Use of Design Thinking as a Disruptive Element in Professional Development for K-9 Educators

By Deborah Carter, Susan Crichton and Serveh Naghshbandi.

Published by The International Journal of Design Management and Professional Practice

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online September 9, 2015 $US5.00

This paper begins by describing the need for and design of Maker Day, an immersive professional development event for K-9 educators. In 2013, the Innovative Learning Centre (ILC) at UBC Okanagan and the BC Industrial Training Authority (ITA) co-hosted the first Maker Day as a ‘proof-of-concept’ professional development event. During this event, K-9 educators experienced authentic problem finding and prototyping using a participatory design cycle including design thinking, making, and tinkering. The event concluded with participants collectively reflecting on and discussing how such an approach might be integrated into their established classroom practices. Drawing on their initial research findings, the authors will conclude this paper with a discussion of the importance of taking making and design thinking into K-9 classrooms. This discussion includes the current curricular changes all educators are being asked to make at a time when Canadians are grappling with the introduction of advanced manufacturing and its economic impact on workforce and training.

Keywords: Design Thinking, Maker Day, 21st Century Teaching and Learning, Professional Development

The International Journal of Design Management and Professional Practice, Volume 9, Issue 3, September, 2015, pp.45-52. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online September 9, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 467.401KB)).

Deborah Carter

Ph.D Candidate, Research Project Coordinator, Innovative Learning Centre (ILC), Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

Dr. Susan Crichton

Associate Professor, Director, Innovative Learning Centre (ILC), Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

Serveh Naghshbandi

Master's Student, Research Assistant, Innovative Learning Centre (ILC), Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada