Disrupting the educational system

In an era of new world problems, digitalisation and ever-expanding knowledge, our educational system needs a re-design to make students and educators future-fit. The perfect breeding ground for social learning labs. Spaces for reimagination, exploration, experiment, creativity and change making.

The Why

Big bangs for societal challenges

To be active members of a democracy, young people need to develop skills in active citizenship participation. Soft skills and 21st century skills play a critical role in developing young people as active and engaged citizens in uncertain, complex times. Today, students too often leave education out of touch with industry realities. 

Nonetheless, students love solving real-world problems. Most of the time the approach we see today taken by schools and universities is to introduce their students to a real-world experience through a one-time project. But we see preparing students for the real world as a repeated process. What is needed is not one ‘big bang’ project but many ‘little bang’ projects over the duration of the college/school experience with ‘big bangs’ at the end, not to replace curricula but rather reinforce integral learning within them.

The Goal

A sandbox for social learning

We want to help both educators, who want to bring in real-world projects into their classrooms on a more regular and transversal basis, and "real-world" partners (communities, non-profits, start-ups, enterprises, civil society organizations) to take on a design-doing mindset and creating a space where they can experiment and create solutions for real-world problems through learning challenges and social innovation.

The Challenge

The world is our classroom

Today Service learning projects are an exception. And this is a shame, because the engagement can have great benefits to the community and the students. So, what stops educators from introducing real-world projects into their classroom? 

Educators lack the tools to get in contact with the ‘right’ civil society organizations and industry. Educators also need a framework where they can execute these projects in a ‘controlled learning environment’, where given the better methods they feel safe to handle ‘controversial’ issues. In order for educators to take on a design-doing mind-set (and be able to pass this onto their students), they need to be trained for the ‘social learning labs’ in school – action oriented civic courses, research community approaches, transversal projects on citizenship, …

The Roadmap

That’s the Way2Go!

We Are Tribe member Nik, also Community builder at Give a Day and teacher Second chance education, developed an educational model that's project-based and grafted onto Community Service Learning and Action-oriented learning, called the 'Way2Go' project. Activating students and teachers within a framework of a ‘controlled learning environment’ and through design-doing ; developing 21st Century skills and creating a major social impact during this learning-process. The program fully implements visual thinking, system thinking and design thinking next to an integral approach to citizenship education (guaranteeing non-indoctrination, the supporting connection to curricula and the development of democratic citizenship competences by means of a systemic approach to (world) citizenship education).

Give a Day vzw developed a matchmaking platform that connects volunteers with organizations within civil society. We are extending this platform to match Service learning projects with organizations and industry.

The idea is to prepare teachers for the ‘social innovation learning labs’ we would want in every school, creating spaces for reimagination and toolkits for taking action.

'A social learning lab let's students flourish! It activates purpose on a academic, social and personal level. This is the kind of future-fit education students and educators need.'

Leen Schepens, coördinator Second Chance Education

The Impact

We are all in this together!

Having a social innovation lab in school with the needed professionals and methods that can be used in every educational strand, will accelerate the evolution to a more inclusive school system. Improving these labs through action-oriented service learning we can create environments where educators can experiment together with their students and connect with all actors within the Quintuple Helix innovation model. With these labs we can activate schools, civil society, industry, government and volunteers to participate and take action for social goals and challenges (such as the SDG's) by working together and learning from each other.