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  • Elizabeth Barrett-Zahn

Design Thinking (Call for Papers)

Publication date: January/February 2022

Manuscript deadline: April 1, 2021


How often do we allow children the opportunity to define and solve problems that are most important to them? That is just what Design Thinking (DT) does, and it all starts with empathy.

Students aren’t just solving problems; they design solutions and consider how designs and solutions affect people.

Design Thinking has been around for many years, with the Stanford d.school offering comprehensive resources and a framework for the application. DT differs from traditional problem-solving in several key components. Problem-solving is often seen as a straightforward approach to problem identification, plan formulation, and success rate assessment. In contrast, DT starts with looking, listening, and observing what people need. The focus is on the people, not the problem.

We are looking for manuscripts that share how Design Thinking has influenced and enhanced teaching and learning. Share how DT has elevated essential 21st Century skills of creativity, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking in preschool and elementary classrooms.

Article suggestions for this issue include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Share classroom-tested ideas where students were engaged in Design Thinking.

  • When actively involved in DT of a global, local, or site/situation/event-specific problem, describe how students grow as learners.

  • Identify how DT aligns with culturally responsive teaching, including related issues of equity and social justice.

  • Describe how Design Thinking supports the Makerspace environment.

  • Share how DT can encourage ELLs or students with special needs to join the conversation. How, through empathy, can all voices be heard in the classroom?

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