Change Makers for Impact with Amanda Kopischke
April 20, 2021
human-centered design

Human-centered design is a philosophy that empowers teams and individuals designing products, systems, and services to address the needs of those who experience a problem. What happens when we teach our youth how to understand and anticipate the needs of others?

Utilizing the design thinking model, we can use empathy as a foundational launching pad for developing equity and creating creative, independent thinkers.

Today on the podcast, I’m talking with Amanda Kopischke, the Co-Founder and CEO of Incubate to Innovate, LLC, about using human-centered design and design thinking as a platform for teaching students teachers the importance of empathy and the lifelong effects of creating a culture of compassion. 

Listen in!

About Amanda Kopischke:

Amanda Kopischke is the Co-Founder and CEO of Incubate to Innovate, LLC. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Bethel University and a Master of Arts degree in Education from Saint Mary’s University. Amanda is also an author, speaker, developer, and bridge builder, empowering others to reimagine education.

To learn more about Amanda, follow her on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

Jump Through the Conversation:

  • [3:00] The foundation of human-centered design
  • [4:04] Experiential and exploratory learning through connection
  • [5:50] K-12 design thinking with empathy as the foundation
  • [8:31] We are all designers!
  • [10:03] Potential roadblocks to human-centered design
  • [15:06] Meeting others where they are
  • [28:08] Amanda’s Magic Wand: creating tools like empathy, the ability to synthesize, imagine, plan and create to prepare students for life
  • [31:57] Maureen’s Take-Aways

Links and Resources:

Transcription:

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
Hello fellow parents and educators. Thank you for joining me at education evolution, where we are disrupting the status quo in today’s learning models. We talk about present day education, what’s broken, who’s fixing it and how. I’m Dr. Maureen O’Shaughnessy, your host and founder of education, evolution and the micro school coalition, where we are fiercely Committed to changing the narrative to reimagining the education landscape, and creating learning that serves all children and prepares them to thrive. If you are new, welcome to the podcast. Please subscribe on our website to get it delivered to your inbox weekly. If you’ve been around a while, have you left a review?

Hi, Amanda. It’s so good to have you on Education Evolution today.

Amanda Kopischke
Thank you so much for having me, I’m excited.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
And listeners. Today I’m chatting with Amanda Kopischki, founder and CEO of Incubate to Innovate. Amanda is a leader, teacher, developer, connector, innovator and change maker, she uses Human Centered Design in her change maker innovation process. And let’s hear how Amanda is making school change happen. Amanda, where did the story of school transformation begin for you?

Amanda Kopischke
You know, I have had the honor and privilege of working in a variety of contexts in education now for 25 years. And probably about four or five years ago, I just came to a point of realizing that so many of the schools, I was working in either systemically as a leader or doing consultant work. We’re just not adequately preparing students for today’s complex and very rapidly changing world. And I just wanted to figure out a path forward, where we could be coming alongside the leaders and the teachers themselves to be reframing, and specifically how they’re doing teaching and learning in the classroom. And just happen to have an expertise in Human Centered Design, and thought, you know, there’s got to be a way to, to marry up my experience, working in a variety of contexts and education with that expertise to arrive at more systemic change for schools. And so it’s really, it really started with some of my own frustrations, and wanting to overcome those. And then also just having a listening ear and hearing that many other people were wanting to be a reimagining what, what school looks like. And of course, this journey started long before COVID when a lot of things were forced upon us. And we started to talk about reimagining education because this is where we’re in an interesting time in history, aren’t we?

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
We definitely are. Can you explain what human centered design is?

Amanda Kopischke
Yeah, thank you for asking, because I know a lot of people are still learning about that. And so Human Centered Design is a process for problem solving. And there’s a lot of different processes out there. If you go online and you Google, we happen to have our own distinctive process called the change maker innovation process. But really, the foundation of it is empathy, which has never been more needed in our world today. And it’s all about designing solutions for other people based on human need. And it really puts the human back in the center. And really that that’s what my business partner, Angela and I do at incubate innovate is we take those principles when we’re working with teachers. And they are of course, putting the students in the center as they are designing and architecting their learning experiences to meet their needs and prepare them for what’s to come post their pre K through 12 experience.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
I love that. And I your design thinking model is really detailed. I’ve seen some other ones that have some of these components. But I really like the whole Connect piece. Maybe you could talk us through the steps because there’s so many design thinking models out there. And I think yours, even just the steps that you have just speak to how human centered it is.

