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Design Thinking for Leading and Learning

Access on edX

This course is currently archived on edX. Certificate enrollment is closed.

About This Course

How do we prepare K-12 students and learning communities to be as successful as possible? If future jobs require creativity, problem-solving, and communication, how do we teach these skills in meaningful ways? How do we bring together passionate school leaders to create systemic solutions to educational challenges? Come explore these questions and more in Design Thinking for Leading and Learning.

The course is organized into three sections that combine design thinking content with real-world education examples, as well as opportunities for learners to apply concepts in their own setting.

Unit 1: Meet Design Thinking. An introduction to design thinking through the perspective of designers at MIT. For the first assignment, learners will take on the role of a designer and complete a small design project. This unit serves as a foundation for upcoming work in Units 2 and 3.

Unit 2: Design Thinking for Students. Examples of how and why PK-12 educators use the design thinking process to enhance student learning in their classrooms. Learners will develop a hands-on design challenge to experiment with the process in their own classrooms or workplaces.

Unit 3: Design Thinking for Schools. Examples of how and why PK-12 institutions and their partners use design thinking to address systemic change. Learners will develop an action plan to experiment using the design process to address a problem in their own school communities.

This course has been funded by Microsoft and is part of the Microsoft K-12 Education Leadership initiative developed to provide resources to K-12 school leaders around the world as they address the unique needs of their schools in a changing educational and technology landscape.

Learning Objectives

  • Process of design thinking
  • Why the design thinking process is helpful for 21st century learners and schools
  • How design thinking is applied in a variety of educational settings
  • Ways to apply design thinking as a strategy for improving schools and systems

Format of This Course

This course includes all content from the original course on edX.

Recommended Prerequisites


License and Terms of Use

This course is licensed Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International(CC BY), which permits you to freely download, share, and adapt the material so long as you give appropriate credit.

Course Staff

Course Staff Image #1

Justin Reich

Assistant Professor, Comparative Media Studies

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Course Staff Image #2

Elizabeth Huttner-Loan

Digital Learning Lab Fellow, Comparative Media Studies

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Course Staff Image #2

Alyssa Napier

Course Developer

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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    6 weeks
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