Everything is design. When we hear “design thinking” we often attribute it to engineering principles or the field of Art. The truth is, design is everywhere and we can apply the design thinking process to any number of school subjects. The Declaration of Independence is a design process. Force = Mass x Acceleration is design. Language is design. Beethoven’s 5th is design. Hamlet is design. Through a variety of activities — a balance of hands-on teamwork, small group curriculum discussions, solo reflection time — we take on projects big and small that live between disciplines. We will break down the design thinking process and imagine how we might apply it in our own teaching no matter what subject we teach or what age our students. Along the way we will wrestle with both tools for handbuilding and tools found in modern innovation spaces. (No experience necessary) Topics include:
- Observation and questioning skills
- Rapid prototyping and iteration
- Critique and Feedback
- Strategies for maximizing student engagement
- Facilitating a design project
- Documentation approaches for project-based work
Schools are falling short in preparing students for a future of uncertainty and complexity. Design thinking is an invaluable tool for taking on the kinds of challenges our students will face in the future. It prioritizes process over product, and requires thinking (critically) at each step about how solve open-ended challenges. Planning with intention, designing and testing ideas, iterating based on observations, reflecting on work, and sharing knowledge are critical skills students need to face any future obstacle.