At Oakleigh State School, we have been working on developing a consistent approach to the teaching of Design Thinking.

Our aim is that all students from prep to year 6 will have the opportunity to develop skills that will enable them to be creative, critical problem solvers throughout their schooling and beyond. As primary school teachers we identified a need to make the design process more accessible through visual cues and activities.

The creation of this approach was achieved through a design process. As a staff member at Oakleigh we have been discovering the design process through cycles of practitioner Inquiry. We have also been fortunate to have supportive connections with various schools and people that have expertise with design.

Zac Bayliss (Year 6 teacher), Nicola Flanagan (Head of Innovation) and I spent time looking at the language of a variety of design thinking processes such as Ideo, NoTosh and Design Minds. We analysed the literacy and imagery around each of these design cycles and then brainstormed and filtered our ideas based on the needs of our students. We created a prototype and shared it with a number of critical friends including Adam Jefford from Design Minds (APDL).

…we recognise there are cycles within stages and each stage is not necessarily consecutive

Our process went through a number of iterations and resulted in the five stages (as illustrated above); Discover, Connect, Ideate, Prototype and Share. Represented as a cycle, we recognise there are cycles within stages and each stage is not necessarily consecutive. We chose a space themed story board to encourage the growth mindsets around moonshot thinking and space exploration is something kids can easily relate to.

We have begun trialling this approach with year 5 and 6. Our hope is to model cycles of design in each year level towards enabling our staff to fully understand application in the classroom.

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