Design Thinking

Photos in this week’s Inspire (St Paul Lutheran School Newsletter) provide an insight into last week’s Year 5 Learning Exhibition.

This unit of work focussed on the amount of waste and poverty in the world. The Year 5 teachers, Miss Burgan and Miss Baldock, challenged the students to ‘problem find’ before problem-solving. This created a diverse set of responses from students who offered up solutions in the form of products, enterprises or inventions to deal with waste in the world. To respond to the challenge of this unit, the teachers skilfully guided students through the ‘Design Thinking’ process. Design Thinking is the name of a recognised innovation method used by many of the leading companies and corporations around the world. The real benefit of Design Thinking is seeing how students develop ideas as they go through the process. In the case of this unit, students were asked to boldly send their ideas to an expert in the field they were working in. Students sent ideas to engineers, environmental organisations, designers, media outlets and local councils, just to name a few, and received responses and very professional and valuable feedback on their designs.

The learning wall outside the Year 5 rooms displays just how well students accepted this critiquing of their work and built the feedback into their final designs. As an educational strategy, Design Thinking offers teachers a model of inquiry that challenges students to find solutions to complex problems using creativity. Design Thinking is all about developing creative confidence in students and providing them with a procedure for bringing their ideas to life. It is also a great way to bring the pedagogical pillars of St Paul, Creativity, Collaboration, Engagement and Relevance, to life.

Jason Fay
Director of Learning
St Paul Lutheran School

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