As a first year teacher I am learning the ropes of school and how to be an effective and successful educator. I am interested in curriculum design and creating an effective learning space for my students. My career has taken me all the way to Seoul, South Korea to teach design and engineering as part of a STEM program.
I not only get to live in an amazing new country, and teach in a new culture but I am spending my time here exploring new countries and cities. I enjoy to hiking, running, and traveling. But I also love monkeying around and taking pictures!
Intent of Project
The intent of this mini-course is to teach educators about the design thinking process, and how they can use it to create both tangible products and to solve problems.
Learners will be able to:
1. Understand that Design Thinking is a process that can be used to create a tangible product.
2. Use Design Thinking to solve a problem.
Part 1: Intent
The Design Thinking process is an iterative problem solving process that allows for students to think through the problems they are solving. This process can be used across many different disciplines to solve all sorts of ‘problems.’ My proposed mini-course is to introduce this process to teachers and show them how to use it within their own classrooms. Teachers need to be on the top of education to make sure that we are giving our students the best possible education. According to Sandy Speicher, lead of the education team at IDEO, “Design thinking is a human-centered approach to problem-solving. It reflects how designers think and act–both mindset and tools, it’s solving problems to make the world better.” (Ark, T.) There is going to be a new divide if we don't begin to teach all students about design thinking, according to Speicher. "Design thinking fosters iterative problem solving and solution generation, making it relevant to projects in academic subjects while adding an inventive imperative highly consistent with 21st century skill sets,"(Kwek, S.). Teachers need to be knowledgeable about how to use these processes so that we are able to make sure our students are prepared for life outside of schooling.
Part 2: Gathering Information
In order to assess the possible need for a mini-course on design thinking, a survey of teachers was conducted. The survey was completed on a 4 and 5 point likert scale. This survey was taken by teachers of all disciplines in multiple grade levels. 105 teachers participated in the survey.
Part 3: Summary
The following charts are the results from the three questions asked in the needs assessment survey attached above.
Analysis of the Learner and Context
The participants in this course will be any educators who are interested in learning the design thinking process. These participants will be active learners who want to introduce a new method of teaching into their practice.
The participants in this course will need to have the following skills and knowledge:
- Actively Read
- Actively Watch Videos
- Write Clearly
- Think Creatively
- Critically Read and Evaluate
- Follow Criteria
- Clearly Convey Information
Context for Instruction
The context for this course will be a combination of these wiki pages and Google Classroom. The classroom can be joined using the code 3fa6vn. This will be a space that can be used for collaboration, discussion and additional materials within the course.
Course-level objectives Participants will be able to..
1. Identify and define the 5 stages of the design thinking process.
2. Solve a given problem using the design thinking process.
3. Evaluate a project that uses the design thinking process.
4. Identify examples of design thinking related to subject areas.
5. Create a 45 minute lesson to teach others about how to use the design thinking process.
References and Resources
Ark, T. V. (2017, February 16). Design thinking as pedagogy for teachers and students. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
Kwek, S.H. (2011). Innovation in the Classroom: Design Thinking for 21st Century Learning. (Master’s thesis). Retrieved from http://www.stanford.edu/group/redlab/cgi- bin/publications_resources.php