Having an empathy mindset: Chrissy Boyd on Design Thinking
One of my biggest takeaways from our Design Thinking training at the Nueva Design Thinking Institute in San Mateo, CA was centered on the Core Mindset I: Needfinding Through Empathy. Nueva has shifted the goal of Design Thinking to focus on designing for others and their needs, having an Empathy Mindset. Thus, making Social and Emotional learning (SEL) a driving force in the process.
In a nutshell, students start the process by identifying the needs of a user, then design solutions, creating user centered projects. Students follow specific stages( below) for each project, with the teacher as their guide and mentor. The stages are easy to understand and do give students a method for tackling any challenge they may encounter in life. The Focus stage( #2) is the empathy piece of the puzzle. In addition, during the last stage, Collaborate( #6) an immense focus is placed on creating positive team norms, making sure students feel safe and empowered to share their ideas and visions.
Research/Deep Dive- Students observe, ask, listen and research. What is the challenge?
Focus-What is the need of the user? Understand the thoughts and feelings of the user, be empathetic to their situation and how you can improve it.
Generate Ideas-Brainstorm ideas
Make Informed Decisions-Analyze and Choose
Prototyping Cycle- Create Prototypes, Seek and Incorporate Feedback
Collaborate-Team Dynamics (SEL), Motivate and Inspire, Project Management, Reflection
I love the idea that our students at SPS can be involved in changing our community and eventually our world. One example of an DT idea I am working on involves helping the Touchmark Memory Care residents that the upcoming 5th and 6th graders have already formed relationships with. What can we do to improve brain function and memory issues with our current buddies? This is a huge issue facing our world and our friends at Touchmark.