This year I am part of Core Education’s eFellowship program. The purpose of this scholarship is to “inspire transformational practice through inquiry.” For my inquiry I am looking to explore Design Thinking which, for those who read my blog or follow me on twitter, is something that I have been passionately using lately. This year for me is a chance to put a critical eye on its use.
At our first meeting of the year in late January, we got to explore the purpose of our inquiry and here is what I managed to generate:
Through reflection on this, more reading and a skype session with Louise Taylor who is in charge of our research from Core Education, I have put together the following plan for my inquiry:
How do teachers and students experience the design thinking process?
I have been engaging with Design Thinking for 2 years. Initially through reading the theory and examples of people’s practice and then through applying it to creating the structures for our new school. I have then applied Design Thinking as a pedagogical approach in my classes since the beginning of 2014. It has felt like a more powerful version of inquiry through it’s focus on developing empathy, students iterating their understanding and then having to use their knowledge rather than just remembering information. I have also seen many other teachers in New Zealand, Australia and the US starting to use it as a pedagogical approach. All of this feeling or hunch of Design Thinking’s effectiveness that we are feeling has not yet been supported by any research that I know of.
The values that are important to me as an educator are to develop active, critical citizenship in my students. This means they will leave school aware of what is happening in the world and with the knowledge of how they can make change in society. A social justice lens means that I strive for my students to have a disposition towards questioning, critical thinking and creating a better society.
This research project aims to gather the student perspective on Design Thinking. It will then provide a comparison with teacher aims and perspectives on using Design Thinking as a pedagogical approach.
These are my higher level questions… what am i curious to learn and come out with at the end
How is Design Thinking influencing learning?
Are there differences between student and teacher experiences using Design Thinking?
Does Design Thinking lead to dispositional change that could impact on how students act in society?
Is design thinking impacting on student’s ability to empathise?
Data gathering questions
What is your experience with Design Thinking?
How does Design Thinking influence your learning?
Has Design Thinking had any impact on the way you operate outside of classes?
In your experience, what parts of Design Thinking have the biggest impact on learning?
What parts of Design Thinking have you transferred to situations where you weren’t following a DT process?
What would you say are the most important parts of the Design Thinking Process?
Have you had any discussions about Ethics in regards to gaining empathy?
What difference has Design Thinking made to your attitude towards social problems in society?
Next week we will be meeting again as a group to critique plans and develop our data gathering. If you have ideas or critique on my plan thus far or on who I could interview please do get in contact!