August 17, 2016

Step 4

The purpose of Step 4 is to determine the project goal (a policy or practice to change) and potential strategies, or how you plan to change that goal. You and your student group will use democratic decision-making once again to go through this process.

Use the following tools to:

Guide students in democratic decision-making
Select one policy or practice to change (your goal)
Develop a project goal and a strategy statement to guide how the change will be made.



Use this video to get a brief overview of Step Four, Goal and Strategy Selection.

Step Four Resources

A Note on Distance Learning Facilitation: In a distance learning environment, having all students work on the same project has barriers and challenges that in-class experiences do not have. As an alternative  of having all students work on the same goal and strategy(ies), feel free to give individuals the opportunity to pursue their own solutions (with your approval). 

Use the following guidelines to work through Step 4 in a distance learning setting: 

  • Use a video platform (Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, etc.) to bring the class together to debrief the major research findings from Step 3. This allows all participants to move forward with the collective knowledge, not just what they researched themselves. 
    • End this call by collectively deciding on the class goal. Your goal should be one policy or community practice that you wish to change. You can vote using the “heads down, thumbs up” method, a poll within your video platform, a Google Form, etc. during the video call. 
  • Once the goal is determined, allow students to self-reflect on how they want to make that change. Have them submit an essay, pictures, etc. to you for approval. This also allows you to group students together who have similar ideas in small teams. 
    • We have created a new Inspiration of Strategies for Your Change document that was developed specifically for distance learning. Provide this to students while they are developing their plan. 
    • Be sure that students are emphasizing the “Ask for Change” strategy category in some form. This helps create sustainable changes and incorporates important civic participation skills. 
If project teams are formed, use Trello or Backchannel to keep teams on task and monitor their progress. Your school’s tech team may also have other suggestions that are already implemented in your district.


Defining Your Goal & Strategies:
Goal and Strategy Selection Lesson Plan
Defining a Course of Action: An Activity in Project Design
Justice Equity Diversity & Inclusion (JEDI) Check
Differences between Step 2 and Step 4 Criteria
Examples & Inspiration of Strategies for Your Change
Inspiration of Strategies for Your Change: Distance Learning Environment
Project Goal and Strategy Selection Statement

Voting & Reflecting:
Strategy Selection Grid Lesson
Strategy Selection Grid for Virtual Facilitation
Co-Creating Rubrics for Project Development
Post-Goal and Strategy Selection: An Assessment