Reflections on social good innovation:
Much of the work I do as Service Learning Coordinator revolves around this notion, though our vocabulary is slightly different. The main purpose of our work is to develop “service-minded global citizens” and we use the service learning process to do that. The idea is very similar - generate collaborative learning structures and activities that will allow students to make positive change in their school and/or community. The idea is to embed such experiences into the learning so that each student has the chance to be part of some change in each of the 12 years of their education at our school. In so doing, we hope, we create a balance of knowledge, skills and dispositions to become changemakers. Loftly thoughts, often messy on the ground, but worthy every moment of time afforded this work.
What is most exciting to you about engaging in social good innovation? What are your concerns?
The Pactful program seems to provide a structure that allows for a common experience for all students involved in the program but also allows for a flexible approach to learning through student voice and choice on both the SDGs and the social change they hope to make. It seems, at first at least, like a great platform to utilize in supporting this learning experience.
In our school’s context the challenge lies in how best to support the work we are already doing at the whole-school level without introducing another “new” thing. Obviously we will need to create a simple marriage between our work and that of the Impactful team which, clearly, has put much thought and expertise into this platform.
Thinking ahead to your challenge, will you have your students focus on one particular global goal or will it be open? Why?
I do not have my own classroom, but rather work in more of an instructional coach capacity at various levels. However, as we move steadily toward infusing the SDGs into our collective work and people become more comfortable not only with the SDGs themselves but also with the systemic and interconnected nature of the SDGs I can see us supporting a more “open” approach to the SDGs. In the end it’s necessary for students to know that all SDGs are related and that addressing one will, by default, also affect others. The key will lie in ensuring that conversations and learning are focused to support his inter-connected learning and solutions-based experiences.