Design Thinking from Minds Wide Open
 
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The Minds Wide Open Design Thinking Program is both evidence-informed and Australian Curriculum-linked. Optimised for K-10 however it can be customised for any age.

Design Thinking (DT) is for helping students complete tasks and solve problems in structured ways. Design Thinking utilises skills, strategies and dispositions to assist students self-manage their assignments and projects.

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Who is this program for?

This is for K-10 teachers who want a straightforward approach to developing key 21st century skills in their students through Project-Based Learning, creative problem solving and design thinking.

Teachers are trained in pedagogy and scaffolded with best practice so they can confidently teach problem solving and design processes in any learning area or context.

The free Minds Wide Open resources includes: K-10 learning continua, K-10 scope and sequence documents, planning templates, classroom posters, activity cards, instructional videos, student worksheets/blackline masters, assessment rubrics and more. All learning activities for students are evidence-based, curriculum-linked and have been tested in classrooms.

 

This course will:

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1. Reveal best theory and practice for a successful Project Based Learning (PBL) and Design Thinking experience.

2. Identify opportunities and mandates in national and state curricula for the teaching of PBL and Design Thinking.

3. Scaffold teachers and schools with a flexible framework so they can plan for and implement Project Based Learning and Design Thinking within and across learning areas.

4. Show teachers how to instruct their students in the problem solving/design thinking process so that students can engage meaningfully in collaborative problem solving and design thinking projects with increasing confidence and independence.

5. Show teachers how to assess students’ design thinking and collaborative problem solving skills.

6. Provide teachers with comprehensive curriculum–linked PBL and Design Thinking planning and teaching resources.

7. Assist teachers with implementation of the new Design and Technologies curriculum.

NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA)

 
 

NESA Course Code: C191

Completing the Minds Wide Open Design Thinking Across the Curriculum: Deeper Learning through Real-World Projects course will contribute 5 hours of NESA Registered PD addressing 2.2.2, 2.3.2, 3.2.2, 3.3.2, and 6.2.2 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation.

Click here to view on NESA site.

 

The Coloured Thinking Caps

The Coloured Thinking Caps Scaffolding is based on empirical research and best practice of 'what works' for the problem solving and design process.

Teachers can coach students on how to apply the six-step design process by using a range of provided resources including music, video tutorials and worksheets.

 

 
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Fact Finding

Students investigate the topic or issue, clarify the problem and identify needs and opportunities

 

Generating Ideas

Students generate numerous possible solutions to meet an identified need or to solve a complex problem

 

 
 
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Judging Ideas

Students evaluate all their ideas/solutions and select the best one

 

Planning

Students design a course of action and write a detailed action plan

 

 
 
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Producing

Students implement their plan, and after prototyping (testing and modifying) they present their product

 

Reflection Phase

Students evaluate their product, design processes and learning

 

 
 

 

Students are instructed explicitly in the problem solving and design thinking process

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"The teaching approach with the strongest empirical support is explicit instruction. Without explicit instruction in problem-solving strategies students experience little improvement."

- ABRAMI ET AL, 2008; DEWAR, 2009

 
 

"John Hattie also emphasized the importance of teaching students HOW to solve problems, e.g. understand the problem → come up with a plan of action → implement the plan → review the results

- KILLIAN, 2015

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"The practice of using thinking strategies can increase students’ motivation for, and management of, their own learning. They become more confident and autonomous problem-solvers and thinkers."

- THE AUSTRALIAN CURRICULUM

 

"The successful implementation of PBL in the classroom lies on the teacher’s ability to effectively scaffold students’ learning, to motivate, to support and to guide them along the way."

- JO EARP, 'EFFECTIVE IMPLEMENTATION OF PROJECT-BASED LEARNING', TEACHER MAGAZINE, 12.12.2016

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What does the Minds Wide Open program teach students?

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Design Thinking

Students are scaffolded into the thinking patterns of expert designers and problem-solvers with our finely-tuned (and easy-to-understand) design thinking process and classroom tools. This process can be applied in a variety of situations across the curriculum and beyond school.

“In Design and Technologies students engage in, and learn about, the process of design. They generate, develop and evaluate ideas and design, produce and evaluate products, services and environments in a range of contexts.”

- THE AUSTRALIAN CURRICULUM

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Collaborative Problem Solving

Students are able to efficiently and effectively work in teams to identify and solve problems by applying our design thinking process and using our problem-finding, ideation and Action Plan templates.

“As students progress through primary school they take more responsibility for specific roles within a project with increasing levels of collaboration and team work.”

