How do we develop a healthy culture in the classroom?

6 months social design-project transforming high school classroom culture through co-creation and prototyping.

 

Client: Aarhus Gymnasium, (Former Langkaer Gymnasium), 2017

What I did: Design games, co-creation, prototyping, project management and visual communication.

//Social Design

//Human-Centered Design

//Design Games

“KlasseKassen made us think about how we really are in the classroom. So, you realize, oh we are actually a bit unfocused or we are like this or like this. And that is great!” — Student

Challenge

Solution

KlasseKassen - a tool that helps students to see their classmates from a new perspective and create mutual respect and understanding

The result of the project is KlasseKassen a tool box that facilitates a simulation-based teaching course. The tools function as the common third for the students that they can meet around and use as a base for discussion, to gain sympathy for each other and to strengthen the group cohesiveness in the classroom.

The high school students lacked respect and understanding for each other because of high cultural diversity

Langkaer high school has a high diversity between the students’ cultural background. Therefore, the school is facing challenges not only with regards to the general cohesive energy at the school, but also within the classroom environment. The 2015 well-being report of Langkaer’s students show that the students’ well-being was below the national average. Furthermore, it showed that the challenge was the internal class cohesion and the students' respect and understanding of each other.

Approach

Example of how social design can transform classroom cultures

The project approach was based on social design and the three phases; Identification, Ideation and Execution. Here we explored the How Might We:

How might we help high school students to see each other in new ways in order to enhance their respect and understanding for each other?

In the Identification phase we went out in the field and interviewed and observed how it is to be a high school student at Langkaer. We interviewed students, teachers and leaders of the school. We were “a fly on the wall” at lectures and in the staff room. All the data gathered throughout the research, were synthesized, mapped into areas of opportunity and key insights.

See the development of the project at www.transformingculture.nu

Identification

Ideation

Execution

From here we moved on to the Ideation phase. Through two co-creation workshops with design games and association exercises, students and teachers developed ideas to meet the challenges in the classroom. Based on these ideas I developed a prototype of the concept - KlasseKassen, tested the prototype with the students and teachers and developed it further.

From testing we moved to the Execution phase. This involved students and teachers starting to acquire ownership of KlasseKassen. This ownership means that Langkaer is still using the tool today and that they are still continuously developing it.

How does focus look like in a high school class? Here the students used a mannequin challenge to show it.

I was in charge of project management, planning and facilitating the workshops, developing the prototype and planning the tests of the prototypes with students and teachers. The first phase was done together in the team were we synthesized the data gathered in the field, uncovered key insights and areas of opportunity.