Leading With Design Thinking

I spent a great deal of time at the end of Term 2 focusing my thoughts on how Design Thinking applies to educational leadership. This is something that we have been doing at Hobsonville Point Secondary School, but a couple of presentations I did in Term 2 meant that I had to clarify my thoughts about what it really meant to lead with Design Thinking.

For me, part of why I find Design Thinking an effective approach to school leadership is captured in this quote:

Design Thinking is a Human-centred process (or mindset) for dealing with open, complex problems. Now, to me, ‘open, complex problems’ sums up education in a nutshell. And the focus on empathy that a Design Thinking approach brings is ideal for focusing on the right question – the cause of issues arising rather than the symptoms. Continue reading

Problem Finding and Student Ownership

This term I have been co-teaching a module with Pete McGhie that has had students focusing on our developing neighbourhood, Hobsonville Point, as a place. By investigating this place we have looked to find a need facing residents and then design a product that would improve their life here.

After initial lessons focusing on developing an understanding of how place, food and culture interact as concepts we went out to explore our surroundings:

After this exploration we focused on generating as many problems as possible that we saw in the neighbourhood.

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Once we had brainstormed, shared and discussed the possible problems it was time to start defining the core problem as each group saw it. Continue reading

A Culture of Prototyping

I have been thinking a lot lately about the diagram below which covers the elements of a Design Thinking Mindset. This is the first post in a series I hope to publish over the next fortnight covering how I see these developing at Hobsonville Point Secondary School.

Elements of a Design Thinking Mindset from dSchool K12 Wiki

Elements of a Design Thinking Mindset from dSchool K12 Wiki

A Culture of Prototyping can be quite scary for teachers (and particularly school leaders) to start developing. This is because it requires all members of the staff to have no fear of failure. Continue reading