Start The Year Completely Differently - Design Thinking In Education

Updated: Jul 29, 2021

Design thinking is a method that comes from the world of designers. It allows us to rethink teaching and learning in our classrooms.
Designers use design thinking to create innovative objects or services appropriate for the customer within a particular context.

I will briefly describe how design thinking can lead to innovation in school and change learning, teaching, and education!

Design thinking has several stages: empathy, analysis (research), coming up with ideas for change, and examining them in the real world (Pilot). Do they work? Next, we reflect on the experience, followed by some inclusions to close the circle of learning.


I will freely describe the steps we should carry in school contexts in the first lessons of the school year to change any education setting.

1. Empathy

Get to know your students. To encourage empathy, you can boost students to talk about themself openly. Make sure you promote a non-judgmental atmosphere, show genuine interest and aspiration to build classmate relationships.

Sometimes a dialogue with your students about visual representations they created can be appropriate.


2. Analysis

Deepen your knowledge about your students. It is essential to analyze any information, including visual representations, and derive meaning from them (both the teacher and the students).

I recommend analyzing representations built by the students in-depth.

For example, mind maps that students draw to describe their thoughts and perceptions are helpful in the learning process.

Mind maps can depict students' perceptions towards friends, learning, school, and their lives.


3. Ideation

Raise ideas concerning a particular student or group of students- (choose a problem that arises from the analysis of their representations).

For example - how will you make his learning experience this year more tailored for him? Write it all down and share it with colleagues.

You can use a variety of tools to come up with ideas.

For example- Take sticky notes in a variety of colors.

Match up with a fellow teacher. In turn, each of you says one idea aloud, writes it, and listens to his colleague's statement.

After 10 minutes (and plenty of ideas), arrange the notes in groups and pick the best ideas together.

Work together to develop a strategy for working with a different student or different parents. Design new solutions to the challenge you encounter in or outside school settings.

4. Pilot

Try one of the ideas you chose and see if it works.

Ask for feedback from students, parents, and test the impact of the actions you took.


5. Reflection

Extract conclusions, improve the strategy following them, and redesign.

Then, check out another idea in the same way.

Share with colleagues and see how experiences change you and your classrooms.


6. Model

A formulated model of the innovative strategy you have developed - at the end of the process, you will be able to present the design to Colleagues. And if you write to me - I would love to post here!


For those interested - a video on Design Thinking in education by Makers Impire.


Learn more: Why Design Thinking Should Be Taught in Primary, Elementary & Middle Schools


Good luck, 21st-century teachers.

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