- AUSTRALIAN CURRICULUM

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Project Management

Students are able to manage projects like the experts by applying our design thinking framework and allocating roles and responsibilities using our all-purpose project management templates.

“In the Design and Technologies curriculum students are explicitly taught how to manage projects and apply this knowledge in their projects.”

- AUSTRALIAN CURRICULUM

“Managing projects involves identifying and sequencing tasks, determining the required resources, considering economic, environmental and social factors and allocating the time to each task so that the project is completed on time.”

- AUSTRALIAN CURRICULUM

Rationale


 

Build teachers' capability and capacity

“Teachers should be given the opportunity to develop 21st century skills themselves and to experience how these skills can be brought into the classrooms.”

— VOOGT, DEDE & ERSTAD, 21ST CENTURY LEARNING: CALL TO ACTION, EDUSUMMIT, 2011

 

Acquire timesaving tips and strategies

“Researchers have reported that teachers experience frustration with the amount of time it takes to plan for and implement problem-based learning.”

ERTMER & SIMONS, SCAFFOLDING TEACHERS' EFFORTS TO IMPLEMENT PROBLEM BASED LEARNING, 2005 (SIMONS ET AL., 2004)

 

Australian students need to improve at problem solving skills

“PISA tests reveal that even in the best-performing countries, significant numbers of 15-year-olds do not have the basic problem-solving skills considered necessary to succeed in today’s – let alone tomorrow’s – world.”

SOURCE: PISA IN FOCUS, N38, 2014
 

“Australian students are comparatively stronger on the exploring and understanding and the representing and formulating processes, and are relatively weaker on the planning and executing process.”

THINKING IT THROUGH: AUSTRALIAN STUDENTS’ SKILLS IN CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING, ACER, 2014
 

“This is an area where Australian students’ skills could be improved; they need to be able to use their knowledge to devise a plan and execute the plan in order to solve a problem.”

ACER, 2014. SOURCE: RD.ACER.EDU.AU/ARTICLE/AUSTRALIAN-PROBLEM-SOLVING-SKILLS-IN-CONTEXT

 

Make the implementation of Project Based Learning Simple(r)

“The overlapping, wide-ranging, and changing demands of PBL management and instruction are difficult to master, and novice PBL teachers frequently experience dilemmas and difficulties.”

— MERGENDOLLER & THOMAS, 2005

 

Prepare students for future work

“Today’s world looks different. Work is project-based and performance is measured by the impact of ideas and the team’s ability to execute those ideas. Education systems should refocus on engaging students in this kind of work where ideal outcomes are… students’ capacities to connect with others, create innovative products/solutions and to implement them.”

FULLAN & LANGWORTHY, TOWARDS A NEW END: NEW PEDAGOGIES FOR DEEP LEARNING, 2013
 

“Australia needs enterprising individuals who can make discerning decisions about the development and use of technologies and who can independently and collaboratively develop solutions to complex challenges.”  

THE AUSTRALIAN CURRICULUM, TECHNOLOGIES, 2016
 

“For more than two decades, the data has consistently identified collaboration, critical thinking, problem solving, communication, and creativity/innovation as critically important skill sets for the future.”

COLLABORATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING: CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE NATIONAL ASSESSMENT OF EDUCATIONAL PROGRESS, APRIL 2017

 
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Objectives and Standards

3.3.2  Select and use relevant teaching strategies to develop knowledge, skills, problem solving and critical and creative thinking.

✔︎  Responds to interests of students.

✔︎  Promotes student-centred learning and problem solving.

✔︎  Encourages critical and creative thinking by engaging students in higher order thinking and risk taking within their learning.

✔︎  Uses teaching strategies that challenge students to select appropriate thinking strategies for their learning.

✔︎  Promotes critical and creative thinking through inquiry learning, problem based learning and relevant projects.

2.3.2  Design and implement learning and teaching programs using knowledge of curriculum, assessment and reporting requirements.

✔︎  Teaching and learning programs and/or lesson plans using appropriate knowledge of curriculum, assessment and reporting requirements

2.2.2  Organise content into coherent, well-sequenced learning and teaching programs.

✔︎  Designs programs which display logical sequencing of activities; includes opportunities for students to practise skills and adheres to the timelines and sequence of the program.

3.2.2  Plan and implement well-structured learning and teaching programs or lesson sequences that engage students and promote learning.

✔︎  Ensures lesson plans are not only content based but incorporate practical activities and skills practice.

6.2.2  Participate in learning to update knowledge and best practice targeted to professional needs and school priorities.

✔︎  Evidence of participation in professional learning activities to update knowledge and practice.

Read enough?

 

 

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