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The 5 Steps of Design Thinking Help Drive School Improvements

Ben Owens

Jun 14, 2021

Owens blogs about the potential for Design Thinking to transform schools.

Educators constantly strive for continuous improvement, whether refining lessons, school policies, or strategic plans. However, many improvement efforts fall short due to the lack of a systemic process. Drawing from both engineering and educational experiences, the article highlights the importance of using structured problem-solving methods like Design Thinking. This approach involves understanding and defining problems from the user's perspective, conceptualizing human-centered solutions, developing prototypes, and testing their effectiveness.

The Stanford model, with its steps of empathy, define, ideate, prototype, and test, is showcased as a powerful framework for educators. Examples include Ryan Schultz's empathy mapping to improve classroom design and Peter McFarland's use of prototyping in science projects. By embracing Design Thinking, educators can enhance their practices and drive significant, user-focused improvements. This method is not only applicable in classrooms but also extends to addressing systemic and policy issues, fostering a culture of continuous improvement and innovation.

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