Amanda Kopischke
Absolutely. So if you go online and you look at different processes, they usually have some form of research and synthesis, leading to a point of creating some type of a prototype. And oftentimes, there might even be an opportunity to test and we just really felt like the processes were shortchanging students in a way, because once you have prototype something that meets the needs for someone, we wanted to extend that process in two ways. We wanted them to be able to collaborate with other people and then connect their idea or their prototype. out into the world for social change and widespread impact. A lot of times when we talk about entrepreneurship, people can think about their ideas and keeping them for themselves, maybe to build a business and to make a profit. And that’s not necessarily bad. But when we can expand students to be thinking about how their prototypes and their ideas actually can have changed making effect in the world. And if they’re inspired to think about that, starting when they’re age three, all the way through high school, they really become empowered to think that they actually can go out and make a difference. And it doesn’t have you don’t have to wait till you’re an adult to make that happen. It can happen while you’re a student in that pre K through 12. system. Yeah, the other thing that’s unique about our processes, we have a middle school and high school version, an elementary version and a pre k version. And what that means is it provides common language for an entire school or district to use where the modes are exactly the same. But the content within those modes is developmentally appropriate for those different age groups.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
I love that. So you scaffold it so that there’s a common dialogue, common process, but in language that makes sense, all along the way. And you’re so right, we see youth making lots of positive changes. They don’t need to wait until they’re adult. Can you think of a story of a school or a student and how they have applied this?

Amanda Kopischke
Yeah, absolutely. Actually, I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and I live really close to a whole foods grocery store, that just actually redid their entire parking lot, because they didn’t have enough spaces. And they were able to partner with a local elementary school. So we actually had third graders who were learning about multiplication. And while they are absorbing the content, we want to be developing those skills and giving them real life applicable experiences that connect to their own community and neighborhood. And while of course, there was a lot of adults involved in this process as well. The students were able to create prototypes and the prototypes were actually drafts of using their mathematics to redesign what that parking lot could look like. I love telling the story to you. Because a lot of people think that prototyping is in their mind, they think of a product. And while product prototyping is very popular, there’s lots of other ways that students can be prototyping. And anything that takes physical form is actually a prototype. So whether you’re re architecting an experience or an event, whether they are putting on a play, whether they are writing a story and sharing that out, those are actually all considered prototypes. So when we expand that definition, what happens is it invites all teachers no matter what age they teach, or what subject areas they’re covering, to be invited into using that Changemaker innovation process.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
That is fantastic. And I love that if kids are getting this experience across their curriculums from kindergarten all the way through, it’s naturally going to transfer to their own personal lives. And hey, my skateboard is annoying me and what could I do to make it do what I want it to do? And, and it’s going to just create thinkers, and I don’t see our school system, always giving kids a chance to do creative independent thinking it’s more following directions. So I think you can be transforming the youth mind with this process.

Amanda Kopischke
Absolutely. One of the things that we often love to share is, we’re actually all designers because we all have a gap between what we experience and what our expectation is. And then when you work with anyone who’s an educator that works to students, you know that students are really good at pointing out where those gaps are. And it may even come out in a complaining fashion every once in a while. And really, we have an opportunity as educational leaders to turn that into an opportunity for them to design a solution for that gap. And when you start to phrase it that way, they feel empowered, fortunate, excited. And usually the gaps that they’re finding are relative to their own life. And so they’re much more excited to be designing for the things that are impacting their own sphere of influence, and maybe even something like a wholefoods parking lot. But it really starts with designing for the gaps right in their own life.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
And that makes everybody see how they are designers like you’re saying, it’s not like oh, I took a design thinking course. And now I have this skill seven. Oh my gosh, getting my toddler out the door today, I had to create this wonky little song that, you know, helped. And oh, I was being a designer. I like literally, you’re connecting those dots of how we did design.

Amanda Kopischke
Yeah, absolutely.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
So what are some of the roadblocks and struggles that you’re facing is it seems like every school would want to embrace this and to create thinkers that are really connected to relevant learning. My guess is It’s not as easy as that, though.

