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Role of Design Thinking in Education

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Written By : Mr. Vysakh
Math and Science Cheerleader

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Empowering Innovation

 We are very well aware of how Aladdin’s genie made his life a walk in the park and we would often wonder how easy it would have been if we’ve got the genie lamp. But our world has vastly improved even when there are no genies around. So what made this happen? Not a genie but the genius of humankind! Plato had famously written “our need will be the real creator”, which was moulded over time into what we know as “Necessity is the mother of invention”. It is safe to say that mankind has always found its way around problems in the most innovative of ways. But is it just the necessity or the need that fostered this innovation? There is no doubt that it is essential, but is that the only requirement? Surely not. Every need was met by a solution only after a series of well planned steps. What are these steps? How would one start from identifying a problem and then march all the way towards an innovative solution? The answer to this question lies in the domain of design thinking.

In an era marked by rapid technological advancements and ever-evolving global challenges, the education system faces the imperative to adapt. Traditional methods of teaching and learning, often focused on rote memorization and standardised testing, may fall short in preparing children for the complexities of the 21st century. We require a human-centred approach to innovation that emphasises empathy, creativity, and collaboration. Integrating design thinking into education not only cultivates essential skills but also nurtures a mindset conducive to lifelong learning and problem-solving.

Design thinking, at its core, helps to view problems as not roadblocks but as opportunities to create, brainstorm and grow. This is one of the fundamental reasons why design thinking needs to be treated as a mainstream subject alongside science, mathematics and languages. It would help learners develop a mindset that does not make them stop at the first sight of any challenge but rather build a path around the challenge in their own way. By embracing this approach, students learn to think critically, collaborate effectively, and adapt to new situations with confidence. Moreover, design thinking empowers students to become active participants in shaping their own learning experiences, instilling a sense of ownership and agency that extends far beyond the classroom. Ultimately, by integrating design thinking into education, we empower students to become lifelong learners and adaptable problem-solvers capable of thriving in an ever-evolving world.

As we navigate an increasingly complex and interconnected world, the ability to think creatively and adaptively is more crucial than ever. By integrating design thinking into education, we equip children with the tools and mindset needed to thrive in an uncertain future. Whether they pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, the arts, or beyond, the skills acquired through design thinking– creativity, empathy, critical thinking, and collaboration– will serve as invaluable assets. Moreover, by instilling a love for learning and a curiosity-driven approach to problem-solving, we empower children to become lifelong learners and agents of positive change in their communities and beyond.

Design thinking offers a compelling framework for fostering creativity, empathy, critical thinking, and collaboration– essential skills for success in the 21st century. By integrating design thinking into education from an early age, we not only prepare children for the challenges ahead but also empower them to become compassionate, innovative, and resilient individuals capable of shaping a better world. As educators, parents, and policymakers, let us embrace the transformative potential of design thinking and pave the way for a brighter future for generations to come.

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