August 19, 2020

School Redesign through 100 Disruptions

vicky kim

Our world and communities have been hugely disrupted by COVID-19 and the illness, death, fear, isolation, and racism that have been heightened in its short powerful presence. Communities of color have been hit hardest of all by far too many measures: illness and deathunemploymentfood insecurity, and the daily burden of heightened racial discrimination in our current political climate. In light of such brazen disproprortionality, what are we willing to do to make change? At reDesign, we believe this is a moment to accelerate the work we've believed in since our founding: new and transformative designs and practices that challenge and dismantle old systems of advantage for white, heteronormative folks. 

 

Critically intervene in a way that challenges and changes. 

bell hooks

 

We’re focusing on reinvention.

Returning to the status quo--the familiar model of schooling--will not bring the relief from trauma and chaos that our young people desperately need. Yes, it is necessary to find ways of safe re-entry for students and educators. But as we begin to recover and find our footing in this new reality, it is imperative to deliberately and thoughtfully disrupt practices and systems that have harmed our young people for too long. To not take advantage of the opportunities presented by the pandemic-forced redesign of “school” would be tragic and unconscionable. At reDesign, we choose to use the pandemic as a portal to disrupt the status quo and fight for transformation.

As Transcend Education has outlined so succinctly, there are three “jobs” that matter for school communities navigating a COVID world - Responding, Recovering, Reinventing. There are many smart re-opening and remote learning plans and toolkits that continue to be rapidly created and generously shared to support response to and recovery from this pandemic. As such, we at reDesign will focus our contributions to support and provoke the reinvention of school communities so that we don’t have to go back to normal, but instead move forward to equitable, relevant, and joyful learning for all.

Introducing "100 disruptions."

Are you balancing feeling overwhelmed with a strong desire to be part of the movement to advance social justice through education? We hear you, and we're with you. At reDesign, we will focus our contributions to support and provoke the reinvention of school communities so that we don’t have to go back to normal, but instead move forward to equitable, relevant, and joyful learning for all. We offer tangible, actionable ways to "disrupt" the status quo and make the journey to transformation a part of our daily lives. We invite you to contribute to this toolkit-in-the-making of 100 small disruptions with big impact. If you have ideas, please contact us at hello@redesignu.org. Now, onto our first disruption.

Small disruption #1: Disrupt the text.

As you head into your classrooms, in whatever form they take, let’s raise critical consciousness from the get-go by disrupting the text. Here are some ideas to guide critical inquiry with learners to help them frame a lifelong practice of analyzing, feeling, and acting as agents of positive change. Small disruption #1: Disrupt the text >> 

"Creativity follows mastery." These are the words of Benjamin Bloom, who believed that learners are capable of incredible things if they have access to powerful learning environments. This is why we’ve chosen the name “Bloom” for our knowledge-sharing initiative. Bloom is all about our stake in helping to build the capacity of practitioners and leaders who work with our most marginalized youth to reimagine, recreate, redesign our models for learning--within schools and beyond. For us, this is fundamentally a matter of social justice. Reach out if you’d like to submit a guest post, or sign up for our monthly newsletter: Bloom@reDesignu.org.