Tools for Change

Use these resources to lead your team through a design journey that surfaces solutions for students furthest from opportunity in your school community. Work through each phase in order or choose a specific phase that best fits your team's needs.


Browse all the tools and resources that make up the Co-Designing Schools Toolkit.

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Foundation for your design journey

Equitable Learning Practices
A collection of 19 practices based on research in learning science and culturally relevant pedagogy, supported by school case studies.
Change Framework
Our theory of change helps support you to catalyze change in your school community towards meaningful learning and belonging.
The Case for Belief
Our latest report that presents five years' of TGxSR work to build educators' collective sense of belief in each other - the key to leading equitable school change.
Building Blocks of Belief

An overview of the five essential building blocks for developing belief in schools to create equitable change.

Community Health Framework

Activate individuals to work together to build trusting relationships that form the foundation of change. Use this tool to reflect on the health of your community, and identify strengths and areas for growth.

Coach Profile

Identify your aspirations as a co-design coach, and self-assess for the strengths and growth areas that you bring to creative leadership.


A one-stop shop for descriptions and translations of some of the terms and concepts presented throughout the Toolkit.

Virtual Collaboration Best Practices

A list of tips, principles, and resources for adapting Toolkit activities for virtual settings.

1.    Build your team

Build Your Team

An overview of this phase's goals, activities, and desired outcomes.

Community Reflection

Begin by looking in and out to assess team dynamics and opportunities to influence your school community.

Paseo Circles

Participants explore their identities as leaders by examining personal beliefs and values and how they shape decisions and behaviors in their leadership roles.

Mindset Mapping

A creative way to physically represent your team's mindsets.


Articulate a set of working agreements to ground your group in a shared sense of how to collaborate.

Gratitude Circles

Share appreciation for fellow team members to transform a team's energy and build a stronger bond.

"Ask Me About..."

Elevate the diverse and unique expertise of individuals on your team.

2.    Define your aspiration

Define Your Equity Aspiration

An overview of this phase's goals, activities, and desired outcomes.

Lens of Systemic Oppression

Reflect on your own and others' life experiences as a group to develop an equity lens that will help you draft an authentic and specific aspiration.

Memorable Learning Experience

Make connections between transformational learning experiences, meaningful learning, and equity.

Equity Aspiration Writing: Partner Interview

Develop a first draft of an Equity Aspiration that articulates a vision of meaningful learning for students.

Equity Aspirations & Behaviors

List observable behaviors aligned to each Equity Aspiration that allow participants to articulate what it would look like if their Aspiration became reality.

Team Equity Aspiration Writing

Support the collaborative development of a team aspiration that considers equity in voice, allowing each person to contribute to the shared vision.

3.   Get to know your students

Get to Know Your Students

An overview of this phase's goals, activities, and desired outcomes.


Develop a shared understanding about the insights from shadowing students. Use them to revisit equity aspirations and consider potential hacks to meet student needs.

Empathy Activities

An alternative to the student shadow experience. Consider interviewing or observing students identified in your equity aspiration and generate insights that can guide your design process.

Meaningful Learning Snapshot

Develop a shared understanding about how meaningful learning is showing up in your school. Use it to revisit equity aspirations and consider potential hacks.

4.   Start hacking

Start Hacking

An overview of this phase's goals, activities, and desired outcomes.

An Introduction to the Hack Process

Get familiar with the hack process by designing solutions for everyday situations.

Hack Refresh

Practice team hacking with Mockups, a game that requires creative design solutions for fun, silly challenges.

Equitable Learning Practices

A collection of 19 research-based practices, supported by case studies from innovative schools.

Design Levers

A list of nine resources you can leverage to progress toward your Equity Aspiration.

Brainstorming Hacks

Generate a long list of hacks that are aligned to your Equity Aspiration.

Selecting an Equitable Learning Practice

School teams will decide on an Equitable Learning Practice to explore and hack towards.

5.   Observe and understand your impact

Observe and Understand Your Impact

An overview of this phase's goals, activities, and desired outcomes.

Uncommon Measures

Forecast the impact of hacks before they happen or uncover early indicators that things are moving in the right direction.

Methods to Collect Feedback

After your team has implemented your hacks, ask students to reflect on the change. Consider unconventional measures to encourage and collect feedback.

Hack Story Share

Facilitate a discussion to reflect on the outcomes of your team's hacks. Invite individuals to share stories and encourage feedback from the group to deepen future impact.

6.    Showcase your work

Showcase the Work

An overview of this phase's goals, activities, and desired outcomes.

Design Portfolio

Synthesize and celebrate your team's design journey.

Creating Change in Schools Discussion

A structured discussion to address the question, "Where do we go from here?"

Closing Ceremony

Consider a closing ceremony to recognize your team's design thinking capabilities. Refer back to the "Build Your Team" phase for an appropriate closing to the design journey.

Foundation for your design journey

1.    Build your team

2.    Define your aspiration

3.    Get to know your students

4.    Start hacking 

5.    Observe and understand your impact

6.    Showcase the work