How can I adapt Regenerate Neighborhoods to apply to the neighborhoods where the young people that I work with live?
We intentionally didn’t publish a textbook, because we want our work to be adaptable. Your best adaptation tool is your students and the Municipal app. Listen to young people, they will tell you their unique stories. Build your learning around them. Regenerate Neighborhoods will provide the rubrics to assess how well they are applying design thinking and growing their skillsets, while leaving the content open to iteration. Municipal works in any zip code.
How will I be able to assess student progress, both formatively and summatively?
The Regenerate Neighborhoods team is carefully crafting and continuously revising rubrics based on design thinking standards. Furthermore, it is possible, and highly encouraged, to assess the mathematics, writing, and history skills embedded in the different modules.
How will youth select which issues to work on?
Youth choice is important. If you give young people time and a chance to reflect and study their neighborhoods they will arrive at issues and questions to struggle with. In each implementation we notice that participants bring their own perspectives and issues and the program is designed to facilitate the process of discovering aspects of neighborhoods that may be improved.
How can I align this curriculum to the content that I am responsible for teaching?
The modules are intentionally linked to key subject areas. For instance, the Data Module plays well with Mathematics. The Neighborhood Walks Module with Media Arts. The Design History Module with Social Studies. Reach out to Alex Fishman, our Curriculum Director, for ideas about linking Regenerate content to local standards.
How will Regenerate Neighborhoods connect youth to leaders in their communities?
We use the Municipal app to amplify young people’s voices. More than a letter or a blog post, a Municipal campaign, with its accompanying artwork and validating support from other community members, alerts civic leaders and brings attention to the possibilities and benefits of working with you.
What type of technology is needed for my students to participate in Regenerate Neighborhoods?
The most important technology is a teacher willing to put the students in the center of the learning. A simple journal is recommended for brainstorming and keeping track of ideas. Access to the internet at some point in the curriculum is important to take advantage of the Municipal. Reach out to Alex Fishman, our Curriculum Director, for offline mods, activities and how to network with other teachers.
How will Regenerate Neighborhoods empower youth to make positive change in their neighborhood?
Regenerate Neighborhoods offers a functional pathway for youth to speak their truth to power. We have seen how eagerly students take advantage of this pathway. The result is open and constructive dialogue in the community, which leads to good.
Does Regenerate Neighborhoods incorporate both content and skills?
Yes. For example, in our original Chicago version students learned the history of the Chicago River as well as the Burnham Plan for Chicago (content), they also honed their writing and digital media skills by designing their own solutions for the Chicago River in the context of 1900s Chicago. Each neighborhood holds its own design stories (social studies) and data (mathematics) which provide robust content connections. Students hone their writing, presentation, and research skills as they work on their ideas.
What types of campaigns have students developed through Regenerate Neighborhoods?
Check out these student campaigns on Municipal to see what students have developed in the past:
Lakeview Compost Bin by Ben Cervantes, Owen Clary, Samson Montes, James Patsey, and Emily Villagomez (Lake View High School)
How much will it cost to implement Regenerate Neighborhoods?
We are thankful to the Hive Fund for Connected Learning at the Chicago Community Trust (now the Chicago Learning Exchange) for the initial grant funding that helped us implement Regenerate Neighborhoods in Chicago. In 2019 we decided to launch a Patreon to help keep this site running, to continue sharing our work, and to build community with like-minded educators and civic leaders.