The Shadow a Student Challenge is not the first attempt to encourage school leaders to walk in their students’ shoes. Educators, ethnographers, and researchers have long known the value of shadowing, especially to increase empathy for students. Many resources also encourage the practice, offer guidance for the experience, and provide tools to help educators use the insights they gain (Ginsberg, 2012, Pope, Brown, & Miles, 2015, and Wiggins, 2014).
The purpose in this challenge is to amplify this practice, create a community of leaders driven to make change in their schools, and support them to take action toward Deeper Learning. The Hewlett Foundation outlines six evidence-based, interrelated competencies that make up Deeper Learning
: mastering rigorous academic content, learning how to think critically and solve problems, working collaboratively, communicating effectively, directing one’s own learning, and developing an academic mindset — a belief in one’s ability to grow.