Venturing into Design Thinking

One of the projects that I absolutely cherish at North Shore is Interim Week. Interim Week is a week where the schedule is put on hold and students and teachers immerse themselves in a week long study. At North Shore, Interim Week occurs the first week of November, between the fall and winter seasons of athletics.

I love Interim Week because it allows me to explore something that I find interesting and want to know more about. The projects that I have led in the past have included creating a 3-d model of our campus (back in 1994 before Google Sketchup, using rudimentary tools), creating documentaries for service agencies, and graphic novels and anime. This week has allowed me to expand my horizons and explore.

I am really excited about my offering this year. Inspired by reading Play:How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul  by Stuart Brown and Shop Class As Soulcraft by Matthew Stafford, I looked for a way to marry design, innovation, and creativity into the lives of our students. Coupled with the new Learning and Project Studio spaces, I was inspired to create an Interim project that would allow me to experiment with our new spaces that freed and challenged our students to be inspired to design and play.

I knew that Christian Long and David Bill have begun to design workshops around Design Thinking. Upon research this summer, I realized that this was what I was looking for. I So I created a proposal, pitched it to the students, and now have a group of seven students who will be exploring the principles of design thinking along side me. I further feel excited that I am thinking about implementing this project after it was highlighted by Peter Gow in his blog, Not Your Father’s School, as the first of eleven things that schools should be thinking of.

I will be spending the next four days creating the curriculum and experiences in which the students and I will be c0-learning together.. I will be drawing on resources David has shared on a recent blog post, We are All Designers. I look forward to reflecting and sharing the development and execution of this project.

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