Design thinking is also useful in education. In fact, educators may find that applying a design thinking framework to their curriculum can help produce better outcomes for students. In fact, design thinking comes very naturally to teachers because they are constantly reflecting, improving, and iterating.
The example of a manager creating L&D programming has a lot in common with an educator creating a lesson plan for their students. A lecture may not always be the best plan when something more collaborative would serve the students better. Teachers demonstrate the empathy phase when they review their lesson plans from a “student lens.” This allows teachers to experience their lessons through their students’ eyes. Often, this is where teachers tweak lessons after discovering they failed to include enough formative assessment or engagement activities.
An early education teacher may, for example, exchange a slideshow on geography with an interactive puzzle map assembled by the students. Guided by the teacher, the students can debate the names and locations of countries, earning points or prizes for correct answers. By centering the student experience, teachers can implement design thinking in fun and engaging ways.
The positive effects of design thinking in education are potentially very powerful. Design thinking can help produce innovative and creative students who are experienced in problem-solving and collaboration. Feeling that their input matters can be empowering and inspire them to engage with their studies well into the future.