SI Competency Framework
The bedrock of the SI curriculum and program development, are the 9 SI competencies. Our Teaching, Learning and Innovation (TLI) team, Academic Leaders, and Social Innovation Team embarked on the journey of collaboratively developing this framework in 2021. Through the review of global educational research and social innovation studies, combined with practical experience of nurturing social innovation in our students in China, 9 unique social innovation competencies were developed across 3 domain areas: Being, Connecting and Innovating.
SI Curriculum Connections
These 9 SI competencies have been mapped for natural curriculum connections into the IB program in Elementary, Middle and High School at Daystar. In these units, teachers will integrate an SI competency or global issue, expounding on it through research, a possible expert visitor, or a field trip, with the unit culminating in a project or assignment. For example, in the Grade 10 English unit connected to social storytelling, students experienced a workshop on social storytelling and interviewing skills with an expert trainer. This was preparation to then interview various individuals they chose in the community such as nonprofit leaders, those who experienced trauma or loss, and others who experienced discrimination and rose above it. Following the moving interviews students had their summative assigned to share the stories of these individuals in and engaging written and oral format. Through natural curriculum integration students develop the holistic mindset of being a social innovator.
In addition to natural curriculum connections, Daystar has a core SI Curriculum that develops the fundamental values, skills and knowledge to be a social innovator. It starts with young children in Kindergarten with Dream for Change to develop the “I Can” spirit, infusing the understanding and development of the core values and SI competencies through Learning for Change in Elementary, naturally evolving to Projects for Change in middle school, and Venture for Change in high school where students use their courage to create their own social ventures.
- Dream for Change
At Daystar we seek to leverage the power of experiences to show early years children (ages 3-6) that everyone can make a positive contribution. Children apply the knowledge and skills they have learned to real life through the Dream for Change program, driving positive changes in the entire learning community. We use the Dream for Change program combined with “Virtues in Us” to empower every child with the “I Can” spirit and enable them to have the courage to face future challenges and become future social innovators.
- Learning for Change
Learning for Change is a new bespoke curriculum for K-Grade 5 focusing on teaching and developing the Social Innovation Competencies and Daystar’s 5 core values in all students. Teachers use the lessons and activities twice a week in home room to foster understanding and practice of these competencies and core values, while also deepening their English language skills. In essence, it is a social emotional learning curriculum to nurture social innovators.
- Projects for Change
Projects for Change is a unique opportunity for students in Grades 7-9 to think introspectively about what it means to be a social innovator and how they can use their talents and interests to address a local or global issue. Through a structured biweekly curriculum, guided by a trained Projects for Change facilitator, students will work in teams to research the issue in depth, determining the root causes, before designing a project to execute creating social impact. Through the design thinking process students learn key skills including time management, community interview skills, team consultation skills, and to how to measure social impact. Along the way, they engage with professionals drawn from our parent group and the wider nonprofit community network. Past projects include a meditation video and program for mental health, supporting women in Afghanistan to create a learning center, and designing a reuse program with sustainable coffee cups for the Phoenix Café.
- Venture for Change
In Grade 10 Daystar students take part in our Social Innovation course connected to Venture for Change. Learning from experienced social entrepreneurs, business leaders, and nonprofit professionals students see examples of the social innovation journeys first hand. This unique experience combined with academic learning and business acumen, enables students to rise to the challenge to develop and pitch their own social ventures addressing a social or environmental issue. Daystar students are encouraged to partake in the Venture for Change program at the Columbia Global Centers – Beijing in conjunction with the Qi Social Innovation Center, where they have a chance to receive funding and mentorship to turn their social venture into a reality!