I work in a Catholic School. Our community is rooted in Catholic teachings. Catholic teachings are reflective of what are referred to as Gospel values, but you can insert some more secular adjectives such as compassion, respect, honesty, forgiveness, equality, servant leadership, simplicity. There are others, but for the purposes of this blog, that list is enough. Design Thinking is rooted in the notion of empathy. In other words, the process of problem solving requires you to understand the end user before creating a solution. And there is the connection that I see so clearly but can't seem to communicate in a succinct way to my colleagues.
In my opinion, we are not doing our jobs correctly if we simply ask students to regurgitate
So back to why I feel that Design Thinking has to be incorporated into Catholic Schools (well, really all schools): we want to educate humans, not robots. That is the bottom line for me. Our students have to complete 3-4 years of theology in addition to the other core subjects their public school peers pursue. And the social teachings of the Church, rooted in the Gospel values, are infused throughout the curriculum. Thus, the notion of empathy is already implied across all levels of our curriculum. So why not make it "official" and adopt the principles of Design Thinking as well. I think it will make our teachers jobs much more rewarding because students will begin to approach learning by looking for the real-world connections, they will begin thinking about the material in a much deeper way up front since they will be expecting a project or discussion or assignment that will ask them individually or in groups to answer the next "How might we..." question. What a rich and dynamic learning environment that would be!
So how might we as Catholic educators fully embrace and implement Design Thinking across grade levels and across our curriculum? That is my question, and that is my challenge. I would love to hear your thoughts.