Nevada Succeeds launched the InspirED Global Fellowship with partner Sands in July 2020 to help transform education in Nevada’s public schools, by looking to Singapore’s education system—one of the most internationally respected systems in the world—for lessons to develop comprehensive, real-time innovations to implement in Nevada. Initially conceived as an in-person, immersive learning opportunity, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated a different approach.
The newly realized, all-virtual format allowed the Fellows to immediately begin working to implement their learning. “One of the most exciting pieces of our learning has been recognizing not just what the Singaporean education system does, but how they ensure clarity, coherence and alignment from an educator’s pre-service experiences through their ongoing development,” said Jeanine Collins, Nevada Succeeds executive director. “Singapore’s willingness to ask, ‘what’s next’ in education has been most inspiring to our fellows during a moment that is demanding all of us to redefine success.”
The InspirED Global Fellowship consists of three phases, including Empathize, Experience and Enact. Phase 1, Empathize, started with a cadre of Nevada education professionals, the Fellows of Design Team 1, researching and interacting with local and international partners to understand and be inspired by Singapore’s education system. In Phases 2 and 3, the Fellows are designing prototypes of innovations for Nevada education while working with the Nevada State Department of Education to create the policy conditions for sustainable, structural impact.
With the Experience phase, the Fellows are identifying specific educational needs rooted in inequities, and through Enact, they are developing working innovations to address those needs. At bi-weekly workshop sessions, Design Team 1 is evolving their projects, divided into two key categories: deeper learning for students, and talent development for educators, tackling education innovation from both ends of the spectrum.
“We believe that those closest to the challenges are the ones best positioned to enact meaningful solutions,” Collins said. “By bringing a diverse team of educators together in conversation with policymakers and leaders, we believe we can generate greater clarity and coherence among the adults so all educators and students can get what they need to thrive.”
The InspirED Global Fellowship has grounded its approach to learning and leading in human-centered design with an equity focus. By asking how educators can work together to redefine success for those furthest from opportunity while engaging those voices in the feedback and reflection process, Fellows are leading change. The solutions they develop will affect learners right now in distance education and are steps toward a more equitable system of learning and teaching; they will continue to engage the community in feedback cycles as their work evolves. “The time is now,” Collins said. “To challenge our assumptions about success, to address the inequities which have always created barriers and to leverage new practices into small yet significant forward steps to sustain what's possible.”