By Mansi Jain, Jul 24, 2021 14:00
Design thinking is used by designers and innovators in the fields of science, engineering, businesses and even in music and literature. Through this thinking process, they seek to understand their audience or consumers, rebuild their assumptions and redefine problems to come up with out-of-the-box solutions. It consists of five steps or spaces, namely, to empathize, define, ideate, prototype and test. These are explored further below.
If inculcated in the right way in students, design thinking can offer students a new way of learning and understanding of the world. It isn’t a type of textbook knowledge that they must acquire through study but more of a thinking pattern which can be applied to a large variety of issues and situations. This type of approach leads to innovation and fuels creativity and is a very powerful tool for students to start developing at an early age. At school, teachers can incorporate the principles of design thinking through various projects and assignments.
Why learn design thinking?
Design thinking, if developed as a default problem solving pattern, can come with a plethora of life skills. These include:
Teaching design thinking to children.
While the idea of developing these thought patterns in children is very exciting, creativity is usually tricky to inspire. To put this into action, parents and teachers need to teach children to practise the different facets that make up design thinking. Here is a low-down on those facets or ‘spaces’
Encourage your children to ask themselves certain questions when they start on a creative project for someone else. Who are they creating this for? If they have a particular audience in mind, help them interact with them and take note of their views and concerns. Encourage them to think from the audience’s perspective.
Whatever information or insights you child has gleaned from the previous stage, motivate them to keep that in mind and reconsider the problem or the project. Are there any new points of focus that can lend them an alternate perspective to the solution?
Encourage your child to think outside the box and map out all their crazy ideas by writing them down in a notebook or on post-it notes and sticking them up on a wall. At this stage, no solution is too impractical. It’s all about broadening the range.
Now that they have gathered ideas, help them shorten the list with a realistic and practical point of view. Can there be some ideas that can be realistically modelled when merged together? Encourage them to build a physical representation or a prototype for the most effective ideas.
Help your kids test the prototype. Motivate them to share it with their audience, be it a friend or family, and find out if it works. Encourage them to take advice and criticism and any feedback that can help them improve the prototype in a positive way.