Park Day School

Park Day School’s progressive education philosophy centers around students immersing themselves in their areas of interest and defining and solving authentic personal, community, and global challenges. Collaboration, creativity, empathy, and developing a love for lifelong learning are ever-present in our school program. Our philosophy and practices are such that it has been easy for us to embrace design thinking. Our Design+Make+Engage program spreads design thinking and making experiences, as well as Project Zero ideas and frameworks, across the curricula, which includes complex interdisciplinary STEM projects.

Design thinking gives us a tool to articulate the typical classroom learning process. We are curious to see whether with increased familiarity, the students use it of their own accord. In addition, we are exploring what it means to think like a designer, breaking down what is inherent in the design-thinking process and the designer’s perspective. For example, a sixth-grade class is using “thinking boards” to make visible both independent and collaborative group work in progress. The accumulated artifacts are revisited and synthesized in various ways (rather than being parked in a notebook), similar to how a class might implement the initial immersion phase of design thinking. We are appreciating applying the iterative feedback cycle in various ways as well.
Posted on October 1, 2013. Modified on October 12, 2013