Over the past year and a half, I have been focused on catalyzing policy, systems, and environmental changes in schools. This is a public health framework for creating population-level change. The thinking is if there is a speeding problem on a particular road there are two likely approaches to reduce speeding. The first is educational–try to get pamphlets into all the neighborhood mailboxes about how speeding degrades the roads, puts children at risk, etc.; post speed limit signs, even hold classes to help people understand the risks of speeding. This process is rather long, labor intensive, and typically has low return. The other approach is install a speed bump. Now after only a few hours of work and relatively low capital investment, the majority of drivers will slow down.
In schools this has meant things like changing what food comes in through the back door of the cafeteria, building school gardens, changing schedules to allow for more time out of chairs, improving wellness policies to support these changes and more.
What I want to know from the co-op is what policy, system, and environmental changes would create sustainable change to promote authentic and student-centered learning?