Reimagining Learning Through Design Thinking

by | 12.1.15

Curious about how to use design thinking in your classroom? Heard the term and not sure exactly what it means? This week, we’re continuing a conversation around design thinking and what it means to you, and we want to hear from you on Teacher2Teacher’s social media channels.

First up, a definition: Design thinking is a creative problem-solving approach that engenders discovery, creativity and experimentation in students. And how can it make a difference in the classroom? According to Engag(ED) Exchange Detroit emcee Nicholas Provenzano, it gives students the opportunity to take a more active role in their education:

“Design thinking is really using a creative mindset to tackle problems in the classroom and the world as a whole. It’s tackling these issues from a different perspective than the teacher up front telling kids to write stuff down and then testing them on it. It’s giving kids the opportunity to look at the things that need to be learned and choosing different avenues to learn and explore. The students get more out of it because they’re invested and taking an active role in how they’re going to learn. It’s an alternative to the traditional model of education that we’ve seen for many decades.”

Interested in learning more about design thinking? Join us at our Engag(ED) Exchange Detroit event on Thursday, December 3!

Engag(ed) Exchange is a unique event series that brings teachers together. The goal is to forge meaningful connections, exchange ideas and learn from leaders in the field while discovering untapped inspiration and creativity. We’re partnering with the Henry Ford Learning Institute to bring you this free event from 5-8:30 pm on Thursday at the Waterview Loft in Detroit.

Key highlights of the Detroit event include:

  • An Idea Exchange Wall, where we’ll collectively answer a prompt centered around design thinking. Responses will build off of previous responses and create a collaborative dialogue to inspire action beyond the event.
  • live performance by Lost Voices, featuring Darius Simpson, an award-winning performance poet and activist, and Scout Elizabeth Bostley, a nationally competitive poet.
  • Empowering Innovative Thinkers and Resourceful Lifelong Learners: Led by Deborah Parizek, executive director of the Henry Ford Learning Institute, this conversation will center around the application of design thinking principles to both enhance learning and help students think more creatively and innovatively, coming up with new ideas and solutions for complex challenges.
  • Change Agents: Design Thinking for Transformation: Featuring Cornetta Lane, creative solutions manager at One Detroit Credit Union, and Shelley Danner, co-director of Challenge Detroit, this fireside chat will highlight tangible examples of leveraging design thinking principles to support learning in the classroom and how they can be applied to yield collaborative discovery and innovation in the real world. The chat will be moderated by Ronda Alexander, program manager of STEM Initiatives at Ford Next Generation Learning, which provides five Detroit schools with training and professional development to support instruction in STEM-themed programs, including design thinking.
  • hands-on, creative activity to engage with and take inspiration from for your own classroom and community.

Join the conversation and help shape it by contributing your thoughts, sharing resources and discussing best practices around using design thinking in education. Use the hashtag #EngagedExchange — we’ll be sharing your posts on Twitter @teacher2teacher. And if you live in or near the Detroit area, we hope to see you there!

Learn more about and register for the event here.


About the Author


Teacher2Teacher Team
Teacher2Teacher Team

Teacher2Teacher is a community that shares effective practices and innovations so educators can connect and grow together.


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