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Friday, February 24 • 10:30am - 11:30am
Early Childhood Students Grow through Authentic Design Challenges

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Why design thinking? With design thinking, students develop as deep thinkers and doers. At an early age when their thinking is still pliable and their brains are maturing they begin to hone the thinking strategies that they will apply to learning throughout their lives.  Students also start to formulate an understanding of empathy.  The importance of getting our students to step out of their own reality and begin to see the world through others’ eyes is imperative for strong emotional intelligence.  As a root of human-centered design, empathy instruction in the early grades allows them to begin to understand implicit needs and cause and effect, not to mention develop leadership characteristics.  Finally, students learn to “embrace failure.”  This message is everywhere, but the idea of productive failure in a learning experience is sometimes a difficult concept to get across.  We allow them repeated opportunities to try something, make their ideas public, and then modify them based on feedback. In this way, we are growing students for whom the message is “Don’t talk -  do, - observe, reflect and try again.”
Participants in this session will engage in a rapid design challenge to experience first hand the energy that is behind the GSES Outdoor Learning Space Design Project.  Utilizing the design thinking tools such as empathy, ideation, and prototyping, participants will explore the process our early childhood students explored earlier this year to address a real world problem demanding an authentic solution.  We will review our educational outcomes for the project.  Before leaving the session, participants will  explore next steps for their own design activity.

avatar for Laura Cole

Laura Cole

Educational Innovator, SPARQ Innovation Space, Good Shepherd Episcopal School
Talk to me about PK-8 makerspaces and about using design thinking skills in education. I am an innovation teacher Pk-8 and a Masters student at SMU in Design and Innovation. I enjoy finding out how to get students energized about learning!
avatar for Liz Fleskes

Liz Fleskes

Director of Early Childhood, Good Shepherd Episcopal School

Friday February 24, 2017 10:30am - 11:30am
US 210

Attendees (19)