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‘But what can I do about it?’ Using design thinking in the classroom to increase advocacy in Year 11 girls

Written by: Adam Giblin
10 min read
Adam Giblin, Northwood College for Girls, UK Introduction Problem-solving has always been a fundamental aspect of education. In the humanities, the problems with which we deal are often centred on society and justice, with no clear right or wrong solutions – only better or worse ones. Many of the better solutions relate to particular advocacy behaviours, and thus the most vital skill with which we can equip our students is empathy. Giving them an understanding of how empathy can translate into youth advocacy is just as important. Engaging in youth advocacy provides a way for young people to lobby for change to the structures and institutions that are necessary for their long-term health and life prospects (Ballard and Ozer, 2016). This is particularly relevant for girls, as the social structures that need reforming tend to disadvantage young women. The issue for us is that students often lack the understanding of how they can effect change, and thus stop looking for ways in which t

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