Do design-thinking strategies improve student performance? A new study in design thinking education says yes. Students actually do apply DT strategies to new problems.

Educators aim to equip students with learning strategies they can apply when approaching new problems on their own. Teaching design-thinking strategies may support this goal. A first test would show that the strategies are good for learning and that students spontaneously transfer them beyond classroom instruction. Design-thinking strategies may improve learning and problem solving, and design-thinking instruction may improve the likelihood of lower-achieving students choosing to use effective strategies in novel settings that require new learning.

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.

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