Participatory Budgeting (PB) is a democratic process in which a community decides how to use resources. Creative Might created the design-thinking based curriculum for #PBatWalker using the framework “Discover, Dream, Design, Decide, Do.”
The intention behind this project is to build community, demonstrate the need for and power of student agency, create a space for students to make a valuable impact on their environment, and align with/support their standard curriculum.
During the fall term, all sixth graders at Walker Upper Elementary School worked to determine “How might we improve the school experience at Walker?”
Each of the 15 social studies sections (320+ students) had four PB-specific sessions and additional work occurred during morning meetings and social studies classes. The phases included:
DISCOVER - to understand the student experience at Walker, students wrote personal narratives, shared experiences, interviewed each other, and identified student needs based on reflections and conversations.
DREAM - students thought up big ideas to respond to the insights created during discovery.
DESIGN - students created solutions, identified costs and benefits, researched feasibility, pitched projects to their class, and voted on one project to enter into the Schoolwide Expo.
DECIDE - 15 projects will be presented to the school community via campaigns the students create. The entire student body, faculty, and families will vote to determine the winning project at the Schoolwide Expo on 1/16/19.
DO - the winning project will be implemented in the spring (2019) term.
Creative Might, Walker Upper Elementary Social Studies team, CCS iSTEM, UVa Curry School of Education, CFA Institute, Underground Shorts, PauseLab
$6000 for project implementation (donated by CFA Institute) + Farmbot (purchased by CCS iSTEM program)
Gratitude to The Participatory Budgeting Project for inspiration via the PB in Schools Guide as we launched this pilot.