Amanda Kopischke
No, it really isn’t. I mean, we’ve never done a presentation where people haven’t validated the need for the work that we’re doing. But I think especially as you’re navigating the COVID ambiguity and complexities teachers have, you know, they’ve never managed so much in their entire lifetime. And so to think about changing the way that they are doing teaching, and learning at times can feel overwhelming for them. I can say that the schools and the teachers we’ve worked with, after they have a chance to really learn how to reframe teaching and learning to include more exploratory and experiential learning. They become happier in their role, they, there’s more fun and joy infused in what they’re doing, and the students are doing. And so if we can get them over the hump, there’s just such a beauty on the other side for everyone involved all stakeholders. But yes, I mean, as an educator, it’s, it’s hard to go back and almost retrain your thinking. And so we do a lot of inspiring and coaching. That’s a big part of what we do as we’re coming alongside educators. So that’s probably one of the biggest roadblocks at this point in history is, are we all more open to new things? I think the answer is yes. And at the same time, we’ve never been more somewhat overwhelmed with our workload. So that’s probably it’s really funny.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
Yes. So what would be your ideal scenario? What would your ideal client? Would it be a superintendent, this is my whole district, we’re gonna stop everything and get trained in this. What would you like to see and look like? Yeah,

Amanda Kopischke
I mean, we spend the most amount of time working side by side with educators. But of course, they don’t always have the purse strings or the ability to say yes or no to systemic change within a school. So really, it has to start with a superintendent or Head of School, or maybe even a principal, where we really cast a vision. And then from there, we actually spend the majority of our time training and collaborating and doing instructional coaching alongside of educators, we did make a choice about two and a half years ago to start an online collaborative learning community for educators. And one of the reasons we did that was because oftentimes, teachers are resistant to learning new things until they understand that there’s a long game and an ongoing relationship. And so Angela, and I, we gift free lifetime memberships to this collaborative learning community that’s gone worldwide, for anybody that we work with, because then not only will they have access to us, but they have access to all the other people who are seeking to be more progressive in this area, and they can be cheering each other on. So that has been helpful. And we do have one off educators from around the world that maybe their school is not moving in this direction, but they have a heart for it. And they want to be able to learn and grow. And so they have access to that, even though there might be roadblocks within their own school. So we found a way to get around that just for those individual educators.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
I love that I had done doctoral work on how hard it is to be an innovator and how the system wants to suck you back in. So for you to create what I found in my research, a community to help people want to continue with change, and not to slide back into status quo to avoid being the outcast or the one doing it differently, or the hard work that it takes. You’re creating the community where they know they can they have the trust, and they have like minded people. So you’re bridging that gap in a really important way with your platform and and incubate to innovate is the platform, right? Yeah.

Amanda Kopischke
Incubates To Innovate is the name of our company, and we own the platform, but the actual name of the community is called changemakers. For impact,

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
I just want to make sure that listeners know we’ll put all of that in the show notes so that they can access it.

Amanda Kopischke
Absolutely. Yeah, I was just going to say the reason we named it that is the community has about 70% educators and 30% leaders and other sectors that care about education reform. And that’s really important, because if we’re going to be connecting educators who are teaching different age children and wanting to give them that connection to the outside world for relevant prototyping opportunities, we need to have connections with people that are willing to provide those and that’s often a roadblock for a teacher. They, they can see how this could all play out. But they they get nervous, like how will I be able to make those connections and so we try to help foster those connections for them to kind of take that piece out whenever we can.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
Nice, yes, right now we’re scrutinizing a lot of institutions in the United States and education is definitely one of them as we look at equity, so how might the design thinking process and what you’re training people and how am I That address some of the inequity that we see in the institution of education.

Amanda Kopischke
Yeah, I think in it in an indirect way, one of the things I just would love to mention is because the foundation of design thinking is empathy. We have a lot of schools that signed up to work with us, because they wanted the transformation in the teaching and learning the how parts, but they didn’t know that their entire school, that their culture would be re engineered. Because when we talk about leading with empathy, pretty much every hour of every day, and that becomes so infused in the way that we’re having conversation within a community, the culture of the community is changes, and well, equity and all of the components that are around that, that’s a really big piece of what we’re all trying to solve in education. This is just, it’s almost hard to talk about it sometimes because it feels so intangible. But I think where it has to start is with empathy. So when that is systemically inter woven into the culture of a school, now you have an amazing foundation and a platform to jump from. It’s very hard to have equity conversations within a school community, if people are not leading with empathy, or allowing their students to learn what that even means. So it’s almost like our process. And the mindsets that we provide are really good foundational watching. That we all have ahead of us.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
Yes, empathy, as the foundation makes great sense. So what what would that look like in a classroom? If a teacher is leading a discussion with empathy? how might that differ from what you typically see in a classroom?

