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Design Thinking

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Why Design Thinking

Why even consider design thinking for your classroom? In this session we will talk about the pedagogy behind Design Thinking. We will explore how students benefit from this learner centered, real world problem solving culture of learning. Teachers will leave with a basic understanding of Design Thinking and some frameworks for guiding/catalyzing student inquiry. Whether a teacher is fully invested in Design Thinking or just exploring, any teacher will benefit from questioning strategies we explore in this workshop. .

Discovery and Empathy Building

Join us as we begin with the centerpiece of the Design Thinking Process…empathy. We will discuss and show how students engage in solving problems by sharing our classroom experiences focused on empathy building. Participants will leave with ideas for learning engagements that build empathy which can be used as part of Design Thinking or in isolation to support socio-emotional learning.

Deep Dive that leads to Define

A critical part of the Design Thinking Process is finding connections and patterns in our experiences and bringing insights to innovative solutions. We will look at the research process with young learners to clarify point of view while integrating global-mindedness to support multiple perspectives. Through video analysis of this process in a first grade classroom and discussions of early learner research approaches, participants will find practical classroom applications they can implement immediately.

Ideate—A way to Create

This is the action packed exploration on how to approach a solution to the problem. We will pose the “How might we…?” questions and present innovative tools that support the human-centered approach to innovation. The process involves students refining ideas with peer feedback to produce a prototype, whether that be a tangible product or a public message. Teachers will learn strategies for supporting peer collaboration and negotiation where student voice is honored, with a focus on deferring judgement and evaluation.

Prototype and Test

This part of Design Thinking gets us closer to the final solution. We discuss ways that this part of the process uses failure as a positive tool for solution refinement. We will also infuse Growth Mindset culture by sharing language to use in the classroom, structures for productive talk and evolving the prototype for real context in user’s life.

Live it to Learn It

Teachers will unpack and collaborate around design thinking classroom culture. We will see real world examples of how to lead learners to evaluate, reflect and learn from the design thinking process. A good part of this session will be dedicated to how we can take ‘topics and themes’ already in our curriculum and apply design thinking.

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