Looking into the Future

 

 

Dr. Viviana Alexandrowicz smiling while standing with a wall behind her that has these words 'responsibility, purpose, curiosity, creativity, trust worthiness, perseverance, family, team work, innovation, citizenship, integrity, friendship, compassion, caring, wisdom, community'

Why this Center?

Since being designated a Changemaker Campus in 2011, the University of San Diego has nurtured many different initiatives focused on social innovation, community engagement and social change. This Center is unique in that it continues our commitment to work with communities by supporting children, youth, and educators in their Changemaking journey, As I immersed myself in the “Changemaking” world during the last four years, I learned about the global movement of social entrepreneurship. I learned about the hundreds of children, youth and adults who have engaged in ventures to improve society. I became familiar with the work of Changemaker teachers to promote inclusive classroom communities, utilize innovative pedagogy, create culturally responsive environments, and make learning more meaningful, relevant, and student- centered. I studied Changemaker schools and common qualities that makes them a better place for youth and children's social and academic development. I traveled to other countries to dialogue with global Change leaders. One of the highlights of my many experiences, was teaching a course abroad on "Changemaking in K-12: National and international Perspectives" and collaborating with colleagues in schools and in teacher education. Over this period of time, I have witnessed progress towards building a community of Changemaker educators. However, this community needs support if it is to continue the efforts towards spreading Changemaking innovation to all young people, especially those who have been traditionally marginalized and have not had equal access to the curriculum. This Center was designed to just do that; to support school teachers, administrators, teacher educators, parents, kids and organizational leaders who are committed to guide, facilitate, and provide their students with opportunities to learn how to change the world.

This Center is a product of love and passion to provide a place where educators are connected and supported to create innovative spaces designed to guide children and youth in their Changemaker Journey. Around the globe, educators are engaging in dialogue and activities to facilitate learning that promote complex thinking about small and large community problems. They are preparing and encouraging students to take- action and to find solutions to real problems in the classroom, school,  neighborhood, city, country, and the world. My goal is that the Center, the first of its kind, will contribute a needed body of knowledge and research, activities, news and learning experiences to further Changemaking in the fields of teacher preparation and primary and secondary education. The vision is that educators and stakeholders in the students' ecosystems, use these resources and professional development opportunities to do scholarship, plan curriculum, design activities and carry out experiences that will promote 21st century skills including empathy, collaboration, critical thinking, and leadership.

In this Center, we will share inspirational stories of Changemakers, young and old, who have become agents of change who designed and implemented initiatives to improve the lives of others. We will highlight schools and educators around the globe and their diverse interpretations of changemaking Education that is reflected in their mindsets, cultures, curricula and systems. The Center will provide you with resources and references including articles, books, videos and websites that focus on different theory, frameworks, models and approaches to Changemaking. It will offer professional development opportunities including human centered design, pedagogy, culturally responsive pedagogy and curriculum development. The site and newsletters will keep you updated about events and activities in the field.

I am envisioning a Center that expands the impact of our work and together, as educators and leaders, continue weaving a system of partnerships that nurture the movement towards reaching the goal of “everyone a changemaker” (Ashoka, 2020).

Please join us!

Dr. Viviana Alexandrowicz