Amanda Kopischke
Yeah, I think it’s a great question, because I think talking about it, and specifically, calling out the mindset of leading with empathy is, is great, but students actually need to practice. So the way that we teach them how to lead with empathy is through this entire process, because they walk through these different modes. And as soon as you connect a student to prototype something for someone else to meet their need, a lot of wonderful things start to happen. I mean, there’s been times where both Angela and I have worked with students where there was just nothing that anyone was trying that was really going to get the student over the hump of really falling in love with school or falling in love with learning. And then they’ll have that one day where something magical happens, where they feel so inspired and empowered, because they designed something for someone else that actually met their need. And then when they can practice and feel what that feels like. That’s where it all really begins. Talking about it is great, and having the common languages is even better. But they need a chance to practice. And that’s what all of this provides for them.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
Oh, yes, that that makes wonderful sense. And I can imagine the kids then as we all do, when we feel good about something, we want more of it, and we’re more willing to do it. And then they’re open to diving into design thinking and basing it in empathy.

Amanda Kopischke
Absolutely. And when the students start using this process when they’re young, imagine what it’s going to look like when they move up to middle school in high school. And those circles of impact. I mean, when the kids are small, we talk about designing for a parent or a teacher or a friends. We’re not asking them to go and solve world hunger. But as the students get older, they can start to handle a wider circle of impact and understand that. So that’s why we really encouraged an entire district or school to adopt it, pre K through 12. And then to watch how that will unfold over time, for the depth of learning that can be experienced.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
I can only imagine by the time those kids are in high school, how empowered they are and clear they are and on fire to keep creating.

Amanda Kopischke
Yeah, they feel excited to do well in their academics, but they feel excited for how they’re going to succeed in life. Right. And that’s more than just doing school.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
Well. Yes. And that’s what I hear at the high school level. What about after high school? And what do I need? And how is this getting me there? So succeeding in life, and not just passing state tests or college entrance exams? I think that’s a really important and sometimes missing piece in our educational system, and you’re filling that gap in a way that’s going to give them personal and professional satisfaction.

Amanda Kopischke
Yes, thank you.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
Yeah. What is next for you and your mission? Two things on the horizon.

Amanda Kopischke
We have lots of dreams, of course. I mean, I just finished Bob golf’s new book dream big. And I wanted to read it in the context of these COVID circumstances because it’s been really easy for leaders to become stuck right or frozen because we’ve had so many roadblocks and so like many of you have had moments where it’s easy to see what’s next. Coming in front of us in moments where we really just don’t, we’re just not sure. But yeah, we have hopes and dreams of building a studio one day, where we will be able to take some of our expertise and do exactly what you’re doing with your podcast, right? It’s all about taking what what we have and stewarding it out for the greatest impact possible. Whether we do connect that through our network and continue to try to expand that online platform there, I think there’s going to come a day where there’s teachers that have expertise in something like design thinking, who are offering courses, and maybe they’re simulcast to lots of different places in the world that can’t readily hire a teacher with that expertise or can’t afford that. I just think there’s going to be so many things on the horizon that we just don’t even know, as educators that are coming our way. And we’re just trying to be really open to what that might look like right now.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
That sounds exciting. I would love to just spend a little time getting to know you better, and ask you to some rapid fire turbo time questions.

Amanda, what’s the last book you read?

Amanda Kopischke
Yeah, so the book that I just finished that I just mentioned, called dream big, I’ll just share a little bit more about it. So the tagline is recapture the version of our lives we dreamed before fear started calling the shots. And I was just really drawn to this because of course, we’ve all faced so many different fears in the last year. And the book helps you to define your dreams, and where that fear is creeping in identifying the obstacles that are really holding you back, and then putting a plan in motion and enrolling the right people and building a team to accomplish your dream. And that was absolutely fantastic. So I highly recommend it to anyone.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
Oh, it sounds like it, who are two inspirational folks you’d love to meet.

Amanda Kopischke
If I could have coffee with Berne Brown, I would absolutely love that opportunity. I have learned so much from her over the years, specifically around her work with the power of vulnerability. That would just be that would be a really fun time for me and I, having just finished this book, Jean big. I’ve had a chance to hear Bob Gough, I don’t know if you’re familiar who that is, speak one time, but I would absolutely love to have a conversation with him. He has been such a tremendous change maker and had impact worldwide in so many different contexts. And he’s still he just keeps continuing to reinvent himself. And I think as we look at how fast the world is changing, I mean, they said in the past that cultural shifts happened as each generation would pass. And now they’re saying the cultural shift is happening every 15 to 18 months, versus every decade. And so that can feel a little overwhelming. But it’s just having that willingness to lean in and not necessarily about reinventing, but showing up where the where the work is happening, the excitement is happening and taking your expertise and being willing to share those in any way that you can. And he’s just had quite a lifetime of doing that in a variety of sectors. So it would just be really fun to ask him some challenging questions. received some encouragement from him as well? Absolutely.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
What is your favorite place to travel?

