March 12, 2012

Design Thinking: not just for Design and Technology class

Design Thinking father Tim Brown blogged a while ago this great pleading from some of Britain's best designers and design educators for Government and schools to heighten the importance of design, technology, design thinking and prototyping skills through the vehicle of engineering subjects such as design and technology. It's a great clip, with many great reasonings as to why making learning concrete makes so much sense.

However, as impatient as I ever am, it's not enough.

 Design thinking - learning how to scope out and solve problems within seemingly vast areas of knowledge and experience - is something I believe belongs as a framework across the curriculum. It's as core a skill as literacy and numeracy, but a lot less well understood by teachers outside the design technology world. It needs the time, attention and thinking power of educators to be understood as a framework that contains so many of what we already know are powerful learning and teaching strategies for student improvement.

With NoTosh, I've been fortunate to foster and see the beginnings of this whole-school approach to design thinking in schools around the world, with our partners in the UK, US, Australia and the Far East. The Design Thinking School is taking hold in many areas, and challenging the status quo in some painful ways in others.

But challenging the status quo, that content cannot be covered unless a teacher or day-by-day curriculum is 'delivering' it, is what we're all about. And, school by school, that sea change - design thinking throughout the school, not just in the design technology class - is happening.


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I think design and technology are really important to Schools and Industry because these tools
encourages pupils to consider design problems (usually the problems other people face), to develop a range of practical skills associated with modern industry, and lots of benefits.

I am currently enrolled an instructional technology and design program through Purdue University. From this, I have grab my own learning reins and driven toward my personal interests. As a result, my life is becoming more fulfilled and worthwhile. Without these critical thinking processes and creative endeavors, I was beginning to lose my passion for teaching.

Although I am an adult immersed within design and technology studies, I believe my life and knowledge-base is expanding exponentially. Starting students at an early age and fostering creative efforts is essential for motivating students to see the value in lifelong learning, analysis, critical thinking, etc. I would say design and technology make learning concrete in an abstract sort of way.
Thank you for the thought provoking post and links.

thank you for information

Great read. I think particularly when you're younger, being inspired by teachers and those around you encourages learning and creativity, so it is something that must be guided to a certain extent.

Though I agree with Dan that at an older age being responsible for your own learning is important, you're never too young to be taught new skills.

Excellent to see support for implementing frameworks to encourage design thinking across the curriculum.

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About Ewan

Ewan McIntosh is the founder of NoTosh, the no-nonsense company that makes accessible the creative process required to innovate: to find meaningful problems and solve them.

Ewan wrote How To Come Up With Great Ideas and Actually Make Them Happen, a manual that does what is says for education leaders, innovators and people who want to be both.

What does Ewan do?

Module Masterclass

School leaders and innovators struggle to make the most of educators' and students' potential. My team at NoTosh cut the time and cost of making significant change in physical spaces, digital and curricular innovation programmes. We work long term to help make that change last, even as educators come and go.

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