ENHANCED TEACHING COMMUNITIES
Stronger Community Relationships: An interactive design workshop at a school in El Cerrito, CA, helped teachers appreciate the importance of empathy and inquiry when working in collaboration. Through a series of projects and challenges, they learned how to more effectively leverage each individual’s strengths and collaboratively work toward a common goal. This transformed what was initially a disparate group into a cohesive unit with a unique individual identity.
Effective Collaboration: Teachers at a secondary school in San Francisco used Design Thinking to transform their staff meetings. They used the rules and strategies of brainstorming to get every member of the staff to contribute ideas and to come up with a wide variety of creative concepts. By using Post-its to share ideas everyone — from the most talkative to the quietest teachers — had their voices heard. As a result, the group came up with better solutions and all of the teachers felt empowered.
Increased Team Creativity and Engagement: A project leader at an educational museum in the San Francisco Bay Area transformed weekly meetings by challenging a different member of the team to come up with a creative brainteaser to start the meeting off each week. This got team members thinking creatively right at the beginning of the meetings and helped to give each member a voice in the group. Brainteasers ranged from coming up with as many uses for a paper clip possible to conceiving ways to repurpose appliances.
Change of School Mindset: A principal at a secondary school in Singapore remarked, “What we really liked was the spontaneity and energy generated by the team as we went through the Design Thinking process. Students have also given positive feedback about being more involved and having their views heard. Teachers’ mindsets have also been changed as they began to appreciate the importance of empathy and human-centeredness.”