Strauss, Valerie. “Perspective | What Is ‘Design Thinking’? And Why Does It Belong In Classrooms?” The Washington Post, WP Company, 8 Oct. 2019, http://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2019/10/08/what-is-design-thinking-why-does-it-belong-classrooms/.
Summary: The article shares a modified chapter of the recently-published book, “Designed to Learn: Using Design Thinking to Bring Purpose and Passion to the Classroom.” The article profiles Fauquier High School in Virginia, and illustrates its use of design thinking to create an interdisciplinary mural which was created by students. The project was spearheaded by one of the school’s teachers in order to highlight the connections between the various disciplines, and to create unity. This project came together in large part to the use of design thinking, which focuses on understanding the applications of the content learned. In other words, the focus is on real-world applications. There are five principles which guide design thinking: “understand for empathy; identify and research; communicate to form innovative ideas; prototype and test; repeat and reflect.” Instead of reading and writing about labor unions, students researched about child labor rights, and made connections to their own consumption by learning the country of origin of the clothes they were wearing, so rather than learning about unions, they are experiencing the impact of the problem which leads to the formation of unions. In this way, they are prepared to contribute to solving the problem. Design thinking focuses on the why of learning, so that students understand how the information can be used. Rather than learning passively, design thinking asks students to apply the knowledge as it is learned. It assumes that young students are capable of creating change, and that learning does not occur in a vacuum. It shifts the greater weight toward student voices, empowering them to have an impact on their community.
Reflection: Though I am familiar with the process of inquiry thinking, design thinking was new to me. After watching several videos that explained the process, I enjoyed this article which showed it in application. The purpose of the article is certainly to introduce readers to the idea of design thinking, but also to draw attention to the excerpted text. Since I am now looking to purchase the book, I’d say the article was successful in its purpose.