Design thinking has become a bit of a buzzword in education over the past few years. In our classes I do not want it to become (and have no intent in it becoming) reduced to a buzzword.
Design thinking is a process and a mindset. It cannot be reduced to a simple checklist. Lessons and projects for students should include empathy, experimentation, prototyping, reflection, and redesign.
Abandon prescriptive scenarios. Facilitate activities that let students “problem find,” practice empathy, interpret issues and find meaning leading to the generation of new ideas, experiments, and iterations.
Students can learn these valuable skills centered on empathy, collaboration, prototyping, and iteration if we set out to create opportunities to include these mindsets in our instruction.
The interesting thing about design thinking is that teachers are inherently designers of instruction, beginning with empathy for their students’ needs. Ultimately, we need to support our teachers with time to create projects that allow the students to practice design thinking.
Here are some great books to introduce kids to these mindsets:
Here’s a good resource to get started: