Thursday, July 16, 2015

Design Thinking in the Year Ahead

For our inservice day last March we hosted Scott Sanchez who led a full day workshop on Design Thinking.  Per his bio, “Sanchez is on the faculty of the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University (the, a hub for innovators at Stanford, where students learn “design thinking” to tackle the world’s messiest problems together.”

We learned a great deal about Design Thinking and the potential applicability to our teaching and learning.  By definition, Design Thinking is “a formal method for practical, creative resolution of problems and creation of solutions, with the intent of an improved future result. In this regard it is a form of solution-based, or solution-focused thinking – starting with a goal (a better future situation) instead of solving a specific problem.”  (see for more or take a look at:

We practiced real-time examples of Design Thinking as a group and brainstormed about the potential applications to our classroom teaching and learning.  Wanting to explore further, our strategic Planning Committee decided that Design Thinking would be the theme for the 2015-2016 school year, and allow for more in-depth study.

In anticipation of this initiative, the faculty have several articles and resources with which to familiarize themselves.  Additionally, some of us have read Tim Brown’s Change by Design and/or Creative Confidence by Tom and David Kelley.

Change by Design is a great introduction to Design Thinking and Brown (president and CEO of IDEO) gives a wonderful explanation of how Design Thinking can be applied to nearly any industry, and used to approach seemingly any problem.  Learn more:

Tom and David Kelley’s Creative Confidence is another terrific primer for learning more, and understanding Design Thinking, and I recommend both books wholeheartedly.

We look forward to exploring further when our students return to campus in a few weeks!