For educators ready to try the idea of design thinking, you’ll be glad to know it does not require extensive transformation of your classroom.
For students, the best classroom experience is a space of possibility.
Kids love gym not just because they get to play and move, but because they are the actors, and they produce the entire experience. Time flies in a classroom that is a space of possibility.
It can be challenging to transition a traditional classroom into a space of possibility. The traditional classroom is ordered, moves efficiently, and rules and expectations are clearly delineated. In the traditional classroom, kids are asked to adjust their learning styles and bodies and voice tones to the expectations of the teacher.
in a classroom that is a space of possibility, the students have agency, and the products and processes can be moving targets.
You can run a flexible studio space in your classroom for a certain part of the day. “Choice time” is a common example of a modified space of possibility in a traditional classroom.
A good studio experience is about 5-15 minutes of presentation and discussion and then about a 45-60 minutes of hands-on work time, plus 10-15 minutes of peer critique. During studio time the teacher circulates, assists students, and helps keep them engaged.
Most professional designers work with simple materials in the design process, and kids should too.
You can best assist the students by answering their questions with questions. If a student asks, “What should I do?” you can answer with, “ If you wanted to improve the design of (insert a common object), what would you change?” This is higher-level inquiry, because you do not have the right answer.