Chad Keister moves through the library at NCSSM, dropping in on students in his Contemporary Challenges in Economics class as they work in groups of four or five in remote corners and quiet study rooms.

For the last three weeks, the students have been trying to figure out how a company that employs blind or visually impaired people can add 200 new employees to its workforce, expand its business services, and efficiently manage the additional workload.

Driving Keister’s class is a solutions-finding approach developed by District C, a Chapel Hill-based non-profit committed to coaching high school students in the fine art of collaborative and creative problem solving incorporating diverse perspectives. In the eyes of District C, this new way of learning will better prepare students for the real world jobs of the future.

For Keister’s class, time is ticking down; workable solutions are due in one week.

Keister completes his rounds, then retreats to a table in the library’s center to give his students space to work.

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Originally published Apr. 12, 2019.