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Dream Big

Clarify the problem to solve and solution to try


Key Objectives

  • Define a clear problem to address with your design work, based on a range of data sources, including the perspectives of students, families, teachers, and classified staff – with a special focus on those at the margins.

  • Brainstorm a wide variety of potential solutions to your problem that advance equity and resiliency.

  • Select one solution to start with that is most aligned to your vision for the future, stakeholder priorities, and problem of practice.

    A line with numbers 1, 2, 3. Number 2 is larger with purple shapes around it.

Overview

With lots of input and ideas in hand, it is now time to think about what challenges exist and what you can do about them. Keeping equity and resiliency in clear focus is essential.

  • For purposes of equity, it’s important to pick a solution that will meaningfully address inequity in your school(s) and that will support each student academically and beyond.

  • For purposes of resiliency, it’s also critical that your solution is one that can flex and adapt over time to meet the changing needs in the school system overall and of individual students.

In this section, you will translate the data and insights from the first section, Come Together, to define the problem to solve and brainstorm solutions, with the hope of identifying one solution to try.

What did you learn from empathy interviews and your self-assessment? The perspectives of your stakeholders are at the heart of thoughtful design work. In this step, you will deeply reflect on the feedback you have received about your existing model for teaching and learning and how it could work better for more students.

Reflect

As you start these activities, ask yourself:

  • What did students, families, teachers, and classified staff tell us about their experiences and about what needs to change?

  • What connections do we see between what our stakeholders are telling us and what we learned from other innovative schools?

  • How can we clearly frame our challenge to build buy-in among others?

Implement

Complete the following activities:

Explore

Here are a few highlighted examples of equity and resiliency in action from Strategy Lab school systems that have completed the activities above. For more examples, explore the strategies themselves.

How do we find the right solution to our problem? If the problem was easy to solve, your team would likely have done so already! In this step, you will get creative by brainstorming several possibilities and then narrowing them down to one solution that is feasible and lines up best with what you heard from students, families, teachers, and classified staff.

Reflect

As you start these activities, ask yourself:

  • Are our solutions outside of the status quo?

  • Are we open to ideas that may seem wild or unrealistic?

  • Do our solutions solve the problem that our stakeholders are describing?

Implement

Complete the following activities:

Explore

Here are a few highlighted examples of equity and resiliency in action from Strategy Lab school systems that have completed the activities above. For more examples, explore the strategies themselves.

How has equity shown up in this part of the process, and how is equity prioritized in our solution? This requires deep analysis of who has been engaged and how; it also requires an honest assessment of who is set to benefit from the proposed solution – and who might not. In this step, you will reflect on the ways that your design team has – or has not – lived out your commitment to equity in defining your solution.

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