Community Based Leadership
Change Maker Space
At Catalyst Public Schools our mission is rooted in a belief that scholars of all ages can be leaders of positive community change. Our scholars participate in a class called Change Maker Space where they explore challenges in the community about which they are passionate and work with local experts, in and from our local community, to generate new solutions. By participating in Change Maker Space units each year through 8th grade scholars find their passion, their voice, and the agency they need to make positive contributions to the world in which they live.
Catalyst: Bremerton is a school that was designed in partnership with our community. Change Maker Space was born out of countless conversations with families and community members across our county. During these conversations a desire to see more hands-on and project based learning was expressed. Community wanted to see scholars having opportunities to build their critical hope and pride in our local community.
Change Maker Space is a weekly class that is held for 1.5 to 2 hours. Change Maker Space units typically align with learning that occurs during our academic deeper learning blocks as well as daily Sunrise sessions.
Over time, the vision for Change Maker Space is for scholars to participate in multi-age groupings and for scholars to have a strong role in determining the specific topics that are studied.
Core instruction at Catalyst: Bremerton occurs during deeper learning blocks. Scholars have one block for Humanities (Reading, Writing, Listening/Speaking, Science, and History) and one for Mathematics.
For our humanities deeper learning block we utilize the EL ELA curriculum for grades K-8. The topics of these units typically alternate between science focused and history focused units. As such Change Maker Space units follow a similar pattern.
During Change Maker Space we intentionally integrate a variety of subjects so that scholars can broaden their passions and skill sets.
Our elementary Change Maker Space units are modified versions of projects created by the team at Impact Public Schools.
Each Change Maker Space unit provides opportunities for scholars to learn more about our local and global communities. Units will often feature guest lessons from local experts and or provide field work experiences with local non-profit organizations and other entities.
In addition to complementing our EL Education units of study Change Maker Space units are also aligned with the Teaching for Justice Social Justice standards.
Each Change Maker Space unit culminates in a project or presentation which scholars highlight during a community showcase exhibition. Projects that come out of scholars' Change Maker Space units of study allow them to generate novel solutions to come of our community's most persistent challenges.
By participating in Change Maker Space from kindergarten scholars learn to use their voice to create positive change, thus fostering their own critical consciousness and leadership. Critical consciousness is the notion that once we have a strong sense of self and identity we can be freed up to identify, navigate, and challenge forces of oppression that are present in our lives and communities. Fostering this critical consciousness is the core purpose of Change Maker Space Learning.
Examples of Change Maker Space Units