Students solving real problems.
The Solutionary Program provides educators with the tools, strategies, and resources to teach their students to examine complex interconnected issues through a systems-thinking lens and within the context of their subject areas.
It is an academic program that provides a framework and process for students to make a meaningful difference in their schools, communities, and the world in ways that are just, humane, and sustainable.
Through the program, students (usually working in teams) select a problem to solve, conduct research, and then develop, refine, and implement a solution. The solution must address the root systems that cause the problem and do the most good and least harm for people, animals, and the environment.
The program culminates in an event at which students present their solutions to an audience that includes policy-makers, stakeholders, and media, who can spread their ideas.
The Solutionary Program engages students in caring about, learning about, and solving complex, interconnected issues in their communities and in our world. It gives them a voice and stake in their future, honors and nurtures their passions and concerns, and allows them to experience real-world accomplishments. In a practical, engaging, and authentic context, students develop vital skills in: effective researching, writing, public speaking, critical thinking, creative problem-solving, systems-thinking, consensus building, civics, collaboration and project management.
Solutions-focused education provides a framework and process for investigating current problems that affect humans, the environment, and other species and helps people gain the knowledge and skills to become solutionaries.
Ideal for middle and high school learning environments, the program can be integrated into core curriculum, created as an elective, or used in an after-school or club setting.
The Solutionary Program is currently in phase two of its design and development. IHE is working closely with a diverse group of teachers and schools in 2017/18 to refine the program. The professional development training that accompanies the guidebook will not be available to the public until next year, when the program expands.
Until then, we encourage you to take advantage of our training, resources, and support that is available to help you prepare for your own Solutionary Program in 2018:
- Get on our Solutionary Program Mailing List—stay updated on the program’s offerings.
- Download our Solutionary Unit—a flexible, ready-to-use sample unit that explores the relationship between the primary causes of death in the United States and the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico (FREE).
- Start Using our Free Classroom Resources—such as lesson plans, books, movies, Pinterest boards, and blog posts.
- Read the book by IHE co-founder and president Zoe Weil, The World Becomes What We Teach, —the why and how-to operationalize solutions-focused education.
- Watch Zoe’s Video—“The World Becomes What You Teach,” an inspiring talk that sets the stage for solutions-focused education.
- Professional Development Support —IHE offers online graduate degrees and individual courses to deepen your knowledge and skills of solutions-focused education.