Amanda Kopischke
My husband and I love St. JOHN Island. We did our honeymoon there 25 years ago and have gone back many times. But just a random Fun fact is we’re sailing certified. So when we go down there, we will often rent sailboat. And yeah, with our kids have kind of grown up having an opportunity to do that, which is really special. It’s a really fun place.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
Well, and the memories, your kids are getting this wonderful family experience and international experience. Very cool.

What’s a TED talk that inspires you?

Amanda Kopischke
Yeah, you know, there’s a couple different ones that I’ve listened to recently. And then one of my all time favorites. I know I already mentioned Berne Brown, but the power of vulnerability if anyone has not taken the time to listen to, to listen to her or read her books, and you just had to pick one little nugget that you could grab ahold of I would highly recommend googling the power of vulnerability. And I think it’s never needed more now as we are leaders that just learning how to be transparent. And utilizing that power of vulnerability is highly connected to the empathy we were talking about before. It’s very hard to be empathetic and for people to feel safe and to trust you if you’re not going to bring your authentic self to the conversations. And so if that’s something that any of you have been, you know, wondering, like, Where do I even start? You don’t have time to consume an entire book. I would. I would recommend that Ted Talk for sure.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
What is the biggest thing you wish folks knew about human centered design?

Amanda Kopischke
You know, we’ve talked a lot about empathy but I just want to say Human Centered Design is for everyone. And it is for kids. That starting at age three, and the principles behind it can be taught and really creative and effective ways. It is hard for some people to wrap their brain around it and they think well, how in the world? Are you ever going to simplify this and bring it to young? How are you going to bring that early childhood, but you absolutely can. And the sooner we do so the better. Because if they can start to learn to lead with empathy, when they are that small, our world is just going to be an amazing place as they continue to continue to grow. So I just it’s for everyone, every teacher out there, no matter what you are teaching, it can be placed within your coursework, and the way that you’re doing teaching and learning.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
And what is one passion you bring to incubate to innovate?

Amanda Kopischke
Yeah, I’d love to share what my superpower is. And this is connected to our business. And I think it’s important to talk about, but we often have a chance to come into a school where maybe the vision has already been set, and they have a really strong plan in place. And then we help to execute that down to the fine detail. And that works great. We can think of things from a 30,000 foot view, and go all the way down to implementation and actualization of that vision in that plan. The other thing that often happens, though, as we come into some systems that are broken, it can feel really beautiful, but really messy, and they kind of want to just lay it all out there and say, We need your help swimming in this brokenness. And then can you turn it around and cast the vision the other way? And so on any given day, Angela and I are flipping so our superpower is the ability to flip back and forth, depending on the context or the needs of the people that we are working with. And I think right now since education is feeling really beautiful, but messy, it’s it’s important to as we’re talking about our company to realize that that is a superpower we have, we just are willing to meet people where they’re at, as long as you’re willing to interrogate reality around, whatever your situation is, we will meet you there and help you move forward.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
That’s so important. And like you said, things are all over the place right now. And and I think that’s a beautiful modeling of empathy to accept that and meet people where they are. So that’s you also walking your talk.

Amanda Kopischke
Yeah, thank you.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
And what’s something that most people don’t know about you?

Amanda Kopischke
So I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota, mostly, but we’re we’re known for having these terrible winters, right. It’s an amazing place to live in so many other ways. But I do not like the winter at all. I’ve been trying to get over the hump. And this year, I learned how to Nordic ski. So it’s kind of been my saving grace, something new to try. So you can be outside enjoying being in the woods or on we have little strings of lakes that are connected here in Minneapolis, where you can just kind of go right out your door and go on the frozen lake. And so it’s just kind of a random Fun fact, it’s kind of helping me get through the dark, cold days of winter here.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
Good for you and wait to be a lifelong learner.

Amanda Kopischke
That’s great. Yeah, it’s fun to try something new. Yes.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
And I always like to close with a magic wand question. So if you had a magic wand, and we’re getting to train lots of schools in the design thinking model based on empathy, what would you want to see as outcomes? What would you want those 12th graders that had been exposed to this for years? What would you want to see in their toolkits that they take out into life as a result of getting this experience?

