This paper is the culmination of a fifteen-week design study in partnership with a high school teacher to utilize design thinking in a classroom context. A procedure for guiding the educator through the design process was developed and implemented to gain understandings into whether incorporating design thinking in a classroom context would enhance educators problem-solving abilities and empower them to effectively tackle complex problems. The findings suggest that design thinking is a powerful tool for educator’s and can have a positive impact on their classroom environment, though continued support is key. The paper begins with a situation analysis report to discuss the mission of the partner organization, as well as goals and expectations of the study. It continues with the theoretical inspiration statement which articulates the theoretical underpinnings of the study. Then, the design statement and prototype describe the outline of the procedures developed to guide the collaborating teacher through the design process. The paper concludes with the design enactment report which includes a narrative of the process and details the findings.
Current educational systems are trying to transform their practices with those that align with critical thinking skills, collaboration amongst students and allowing students to feel motivated and engaged in learning. Within a special education classroom at a Title I high school located in South Tempe, Arizona, a design was innovated in order to attempt to enhance this learning environment to foster students’ ability to build intrinsic motivation and engaged within their classroom through collaboration and the autonomy supported by the teacher and this innovation. Throughout this paper, you will be able to see the contextual analysis, theoretical inspirations, design constructs and analysis of the implementation within two separate class periods.