So far, I’ve learned that some of my learning problems are focused on vulnerable and protected populations (http://www.solutionsirb.com/vunerable-and-protected-populations/ (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.). While I already understood I would have to be careful in navigating these complex issues, learning about their status as vulnerable and protected populations have shifted my strategy for understanding the obstacles they face. I am currently focusing on learning from experts who have already been working on these problems and then I will look for opportunities to meet with the learners themselves (if possible).
I recently had the opportunity to participate in a d.school pop out called Design for a Resilient Mind. During this pop out we worked alongside StreetCoders to design solutions for developing a resilient mindset. StreetCode is a non-profit for learners of all ages from East Palo Alto to learn technology, design, and “hustle”. My key takeaways from StreetCode were: 1) the community aspect of developing a culture of learning 2) the necessity in the representation of multiple, distinct narratives 3) empowering others by identifying what they have in abundance rather than assuming what they may or may not lack 4) everyone has various definitions of what topics such as empathy, resilience, and leadership looks like. I also spoke to my advisor, Antero Garcia, who suggested I read Hope and Healing in Urban Education by Shawn Ginwright. An important arc I am thinking of while addressing my learning problems is to establish a safe space for the learners to engage in.