Design Advocacy & Education: Designing Voice

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The offering under Designing Voice: Engagement was designed and developed by Lena Lin and myself . We created a Culturally Engaged-Learning System (C.E.L. System) that would: - Help students embrace and nurture a deeper understanding and respect of their own culture. - Increase student participation and enhance their understanding of academic subjects - Provide an outlet for creative exploration and expression - Be implemented with manageable investments of time and money - Be adaptable and flexible to the educator/student needs This engaged-learning tool aims to encourage educators and students to creatively explore their culture in new ways while simultaneously improving academic competencies. Built around a project-based learning experience, it provides deeper understanding of both cultural and academic concepts, helping students develop creative and innovative problem solving skills needed in the real world. The educators and learners are aided in this process by a set of C.E.L. cards and an interactive game poster, along with this Educators Guide. Besides step-by-step instructions on how to use this education tool, the Educators Guide provides an understanding of the education and design concepts that helped shape it - namely the STEAM movement, Arts Integration (A.I.) and Design Thinking.

Designing Voice
"Designing Voice is a project that resulted from the 2012 Fall Design Advocacy Class on Immigration and Identity at Pratt Institute. The class began as a collaboration between the Graduate Communication Department at Pratt, CLACS (the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies) at NYU, Indocumentales and several New York public school teachers on residency with NYU. The goal of this class was to assess the curricular needs around the theme of immigration and identity focusing on US Mexico migration in K-12 and find innovated ways to assist the teachers with their lessons using design thinking methodologies and communication skills. 
This term long collaboration resulted in three projects that will be offered through the CLACS website titled Designing Voice. Each of the projects speaks to a specific aspect of voice.
The Designing Voice: Expression lesson presents a set of teaching tools to promote the use of student voice for creative expression. It explores how students can use design-thinking methodology to address a communication challenge and create a visual solution. 
Designing Voice: Engagement is an engaged-learning tool that encourages educators and students to creatively explore their culture in new ways while simultaneously improving academic competencies.
Designing Voice: Language is a workbook that allows identity exploration and reflection through the usage of multiple languages (English + Spanish, or English used at home + English used at school, or English +  Drawing). The workbook contains mini assignments, some of which are based on a short documentary and on a wordless picture book.
"We hope that these projects will find their way into many classrooms across the country!"
Excerpt from Designing Voice Introduction by Gala Narezo
Professor and Co-founder of Public Project at Pratt
Other notable members of this collaborative effort are:
- Jon Dicus  who worked with Gala Narezo to develop the overall branding for Designing Voice.
- Designing Voice: Expression was undertaken in a collaborative effort between Mona 
- Designing Voice: Language was developed by  by Sarah Alfarhan as part of her final thesis.

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