Frequently Asked Questions

What is Design Thinking?
Developed at the Stanford, Design Thinking is a methodology that teaches individuals new strategies to solve problems. The design process challenges students to combine empathy, ingenuity and rationality to meet user needs and create successful solutions.  Read more about Design Thinking here.                                

I have heard about Design Thinking being offered by many organizations or consultants, why should we work with CreatEdu?
The CreatEdu team has been working in Design Thinking nationally and internationally since 2006. We have worked with a broad spectrum of educational organizations ranging from inner city public schools to high-performing charter schools, nationally recognized independent schools to international non-profits. We work with your organization to determine your specific needs and customize an approach to accomplish your goals.  Meet the CreatEdu Team here

How is Design Thinking uniquely used in schools?
Design Thinking increases student engagement and achievement because students see the relevance of educational content and take ownership of their learning. Today’s job market is changing so rapidly, we no longer know what we are preparing students for.  Design Thinking teaches an approach and a process that they can apply to whatever pursuits they may choose.  Read more about why Design Thinking is a good fit for schools here

How do we apply it to our school?  
Design Thinking can be used in many different ways within a school.  Since Design Thinking is a methodology to approach problem solving, it can be applied to a wide variety of challenges from improving curriculum, increasing student engagement, redesigning spaces, schedules and systems or any other challenge that a school may be facing. For examples of some of the many ways Design Thinking can be applied, check out our Success Stories page

What  subjects can I apply it to?
We have seen amazing results across grade levels and subject areas.  Design Thinking increases student engagement.  When students can see a clear connection between what they learn in the classroom and how it relates to their lives, they are inspired to learn.   For subject specific examples of Design Thinking in action, take a look at our Student Achievement and Engagement Page

Is it just for older students (Middle School and High School) or can I use it with elementary school students?
Design Thinking is for all ages; it can be used just as effectively with elementary aged students as it can with middle school or high school students. The sky’s the limit with how you can incorporate Design Thinking into existing lessons, use it to tackle challenges, or create new projects or lessons. For examples of how Design Thinking has been used with younger students, take a look at our Elementary School Projects Page .

I don’t have time or space in my required curriculum and standards to fit in anything else, how could I possibly add Design Thinking in too?
Design Thinking doesn’t have to be fit in; since it is a methodology it can help support and strengthen existing curriculum while helping students develop the skills they need to think critically and creatively, collaborate, solve complex problems and be able to navigate an increasingly multi-faceted and sophisticated world.  Many of the examples in our “Success Stories” demonstrate how Design Thinking increased student engagement and understanding of existing content by reworking an existing lesson plan.

Design Thinking sounds interesting, are there resources you recommend so I can read more about it before jumping in?
Take a look at our “Links to Design Thinking Resources” page. 

Our school participated in an intro workshop and we are working to integrate Design Thinking into our curriculum, what kind of support is available if we have questions along the way or want more in-depth guidance/training?
The CreatEdu team offers a variety of services including Focus Challenge Workshops, Customized Workshops, Coaching, Design, Redesign, Ethnographic Research, and Curriculum Development.  Take a look at “Our Services” for more detailed explanations of these different opportunities and resources for support.




The most valuable part of working with CreatEdu was... "learning about the process and power of Design Thinking AND having the chance to practice it and apply it in our educational environment. Having [CreatEdu] available to work with small groups of teachers on specific projects was an important part of embedding the methodology."
-Middle School Principal

Design Thinking increases achievement and engagement by challenging students with real world complex problems and encouraging them to take risks. CreatEdu founder Coeylen Barry spoke about Design Thinking in schools at TEDx Denver Teachers in 2013. See the talk here.

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