Designerly Ways of Knowing

This is an excellent article about how DESIGN THINKING can also be used to rethink education, even entire social systems. Of immediate concern to us teachers, Michael Schein discusses reimagining educational assessments. He excoriates us because most of our assessments these days are testing stuff you can find on Google. Yet we instructors face a dilemma: ‘My students may need this knowledge but someone out there is going to snatch my lessons out of my hands’. Design thinking applies creativity to come up with novel solutions to tough problems. Students learn to identify opportunities and practice design thinking to construct ‘minimum viable products.’ Venture start-up follows when design thinking leads to marketable solutions. Students learn to build and validate a value proposition, devise a business model, and employ storytelling to pitch their solutions to funders.

‘There are a couple of huge problems with school assessments. One is that they take far too much time away from meaningful education. On average, a quarter of school days are spent on either test prep or actual tests each year. I’m not saying that assessments can’t be meaningful and valuable when done well, but… well, that brings us to the second big problem. These test don’t measure what most everyone agrees matters. It’s become a given that success in life requires being able to collaboratively solve problems. To think critically and creatively. To communicate effectively. That’s not what these assessments are testing. They’re testing stuff you can find on Google. We were lucky enough to partner on this with the Hewlett Foundation who said, “Can you help us think through deeper learning (which is made up of all the all the things I just listed)?” So these are the kinds of tough and interesting problems I get to work on—figuring out what it looks like to test those skills that will actually help students be successful in the 21st century.’

The Next Revolution In Education: Design Thinking

A defining feature of the last century was that most jobs were relatively clear cut (banker, electrician, teacher, etc). In our own time, however, people increasingly have careers that are underscored by a theme. In this respect, Sam Seidel is most certainly a 21 st century kind of guy. […]

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