Issues: We Work On
Prajna Consulting works with schools and families on issues related to life beyond the classroom. In the area of Ethics and Human Development, we focus on choices young people are faced with that will shape who they become as adults. We present the latest evidence around current adolescent issues and share models and curriculum that address those issues. We talk about the power of young people owning their own choices and decisions rather than allowing other people’s choices to happen to them. We help young people to be assertive rather than passive in their life choices. We work with families and schools to support that idea.
In addition, we explore ideas related to creating sustainable change not only in the lives of young people but also in the larger community. Many schools’ Community Involvement, Service Learning, or Social Justice programs can complement and deepen the learning of their Ethics and Human Development curricula. Young people looking for identity and to make decisions that reflect their own and their families’ values find great meaning and application in the experiential and intentional facets of an effective service program. Prajna has the experience and perspective to support schools’ efforts to develop new or strengthen existing community-based programs.
We work with businesses and non-profits to complement their missions with community involvement programs that participate in and strengthen their surrounding communities. While believing this is the right and just choice for all businesses to make, evidence shows the positive impact community involvement programs have on the mission and profitability of the businesses themselves. Providing opportunities for employee teams to work together in an elementary tutoring program, for example, allows them a chance to strengthen relationships with co-workers and broaden perspectives on their own communities, both of which lead to higher performance in the workplace. In addition to promoting positive action in the community we also provide unique in-service workshops on Stress, Communication, Conflict Resolution, and Sexual Harassment in the work place.
Practices: We Work By
Prajna works using an array of methods designed to meet the needs of its clients. All our approaches share several common elements—they are not dry, they are consistently relevant, and they will keep you awake. Our approach is always fresh, lively, and highly interactive.
Our experience as school faculty and non-profit staff informs our approach in a unique way. Like most consulting firms, we have extensive training in organizational diagnosis, but unlike some, we also share the day-to-day experience of our clients. This fact sits prominently in the foundation of our practices. We work from the premise that our clients hold the answers to the issues, as much as we do. Our responsibility is to uncover those answers together. To meet that responsibility, we use a number of methods, including organizational diagnosis, curriculum development, workshop facilitation, and speaking engagements.
We utilize Organizational Diagnosis in situations where some form of institutional or curricular change is being considered. This allows our clients to obtain a fresh, thorough, and objective review of existing realities in order to be certain that changes are needed and, if so, to develop and integrate that change in an effective and sustainable way. Our approach is informed by our experience working closely with, being employed by, and studying the same types of organizations and institutions that hire us. We come from real experience, not from mere “consulting theories.”
Prajna offers Curriculum Development as a natural next step after evaluating an existing human development, ethics, or community involvement program. Our curricula are not hypothetical. Charis Denison has written, developed, and taught courses on all of the issues we work on. Prajna’s curricula are re-evaluated and updated every academic year, based on changes in national trends, student or school experience, and general learning success in the classroom. Additionally, we work with many schools who are considering starting programs in those areas, and, if desired, follow our assessments with curriculum recommendations.
Our Talks & Workshops take on many forms depending on the needs and size of our client’s the community. With schools, students, families, and businesses among our clients, we are able to design unique events and present what we see happening as it relates directly to our clients’ worlds. Subsequently, we work with our clients to integrate new information into their own lives and communities. Our workshops and talks often receive high praise for their unconventional, yet, direct and relevant approach.
All of our work may be built around Groups and/or Individuals. In our ethics and human development work, for example, our clients’ goals guide decisions about whether to work with a community leader one-on-one or with community members in groups. In other cases, we use a combination of individual and group interviews to gather information for a curricular assessment or of individual and small group meetings following a community-wide workshop.