Learn more: Design thinking for the classroom

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Design thinking is a methodology that provides a user-centred approach to problem-solving. There are a variety of models used, but most take a four-stage approach to design development. As part of the My Voice-My School programme, students are challenged to create A School for All.

Designing A School for All is no different from designing any other product. Students will implicitly be following the Double Diamond approach to design thinking, first developed by the Design Council.

The Double Diamond approach covers four phases:

  1. Discover
    The design process starts with discovery.This involves looking at a problem in a new way, gathering new insights and opinions.This may involve speaking to a range of people and gaining new perspectives.
  2. Define
    In the second phase of the process, students will need to look at defining the problem a little more. What matters most in their design?
  3. Develop
    Students then start to develop solutions. If there is time, solutions should be prototyped, with time given for multiple iterations and testing as well as failure
  4. Deliver
    The final phase sees the product launched and shared. This may involve final test, approval and evaluation.
Subject Update Design Thinking For The Classroom Diagram

Implementing the Double Diamond

The four phases of the Double Diamond are implicit in the My Voice-My School 9-12 unit of work.

Phase 1: Discover
In the first three weeks, students discover more about global education and some of the issues that the global community is tackling. They explore the themes contained within the UN Global Goal 4 Quality Education. Students will also gain a fresh perspective by talking to their peers across borders via video conference.

Phase 2: Define
During the second phase students try to make sense of their ideas. During the next four weeks, they start to define the priorities for improving education using surveys, and visualising this information with charts and other tools. This is an essential step that includes the whole school community and makes the final design more likely to be universal and inclusive.

Phase 3: Develop
During weeks 8 to 10, the students work in groups to build their Schools for All, including the information they have discovered through surveys, research and speaking to their partner school. They will need to follow the criteria laid out in the design brief.

Phase 4: Deliver
During the final stage of their creative process, students will launch their work. They will share their presentations with the entire class and with their partner schools in the final two weeks. Students may also wish to present their work to a wider audience, involving teachers, school leadership, the local community, and decision-makers in education.

Benefits to students
Design thinking is a great tool to bring to the classroom, as it:

  • Encourages curiosity and engagement with real problems and issues
  • Prioritises collaboration and involves working in teams, gaining new understanding and project work
  • Promotes global citizenship through connecting classroom work with the global context
  • Cross-cultural learning incorporating multiple perspectives
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