Abstract

The advantages of constructivist learning and criteria for its realization have been well-determined through theoretical findings in pedagogy (Reich, 2008; Dewey, 1916). Educational researchers and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) promote a process oriented, so-called CSSC learning (constructed, self-regulated, situated, collaborative) to be effective in supporting 21st century competences (de Corte, 2010). However, the practical implementation itself leaves a lot to be desired (Gardner, 2010; Wagner, 2011). Lessons are not efficiently designed to help teachers execute CSSC learning. Common CSSC learning methods are abstractly describing what to do, while leaving the teacher uncertain about how to do it. We therefore conclude: there is a missing link between theoretical findings and demands by pedagogy science, and practical implementation of constructivist learning and teaching. Teachers have negative classroom experience with project methods. They would rather opt for the well structured, but abstract and instruction-only approach, than using an open structured, but more concrete and holistic mode of collaborative learning in projects. We claim that, Design Thinking as a methodology for project-oriented learning offers teachers the needed support towards a CSSC oriented teaching and learning design. Through a formalized process it may serve as a bridge between demand and reality of learning in the classroom. Thereby, Design Thinking would contribute to educational research. Our case study points out the improvement of the classroom experience for teacher and student alike, when using Design Thinking. This leads to a positive attitude towards constructivist learning and an increase of its implementation in education. The ultimate goal of this paper is to prove that Design Thinking gets teachers empowered to facilitate CSSC learning in order to foster 21st century skills.

Keywords

design thinking, education, learning process, constructivism

COinS
 
Jul 1st, 12:00 AM

Transforming Constructivist Learning into Action: Design thinking in education

The advantages of constructivist learning and criteria for its realization have been well-determined through theoretical findings in pedagogy (Reich, 2008; Dewey, 1916). Educational researchers and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) promote a process oriented, so-called CSSC learning (constructed, self-regulated, situated, collaborative) to be effective in supporting 21st century competences (de Corte, 2010). However, the practical implementation itself leaves a lot to be desired (Gardner, 2010; Wagner, 2011). Lessons are not efficiently designed to help teachers execute CSSC learning. Common CSSC learning methods are abstractly describing what to do, while leaving the teacher uncertain about how to do it. We therefore conclude: there is a missing link between theoretical findings and demands by pedagogy science, and practical implementation of constructivist learning and teaching. Teachers have negative classroom experience with project methods. They would rather opt for the well structured, but abstract and instruction-only approach, than using an open structured, but more concrete and holistic mode of collaborative learning in projects. We claim that, Design Thinking as a methodology for project-oriented learning offers teachers the needed support towards a CSSC oriented teaching and learning design. Through a formalized process it may serve as a bridge between demand and reality of learning in the classroom. Thereby, Design Thinking would contribute to educational research. Our case study points out the improvement of the classroom experience for teacher and student alike, when using Design Thinking. This leads to a positive attitude towards constructivist learning and an increase of its implementation in education. The ultimate goal of this paper is to prove that Design Thinking gets teachers empowered to facilitate CSSC learning in order to foster 21st century skills.

 

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