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 Civic ArtWorks app. Listen to your youth, they will tell you their unique stories. Build your learning around them. Regenerate Neighborhoods will provide the rubrics to assess how well they design and think, while leaving the content open to iteration. Regarding the Civic ArtWorks web application, it will work within any zipcode.
How will I be able to assess student progress, both formatively and summatively?
The Regenerate Neighborhoods teachers are carefully crafting and 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. Furthermore, the nature of the Civic ArtWorks web app prods students toward built environment solutions through examples and highlighted projects.
How can I align this curriculum to the content that I am responsible for teaching?
The modules are intentionally linked to key subject areas. Civic Data plays well with Mathematics. Neighborhood Walks with Media Arts. Design history with social studies. Reach out to our Curriculum Director for ideas about linking Regenerate Neighborhoods content to local standards.
How will Regenerate Neighborhoods connect youth to leaders in their communities?
We use the Civic ArtWorks web app to amplify youth voice and allow young people to present themselves to civic leaders in a way that is engaging and accessible. More than a letter or a blog post, a campaign with its accompanying imagery / video and votes from other community members validates the issue raised by the youth in the eyes of civic leaders and highlights 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. At key points in the curriculum access to the internet is required in order to take advantage of the web app. Reach out to our Curriculum Director for offline modifications and activities and to plan how you can 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 the history module, students in Chicago learn of the Chicago River, its history and importance in the region, as well as the Plan of Chicago by architects Daniel Burnham and Edward Bennett. Students also honed their writing and digital media skills by designing their own solutions for the Chicago River in the context of 1900s Chicago.
How was Regenerate Neighborhoods developed over time?
Alex taught a number of versions of this lesson throughout his career. After a student stood up in class and questioned whether or not any civic leaders would care about the work being done in class, Alex met with Civic ArtWorks. Through the support of the Hive Fund for Connected Learning and the Chicago Community Trust, the work in one classroom was documented and shared with a wider audience.