Youth can see solutions that educators and other adults often overlook.
Jayden Harris works as a youth justice advocate. He is a young adult whose calling is to activate youth to make change. A tireless champion of Black youth, Jayden supports them in developing critical consciousness and in advocating for themselves and broader social change. He supports youth-led initiatives and works with schools to elevate issues affecting youths’ ability to thrive.
Jayden’s relentless focus on youth justice places civic life high on his list of priorities for the future. He wants to make sure that Black youth and others have safe, effective avenues for influencing society. At the same time, Jayden also values recreation, leisure and play. He realizes how important fun and joy are to daily life – and to sustaining people’s spirits in face of oppression. Jayden also places a high priority on having learning environments that welcome and support Black youth, involve them in co-creating their learning journeys and draw upon culturally relevant curricula.
Jayden Harris is an avatar from IMPACT: Learning Edition, a game designed to spark conversations about the future of learning. A player standing up for his preferred future would be alert to changes such as those listed below.
- Fight the Power – What if marginalized parents rejected schools’ inadequate technology and distance learning programs, organizing their own educational and family support infrastructure?
- Fast-Forward Learning – What if learning communities adopted compressed, culturally-responsive remediation programs to enable learners with interrupted schooling to catch up to their peers?
- Jazz Up Your Brain – What if students impacted by adversity – and their families and schools – benefited from learning frameworks based on neuroscience research?
Such developments could open new avenues for advancing the aspects of society that Jayden values most and activating youth to make change.
Looking at future possibilities through Jayden’s eyes can help players remember that those possibilities could have very different impacts for different individuals. The future of learning will not be made up of one big canvas, but instead of many smaller pictures depicting specific contexts and life experiences.
IMPACT: Learning Edition puts the future in the hands of ten fictional characters like Jayden – and reminds us that the future is also in our hands. Holding a set of impact cards in your hands can make changes on the horizon feel concrete.