Design entrepreneurship teachers do not all come from the business disciplines; they can come from any discipline whose habits of mind lead them habitually to create value for others. These are the teachers who repeatedly help students solve their ‘wicked’ problems. DT teachers use new and different formative and summative approaches to assessment. They all are concerned about design thinking skills transference
But do these techniques transfer to other disciplines and other areas of student learning–like mathematics? Does DT transfer to other parts of school, to museum learning, and to civil learning?
If you have access to journals, go to Chin, Doris B., Kristen P. Blair, Rachel C. Wolf, Luke D. Conlin, Maria Cutumisu, Jay Pfaffman, and Daniel L. Schwartz. “Educating and Measuring Choice: A Test of the Transfer of Design Thinking in Problem Solving and Learning.” Journal of the Learning Sciences 28, no. 3 (May 27, 2019): 337–80. https://doi.org/10.1080/10508406.2019.1570933.
“The overall takeaway is that we were able, through instruction, to change the way students were able to approach problems. The strategies we thought would be good are in fact good, and the kids are choosing to transfer them from classroom instruction to a different environment.”
Do design-thinking strategies actually improve a student’s performance? Will students use those strategies outside of school?
A new study by researchers at the Stanford Graduate School of Education (GSE) provides some answers: yes and yes. The study , published in the Journal of Learning Sciences on April 15, found that students applied the strategies they had learned to entirely new problems, without prompting, and that they also performed better on projects.
“The overall takeaway is that we were able, through instruction, to change the way students were able to approach problems.”
The researchers’ big question was whether the classroom coaching made students more likely to apply the strategies to different problems, without anyone prompting them.
The greatest impact was on lower-achieving students.