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Blog: Thursday, April 12th, 2018

Design Thinking in the Classroom

As John Spencer spoke about in his Shared Learning keynote, design thinking is a framework for creative problem solving from a place of empathy, understanding or wonder. Design thinkers learn about a problem’s context, experiment with solutions and test their ideas over time. As teachers delve into the Applied Design, Skill and Technologies (ADST) curriculum, many are looking for ways to integrate design thinking into their classroom. Recently, teachers engaged in the Design Thinking in the Classroom series to explore these very concepts. Teachers were provided with the ideas, materials, and support to make the design thinking cycle work for their students.

Teachers began by participating in a rapid design thinking cycle, which they referred to throughout four sessions while also learning about the different stages. For each stage, teachers experimented with learning experiences designed to support their students in developing foundational skills and mindsets, such as rapidly brainstorming and collaborating successfully. Teachers explored literacy connections through stories such as “Rosie Revere, Engineer”, further supporting growth mindset as well as critical and creative thinking. After each session, teachers took materials back to their classrooms and implemented new ideas, coming back to the group to reflect on their successes and challenges. As a learning community, they brainstormed solutions to challenges such as time and material management and concerns around language proficiency and vocabulary building.

The Design Thinking in the Classroom sessions are available to teachers from Grades 3-8 and have been a powerful place for teachers to learn about and experiment with the new curriculum.

Curriculum Helping Teacher (Elementary/Middle)