Applying Design Thinking to Education.
Why be creative or innovative? Why not just take incremental baby steps on the ladder of progress? It’s safe and comfortable!
To stay in the warm cocoon of the status quo would be to refuse and negate the very principles that drive innovation.
Mankind has never rested on its laurels from the first squalid cave dwellings to the great pyramids of Egypt; from the humble bonfire to the Lighthouse at Alexandria. We have forever pushed the boundaries.
Yet today, the world is mired by skill gaps and an education system that is outdated.
Children need to be imbued with skills that will have lasting relevance in an ever-morphing world. Where they see problems as a natural occurrence, solutions are what must follow. Being relevant in the future predicated on finding creative yet sustainable solutions.
This thought needs to be seeded within the next generation. Children need to think innovatively; to help them find ways to tackle complex problems. And as educators, it is our responsibility to find methodologies that inspire innovation.
Design thinking is one such methodology.
It is a human-centered approach that constantly seeks solutions that will positively impact them while being sustainable in the long and short run.
This involves various stages and provides a template that can be employed across a wide spectrum of issues.
And it is the principles of Design Thinking, which are applied in our Problem Based Learning and open space learning classroom Pedagogy. A process that prepares our learners for any eventuality that life might throw their way.
Learning at Vega involves multiple steps that empower our students with an in-depth understanding of real-world problems and how to find solutions using this knowledge and real collaboration.
Step 1 – Research:
Understand the nature of the problem, research all its facets. A deeper study reveals the concept in its entirety.
Step 2 – Ideate:
Here children put the heads together get each other’s views on the issue at hand. Real collaboration and diversity of thought make for richer outcomes.
Step 3- Choose:
Evaluate each of the solutions while picking the most appropriate one that ticks all the boxes.
Step 4 – Learn:
Gaining knowledge about all the factors that affect the solution to the problem at hand.
Step 5 – Implement:
Implement the solution/s based on in-depth knowledge about the problem.
Step 7 – Analyse:
How the solution functions while seeking to understand and ways it can be improved with the passage of time
Step 8 – Define:
Reflect on the relationship between problem and solution. A template solution for similar future problems.
Design Thinking principles aim at inculcating, incubating and developing an armory of future skills that children will require in a world that is ever so dynamic and amorphous.
Principles that are a way of life, every day at Vega.