Design Thinking In Schools - 5 Useful Resources For Educators

Using design thinking in the classroom has gained a lot of attention in recent years. But what is it and how do you put design thinking to use? Here are 5 great resources to help school educators put design thinking into action.


1. The Design Thinking For Educators Toolkit

"This toolkit contains the process and methods of design along with the Designer’s Workbook, adapted specifically for the context of K-12 education. It offers new ways to be intentional and collaborative when designing, and empowers educators to create impactful solutions.

At IDEO, we’ve been using similar processes, methods, and tools for years in tackling some dauntingly complex challenges. More often than not, we’ve experienced how Design Thinking helps to get to the next step. That’s why we are excited to see how it can impact the world of education. Teachers at Riverdale Country School are starting to use design process to address challenges in their classrooms and schools, and together we’ve created this toolkit in order to share these processes more broadly.

This is an invitation to experiment with the design process. Let it inspire you to approach challenges differently, and experience how Design Thinking adds a new perspective to your work."


2. Design Minds

"Design Minds utilises design thinking to develop the capabilities of successful and creative 21st century citizens within existing education and learning benchmarks.

Design Minds achieves this by explaining design, inspiring through resources and empowering through design thinking toolkits. Design is presented as a process in its simplest form: inquire, ideate, implement and at each stage evaluate.

Design Minds is not about getting rid of what you’re already doing as a teacher, but is rather a way to augment and enhance what already happens in the classroom by accessing and sharing resources and partnering with real world designers, businesses and the broader community."


3. An Educator's Guide to Design Thinking - d.School


This short PDF, alongside the K12 Lab Wiki provide some practical activities for you to incorporate design thinking into your classroom.




4. OpenIDEO 

"OpenIDEO is a global community working together to design solutions for the world’s biggest challenges."

Perhaps you decide to use the OpenIDEO challenges as inspiration for one of your classes? At Jump Start we're currently working on the challenge which asks 'How might we drastically reduce food waste by transforming our relationship with food?' You might even decide to sign up as a class. The resources page provides a range of assets that will help you get started.


5. How To Apply Design Thinking From Scratch

This article provides quite a clear overview of a few design thinking processes to help you get primed and revamps the Design Council's Double Diamond model.


Bonus design thinking resources:

Still keen to learn more about design thinking? Check out Tim Brown's book 'Change by Design' or Tom Kelley's 'The Art of Innovation'. 

In the TED video below, Tim Brown further discusses design thinking and urges designers to think big.


Tom Allen (of Strategic Design Consultancy Seven Positive) and Adam Jefford are experienced educators and have implemented design thinking programs and workshops into schools and universities. Get in touch if you'd like to collaborate or learn more.

Good luck!