Amanda Kopischke
So specifically for educators or students? Or just…

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
You know, either I was thinking, what what would students have in their toolkit to go out and be that change maker in the world, but also for educators? Either way? Yeah.

Amanda Kopischke
Okay, I’ll kind of do a little combo here. So one of the questions that I love to ask educators as we start to take them on, on this journey is, how might you consider increasing the amount of exploratory and experiential learning that’s happening in your classroom? And it actually has to start with the educator in order for the impact to make it to the students. So well, we can all want really amazing things for students. We want them to be problem solvers, critical thinkers, and the list goes on and on and on. We can wish all of those things but if we don’t start with the educator themselves, who’s working with the students, and ask them some of those, how might we questions that connect to the outcomes we’re looking for, we won’t be able to make the progress we’re hoping for. And when you when you phrase it like that, how might you or how might need and might you consider taking a journey with us they feel invited into a process and they also feel like wow, there’s people that have my back and want to come alongside of me, feels very different than you know an expert coming in and just facilitating a one and done training. So, how might we?

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
Yep? Oh, again, empathy and inclusive? And then what would students if they were exposed to this from kindergarten through 12th? grade? What would you imagine they would ideally have in their toolkit in their life toolkit, not just, Oh, I know, algebraic formulas, and I know how to do do my citations in APA format. But besides the academic things, what would they have in their toolkit?

Amanda Kopischke
Yeah, so the different modes of the process are pretty important, because when we start with thinking about how much access to information and content these kids have, there’s actually a lot of studies in how much anxiety it’s causing students to have access to this much information. So we’re teaching them to research, teaching them to synthesize this information for a purpose, right, and walking them through the distinct modes of that process is really building the toolkit for how they can manage through whatever comes their way after they are finished with high school and they’re out in the world. And so those moments research and then synthesize, imagine play on creates collaborates has never been needed more. And then that connects piece where they can think beyond themselves to steward all that they have been working on for that social change. And widespread impact is really our heartbeat. We want students to want to go out and change the world.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
So yeah, I think oh, my gosh, very, very important tools to make sure all of our youth are getting in our K 12. system. So, Amanda, thank you. I’m so appreciative for the great work that you’re doing and that we got to interview you today.

Amanda Kopischke
Yeah, thank you so much for having me.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
It was so nice getting to see how empathy played out in everything that Amanda shared. Not only is empathy the foundation of their design model, it’s also how she leads the process with teachers. Amanda’s approach of meeting teachers where they are, is one we also need to use with our families in our students. Her phrase of swimming in this brokenness resonated. There’s a lot that is broken and painful right now. And we need to be gentle with each other. As we move forward. Amanda brought this gentleness out, as she explained that they set the tone in teacher training with phrases like, how might we add more exploratory and experiencial learning? Or might you consider taking this journey with us in such an Invitational and inclusive way, the transfer of teachers and students practicing this type of empathy in conversations, and creating prototypes that serve would lead to empathy being a natural tool that every student would have in their toolkit, after an education that included Human Centered Design. Another tool that seems really important is the ability to synthesize information. Something else this design model focuses on, we’ve all worked to help students know how to paraphrase or put ideas in their own words. But in this cut and paste era, with so much information coming at us, the ability to synthesize is even more important. And helping students gain clarity of thought by synthesizing the information would do wonders in lowering anxiety and ambiguity for learners. Creating, collaborating, planning, all of these are tools and 21st century skills that we want our students to have. With cultural shifts happening more quickly. We all need these tools in our life toolkit. And most of all, we need to know that we are all designers, we’re all seeing the gaps between what we experience and what we expect or want. We each need to know that we are designers empowered and able to design solutions to close these gaps. With so much brokenness being highlighted in the world today. Our power to close gaps to create equity, in a better world gives me hope.

Thank you for listening and being a part of the Education Evolution. I know how challenging it is to make changes inside your own school or community. I’ve spent years working with schools around the world on creating learner centered programs. And it always struck me how much schools were able to get done with the right tools and guidance. If you’re ready to make changes like this in your own school, let’s talk and put together an action plan. Visit education evolution.org backslash consult for a free 15 minute call. And let’s see if we’re a good fit for more work together.

Education evolution listeners, you are the ones to ensure we create classrooms where each student is seen, heard, valued, and thriving. We need you. Let’s go out and reach every student today. I’d be so grateful if you’d head over to your podcast app to give a great rating and review if you found this episode valuable. Don’t wait. Please do it right now before you forget. I really appreciate it.

Thank you for listening, signing off. I am Maureen O’Shaughnessy, your partner in boldly reimagining education.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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