I started my design thinking journey by reading the book Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All by Tom Kelley and David Kelley. At the time I was looking for ideas on creativity and how to foster it. I was excited to learn about the design thinking process, which I had not heard of. You can read my post about it here. The Kelleys are partners at IDEO, a design and innovation firm. IDEO, along with the Riverdale Country School, now has formed The Teacher Guild, an online community with the purpose of exploring education issues through the design thinking process. It is modeled on OpenIDEO, an online platform that tackles large, difficult problems by inviting all interested parties to participate in the process.
The Teachers Guild's first 10-week collaboration is going on now. The question is "How might we create rituals and routines that establish a culture of innovation in our classrooms and schools?" This collaboration is in the Discovery phase in which members contribute ideas, thoughts, and resources related to the question. Everyone can contribute, comment, and "applaud" others' ideas. The next phase, which starts soon, is Ideate. Participants will share and try ideas that address the question. The Evolve step continues the design process with feedback, then in Select participants vote for their favorites. The most popular solutions are announced followed by a reflection piece. The staff at The Teacher's Guild works offline in between some of the steps. Then a new problem is posted. The process is thoroughly explained on the website.
In the current Discovery stage, many people have posted. It is exciting to read so many ideas all aimed at helping solve a problem. There are ideas about question asking, mindset, failure as a positive force, physical classroom set-ups, and many more. My posted idea was creating a positive, supportive classroom atmosphere where students feel comfortable taking risks. There are also many comments posted on the ideas. It is a positive, energetic community!
I'm excited about interacting with other teachers interested in design thinking. I'm also happy to have an opportunity to experience the process, going through the steps with other teachers. My goal is not only to be able to use the design process myself, but to teach it, in a simpler, shorter form, to my students.
Sound intriguing? Check it out at teachersguild.org!