If you teach and want to take your skills to the next level, consider adding activities that promote critical thinking. It is never too early or too late for learners to develop such skills. Young children who learn to think for themselves are likely to have better problem solving skills needed later. Older learners need those skills so they can become productive and contribute new ideas to their communities and society.
Design Thinking Lesson Plans challenge learners to use more of their brain power to solve problems. They become more independent over time, when they are encouraged to think for themselves. Rote learning is necessary in some instances. But, in many other instances learners can benefit more from thinking on their own.
Design thinking follows a 6 step process. It begins with identifying the opportunity, followed by design, prototype, getting feedback, scaling the finished product, and presenting the project. There is no problem too small or too big to apply the concepts of design thinking in the classroom.
When applying the concepts, learners can be encouraged by comparing their problem so a similar problem faced by an engineer or another working professional. They don’t have to copy what the professional does, just watch a video and comment on observations. Those comments can help them come up with ideas for solving the problem they’re facing.
Applying design thinking in the classroom doesn’t have to be limited to a special or larger project. It can be applied to many everyday situations as well. Consider, for example, the problem of not having enough storage space in the classroom for young learners to put all their belongings, including their coats.
In such an instance, learners should not be told to come up with a coat rack or another solution. They should be encouraged to think about all the possibilities. They should be encouraged to draw the solutions they have on paper. Then they can be given cardboard boxes or similar materials to construct or build their own model.
For older learners in high school or college, Design Thinking Lesson Plans can be applied to developing a policy to address a particular situation. They will still be guided through the steps. They will get feedback from other students after the prototypes have been developed, to avoid instances of cheating or taking each other’s ideas. This type of learning not only encourages critical thinking. It also helps learners develop leadership skills they can use in the future.