A supporting ecosystem began to form around what we were doing in Dayton. Working with a local foundation, the Construct Foundation, Jami was able to introduce the concept of Design Thinking to most of her teachers. But it was when Dayton connected with the Stanford d.school that the Positive Deviant model really began to bear fruit.
A year before, Stanford d.school's K12 Lab had launched the School Retool program to introduce the Hacking mindset to school administrators. They recognized that in order for innovative educational practices to be introduced into a building, principals needed to give their teachers authentic permission to fail.
To fail forward to learn. To try something, understand it might fail, then quickly learn from that experiment, and to try again, creating fast, iterative Learning Cycles.
Through the Construct Foundation, Stanford wanted to bring the three-month School Retool fellowship program to Oregon. We realized quickly that the groundwork laid by Dayton in the Yamhill Valley was a perfect testbed for this fellowship.
So it was launched, bringing together nearby school districts for playful, courageous learning to transform school culture. Most of the administrators immediately got it. But when they all went to Dayton for a day-long immersion into an ‘inspiration site’, they really understood the profound implications of reimagining education.
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