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Jul 22 2019 - 08:00 PM
A Design-Centered Approach to Solving Educational Inequity

"228 Accelerator’s mission is to empower school designers to build a new generation of schools, education organizations, and educational practices that put equity at the center of their work." (About 228 Accelerator)

Advancing Equity Through Design

228 Accelerator is geared toward making education more just for all students. Their name is inspired by the claim that it will take 228 years for an average black family to have the same income as an average white family.

The 228 Accelerator philosophy is based on a process they call equityXdesign, which puts design at the center of the equity solution, and focuses on the types of relationships formed in educational spaces. As 228 Accelerator founder Caroline Hill said, "Systems of inequity have been designed by people, and they can be redesigned." Instead of looking at how content, resources, or other material concerns might foster inequity, 228 Accelerator focuses on people and treats everyone within the educational system, from students to teachers to school leaders, as designers of equitable communities.

Opportunities for Educational Institutions

228 Accelerator offers three scaffolded experiences for schools, education organizations, and designers to improve equity and relationships within their institutions. The Equity Acceleration Foundations experience begins with the most basic feature of relationships: communication. This experience helps participants create a shared language around educational equity, and teaches them how listening to others can be an effective leadership strategy. Next, Equity Acceleration Studios helps schools model experiences that develop leaders into equity-centered school designers. Specifically, leaders and teachers learn how to design a school culture alongside the most marginalized and excluded students rather than dictating what is best for them. Finally, Equity Acceleration coaching offers mentorship to teachers, leaders, and schools as they continue their equityXdesign work.

For each of these stages, 228 Accelerator adopts an approach that is grounded in interview and assessment data, and emphasizes the creation of new interpersonal attitudes and behaviors. The ultimate goal is to unearth systems of educational inequity and rewrite them by changing how educators, leaders, and students relate to one another. 228 Accelerator hopes to foster a new system for education, and it’s possible this design-based approach to school relationships might help create a more fair future.

Image: Metro Charter School by Neon Tommy via Flickr
|By: Sara Hardman|1459 Reads