2. A Process, A Way of Thinking, A Way of Seeing
• “Design thinking relies on the natural—
and coachable– human ability to be
intuitive, to recognize patterns, and to
construct ideas that are emotionally
meaningful as well as functional.”
3. A Process, A Way of Thinking, A Way of Seeing
• “Culture eats process for lunch.”
• “The first step to a great answer is to reframe the question.” (Tom and
• Everything can be “hacked.”
5. Q (question) + A (action) = I (innovation)
Q-A= P (philosophy)
A More Beautiful Question by Warren Berger
6. Our Time Together
• Overview of the design thinking process and variations
• Examples of the use of design thinking at MICDS
• Implement Design Thinking process with your own project
7. Identify your bias
• In your notes, simply list your own biases about the design thinking
• I was overwhelmed by it at first.
• It took me several years to wrap my head around it.
• I now see its application everywhere.
• I find it an empowering process.
• I probably wear out my colleagues with it.
Why this process matters and challenges students face with it.
10. Identify your perceived constraints
• Identify your perceived constraints to either learning this process or
the application of the process.
• My students won’t be able to follow this process.
• I won’t be able to keep track of all of the moving pieces.
• This is really only for people in Silicon Valley.
• Time, time, time.
While these are traditionally listed as feasibility, viability and desirability, but
can be defined any way that you choose.
11. Why it matters for students (and teachers)?
• Risk taking
• Thinking process
• Shared language
• But in order to appeal to the business culture of process, it was
denuded of the mess, the conflict, failure, emotions, and looping
circularity that is part and parcel of the creative process.
• Design Thinking requires a breadth of knowledge and experience
from various disciplines, which is not present in most K-12 students
given the stage of their cognitive development and education
• Design thinking was a creation of the Post-it note industry to sell their
26. How DT arrived at MICDS
How can individuals
change in the world ?
• Problems are big and overwhelming
• Where to start?
• Frame work for thinking
• Redesign of the Faculty Growth Process
• Ninth Grade Curriculum Retreat
• MS English Dept Retreat
• Admin team retreat
Half the Sky Design Thinking Assessment
Challenge: Thinking back to your reading of Half the Sky,
select one of the issues investigated by Kristof and WuDunn.
Working through the Design Thinking process, create an
innovation that addresses one of these problems.
ALT 7.0 Design Brief
Overview: The English department is submitting this design brief to you in hope that
you will pursue a solution see applicable to your skills and interests. Below are the goals
and specifications of the project, but beyond that, there is no predetermined answer or result
required. Know that your process is as important to us as your final product.
Goals: Your goal is to share to a new understanding about a topic of interest to you while
exhibiting your fluency in the five skill strands of the English Department (reading, writing,
speaking and listening, research, VML).
Target Audience: Your classmates and the English department
Specifications: All strands must be part of your process of determining a new
understanding of the topic you choose.
37. Time to face the challenge yourself (or in a
• Pick a challenge to attempt
• A project in your class you want to address
• How can I make learning modeling equations more relatable for students?
• A curricular issue to address
• How can the ninth grade team address our need to scaffold skills while engaging
students in literature?
• How can we build a more interdisciplinary model of 7th grade?
• How can we address the teaching of vocabulary in a more viable manner?
• School-wide issues:
• How can we build empathy skills in our students?
• Try to create an actual product
1. Spend some time identifying your own feelings on this challenge. Do you think
it needs to be addressed? Why or why not? It is important to begin your work
fully understanding your own bias.
2. Establish constraints: while it would be nice to think that the sky is the limit,
there are always limits imposed by the environment where the challenge is
found. Be sure to examine the viability, feasibility and desirability limits that
exist surrounding your challenge.
3. Frame the challenge: Once you have looked at the constraints and your
thoughts, formally articulate what your group sees as the challenge. This
should be a sentence or so in length to avoid any confusion.
4. Select appropriate methods: There are quite a few tools available to you in this
stage including: individual interview, group interview, in-context immersion
(observation), self-documentation, community-driven discovery, expert
interviews, seeking inspiration in new places, empathy maps. Which of these
methods will you employ?
49. Quick notes about this stage
Don’t jump to a solution!! This is the hardest part for all of us.
Sometimes students don’t really know how to define their own biases.
Often there is confusion between viability (financial) and feasibility
(technical) when examining constraints.
When framing the challenge, sometimes students bring something too
broad and need help narrowing it down.
This is an opportunity to work with students on research skills in a
more formalized manner.
58. Quick notes about this stage
This is often the most challenging stage for students as they are often
not patient when creating “buckets” and do not often see the function
to reorganizing their research in a new diagram.
Students often produce fairly short brainstorming lists. Challenge them
with a number of entries or by timing them.
Remind them that inspiration can come from completely non-related
places. (Story of the MRI, Chapter One Creative Confidence)
Iteration Stage: Here is where you take your ideas and start to formulate
concrete solutions to the challenge. Now dreaming becomes more concrete
and you will be asked to construct something from your ideas.
Test ideas: Take your top ideas from the brainstorming session and test them
out against the constraints of desirability, feasibility and viability. Choose the
one that stands up best to these three challenges.
Formalize your idea: summarize your idea in a single sentence, describe how
it will work where other things may not have worked in the past, explain how
it addresses the needs and opportunities identified through your field
research, list questions and challenges.
Prototype building: create your product as well as possible whether it is a
model, sketch, storyboard or role play.
63. Quick notes about this stage
Prototyping can look like a million different things, but if your students
are creating an actual product, it is important to bring materials for
them to physically create something. Physically working through the
concept often brings insight to potential problems.
When asking students to formalize their ideas, it is very important to
have them articulate why they will be successful where others have not
Once you have one or two solid ideas, it is time to test them out and see
if they may work. The first step involves presenting them to others to get
feedback on your ideas. Following that, you will revise your solution and
then finalize your work by defining how you will determine if your
solution is successful and officially implementing your idea.
Build the idea
69. Quick notes about this stage
It is helpful to have students record who they solicited for feedback and
to record what the respondents actually said. It may be helpful to
explain to them the range of people they may need to talk to.
Explaining what they changed or evolved is important for the
reinforcement of the iterative process of design thinking.
Defining success can be challenging as students are not familiar with
the concept of metrics. Often they need to be pushed to select
concrete evidence that can be measured rather than generalities such
as the community is healthier.
75. Compass Points Check In
• E= Excitements: What excites you about design
• W=Worries. What do you find worrisome about design
• N=Needs. What else do you need to know or find out
about design thinking?
• S=Stance, steps or suggestions. What is your current
stance of opinion on design thinking? What are your
next steps? What suggestions do you have?
76. How my thinking has changed?
• I feel more creative.
• I have a concrete strategy for problem solving.
• I now consider myself a designer and innovator.
• Our department has shared language and that makes our thinking
together more powerful.