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Why Co-Design Is Critical for Transforming P-12 Education: Insights from Effective to Great Education

By Laura Thomas

Photo by: Kindel Media

Effective to Great Education is a technology company that studies education, concentrating on the culture, atmosphere, and well-being of P-12 schools. We believe in working together with communities to create solutions, but many people wonder what co-design or co-creation means. This blog aims to explain how we at ETGE define co-design and why it's crucial in developing our products.


To start, we use co-design/co-creation to tackle challenges in school culture and wellness education within school communities and create products. This involves educators, students, parents, support experts, school leaders, and community stakeholders working with us to design solutions for mental health and well-being education. This approach influences our decisions, maintain inclusiveness, and be creative in making wellness a priority in learning.


The significant advantage of using community-based co-design is that it leads to better decisions and noticeable impacts when done correctly. ETGE relies on community input in every stage of testing, like our early adopter program, where participants' experiences shape how our products go to market. This collaborative process ensures our products meet the community's needs. Working together makes everyone feel involved and invested in the success of our products.


Inclusivity and representation are crucial to us, and community-based co-creation helps us practice and strengthen this core value. By involving diverse community members, we better understand and respect each others experiences. Considering diverse perspectives leads to a sense of belonging and confidence in the product. Participants feel they are helping create solutions, not just receiving them. When people from different backgrounds have a say, fair outcomes addressing the community's unique challenges result. This empowerment and sense of ownership make people committed to helping the project last.


Our process begins by actively engaging those most affected by our solution - the school communities. They know a lot about their challenges and resources. By listening to them, we gain insights that help create solutions that fit their needs. Understanding the community ensures that the solutions will be something they want to use in the long run and will be sustainable. Involving the community early on helps identify and fix problems before they become too big, saving resources, energy, and money. When our school communities are part of the design process, they are more likely to support the final product, which is crucial for long-term success.


In conclusion, community-based co-design is a fundamental approach at Effective to Great Education, driving us to bring about desired solutions for school community well-being. By involving the community to make improved decisions, promote inclusivity, encourage creativity, and focus on sustainability, we lead the way as a sustainable social justice education tech company. As school communities face challenges, our dedication to community-based co-design becomes a spark, bringing people together, inspiring innovation, and leaving a lasting positive impact on education. Collaborating with Effective to Great Education, school communities possess the ability to shape the future of education and create enduring positive change for society.


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