“We really want [students] who can collaborate, take initiative, be creative, think outside the box. It’s really the skills that they need to move forward…and to have the potential to really make change in the world.”
– Teacher Carly Mavorah, Magen David Yeshiva, DSCN participant
on the power of using design thinking in day schools
How might we inspire creativity, expand ownership over solving problems, and improve educational outcomes? Three years ago, UpStart partnered with the Jewish Education Project to help fourteen New York schools answer this question. Funded by the UJA Federation of New York (UJA-NY), the Day School Collaboration Network brought these schools together for immersion in Adaptive Design – a new practice pioneered by UpStart’s Maya Bernstein and Harvard Kennedy School’s Marty Linsky. Adaptive Design combines the practices of design-thinking and adaptive leadership to help organizations generate smart ideas and then navigate the human dynamics, politics, and cultural fall-out of leading change.
Through a combination of retreats, seminars, and personalized coaching, UpStart and the Jewish Education Project supported participating schools in increasing their capacity to meet the needs of 21st century Jewish families. Participants devised solutions for generating deeper parent engagement, increasing their capacity to serve students with special needs, and inspiring teachers to develop a vision for their schools. The shift was so apparent that it inspired the Stanford d.school—the home of Design Thinking—to create a nearly identical program for schools in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Learn more about the DSCN program.
Read: UpStart Associate Maya Bernstein and the Jewish Education Project’s Bryna Leider reflect on the three years of DSCN.
Watch the Jewish Education Project’s videos on how the Day School Collaboration Network used Adaptive Design.