Design Thinking is a process to help up prototype, create and innovate. Design Thinking helps shift mindsets. It's from consumer mindsets, to producer mindsets. From accepting mindsets, to questioning mindsets. From passive mindsets, to active and empowered mindsets. I recently heard a colleague say that everyone, no matter their field or discipline, should learn to think like a Designer.
I've seen Design Thinking used in the lower elementary grades, in middle school, in high school, in higher education and certainly in industry.
Check out this cool lower elementary "toy invention challenge project."
Or this cool middle school project in which students were explicitly taught the Design Thinking Process in a Mindstorm Robotics challenge and then reused the process later to prototype a device that would "harness earth's energy and transform it into something that's useful for someone somewhere in the world."
Or this Applied Physics Course at Harvard that uses design challenge style of projects to teach the core content in lieu of more traditional lecture methods.
Lots of teachers frame design challenges or design challenge style of projects in their classroom. Some go further and actually teach the Design Thinking process.
Why not get started with some simple Design Challenges to get students in your class thinking like empowered designers, producers and questioners?!
Use these free Design Thinking Resources to kick start your work.
Want your students to start designing? Visit our PBL Consulting Services Page to learn more about our Deeper Learning workshop series and dive into design thinking.