3 Critical Questions Changemaker Learning Outcomes Can Help Us Answer

3 Critical Questions Changemaker Learning Outcomes Can Help Us Answer

At Ashoka U we wrestle with this question all the time and see supporting that line of questioning as a key part of what we do. To that end, we believe it is important to help educators identify and develop learning outcomes for social entrepreneurship, social innovation, and changemaker education.

Learning outcomes shape what students will learn. And what the next generation learns will in many ways shape their ability to tackle our most pressing global problems.

“Where Are You From?” – An Introduction To Microaggressions

“Where Are You From?” – An Introduction To Microaggressions

If you’ve been in any conversations about race, you’ve likely heard the term “microaggressions”. You may be wondering two things – what are they, and what is the big deal?

Microagressions are small infractions that communicate a bias of some kind. They’re often unintentional or even subconscious and are not even clearly racially motivated. But they pass along small messages of racist concepts. (Microaggressions aren’t always race-related, either. People can use microaggressions related to gender, sexual orientation, ability/disability and more.)

If Not Colorblindness… Then What?

If Not Colorblindness… Then What?

We’ve talked about how the “colorblindness” approach is not the most helpful way to interact with people of different races and cultures here and here. If you read those posts and are ready to consider a new way of interacting with children, you may be wondering… but what is the best approach?
According to Dr. Monnica Williams, identity can be thought of at three levels: individual, group or universal. Individual is the idea that each person is unique. Group is the idea that we are all members of certain groups, and universal is the idea that we are all human beings.

What is White Privilege?

What is White Privilege?

The term “white privilege” has entered the common vocabulary when discussing issues related to race. We hear it all the time, but today we want to take a minute to really explore the topic. What is “white privilege” and what can we do about it?

White privilege is the idea that white people in America have certain advantages that people of color do not have.

White people often don’t have to worry about certain issues that people of color do. White people can travel to any city, move into any neighborhood, attend any school, feel comfortable at any place of employment and shop at pretty much any store without harassment. White people see people like them in leadership positions across the board, from politics to the workplace. White people can choose to interact only with other white people. White people can choose not to think about race.

It Starts Here

It Starts Here

While most professionals who work with kids believe that they’re genuinely accepting of all and nonjudgmental, the truth is, studies show that most people have hidden or implicit biases that shape how we feel and behave. The thing about implicit biases is that we don’t always notice that we have them. It’s not overt racism, like believing that one race is superior or that all people of a certain race are inferior. But it’s there all the same. No matter what background we come from, what race we identify as, how our parents raised us, what type of community we grew up in, we all carry prejudices and biases.

Let’s Talk About Race

Let’s Talk About Race

Research has disproven the commonly held belief that children only have biases if they’re taught them. Children form their own biases related to race not only from what they learn from parents and other adults, but from what they observe in their own surroundings. One researcher compared this to accents – if children only learned what they observe from their parents, the children of parents with accents would also have accents. But instead, children observe a variety of patterns from society, school, their community, etc. and adopt behaviors based on what they see.

5 Reasons You Don’t Want to Miss The Ashoka U Exchange

5 Reasons You Don’t Want to Miss The Ashoka U Exchange

People don’t often believe me when I say that the very first Ashoka U conference in 2008 had 40 people sleeping in bunk beds and presenting around a campfire. Eight years later – just a few things have changed!
Today 700 people flock from across the globe to share ideas on how to turn colleges and universities into hubs of social innovation. And after years of convening innovators in changemaker education, we’ve learned what it takes to fuel this growing movement.
The 8th annual Ashoka U Exchange will be co-hosted by Babson College in Boston and will take place on April 5-7th, 2018. As we prepared to open our call for proposals on August 15th, I spent some time reflecting on the Exchange feedback I’ve heard from our community. Here are five reasons I heard that explain why people keep coming back year after year.

4 Keys to Campus Wide Change

4 Keys to Campus Wide Change

It is infinitely harder to change what already exists rather than start from scratch.  This is especially true with long-entrenched cultures, and structures.
On the flip side, the potential for shifting resources within a large, well-respected institution can lead to results on a much larger scale than a start-up. This is the power and potential for leading change within an institutional context.

Ready To Quit: A Teacher’s Reflection On The Most Challenging Student Of Her Career

Ready To Quit: A Teacher’s Reflection On The Most Challenging Student Of Her Career

Early in the year, Cristina Garcia recalls her student laughing as he ripped artwork off the walls. Cristina is a Pre-K teacher at Momentous School and has worked in education for 16 years. This year she had the most challenging student of her career.