Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Global Leadership for Action - Leadership, Global Literacy & Social Entrepreneurship

This year in the engineering design class I co-teach we used Design Thinking to gain empathy for others, define problems, create multiple iterations of solutions and tie projects to service in and around the Pittsburgh Community. Using a similar model but tied closer to global leadership, this fall I will be partnering with my humanities colleague, Dr. Susan Corbesero. I am excited about the opportunity to work on this new class at Ellis with the entire 11th grade. We will meet for 120 minutes every other Wednesday on our "community connections" day. 

The foundation for the class will be building leadership skills, learning individual and team strengths and looking at leadership in a historical context through case study. We are hoping to partner with PROGRESS, based out of Carnegie Mellon University on integrating negotiation, self-advocacy and critique as part of the course. This aspect is very important in our work with girls and providing them with a strong foundation around confidence building and leadership. We are hoping to conduct research on how this class changes attitudes around confidence and leadership as well. 

Other aspects of the class will focus on activism, global literacy and social entrepreneurship.  Design thinking will be the foundation for students as they look to define and solve problems across the globe for others. Through a series of partnerships with the University of Pittsburgh, Chatham University and the World Affairs Council, we will connect with stakeholders across the globe. An important goal is for the girls to use the LUMA System of Innovating for People and the 36 methods it provides to "Look, Understand and Make" through global leadership and activism. We were inspired by the Master's Thesis Poster presentation at the Carnegie Mellon University's School of Design and hope to have a poster showcase at the end of the class featuring the designed solutions. Some girls may engineer a product, some might code an APP or write a piece of music  - it will be up to them! Most recently, we have been talking to the University of Pittsburgh Global Studies Center about participating in a program they have as well across the region. I am looking forward to seeing how this partnership develops. 

A studio-based approach to learning that leverages global connections, leadership and team strengths, digital media integration and design thinking as the framework sounds like a great idea to us! Our ultimate goal as we build the program and the class would be to travel to share the solutions our students develop. Does your school have a class or program like this? Please share if you do! I will certainly share more as this develops. 

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