://www.gettingsmart.com/2017/03/equipping-students-to-lead-in-our-rapidly-changing-world/