Last fall, David Kelley was kind enough to participate in a fireside chat on the popular weekly #DTK12CHAT that links educators who are interested in how design thinking can be embedded more deeply and purposefully in K-12 education. If you don’t know, David was co-founder of global design thinking firm IDEO and a principal founder of the Institute of Design School at Stanford University, commonly known as the d.school. David and his brother/colleague Tom recently published a must read book “Creative Confidence”. I wrote my reflections on their book, and its import for K-12 learning, in an earlier post.
Right after hearing David speak I took the liberty of writing him a long email about the status of innovation brushfires in American K-12, and some rather moonshot ideas about how “we” might more radically fan those brushfires into a true conflagration within the current generation of students. He was kind enough to respond right back to me, but with his book tour and million other things on his plate I was not able to meet with him until last week.
David and director of the d.school K-12 education group, Susie Wise, were so kind to set aside an hour. As always, it is wonderful to get back to the Farm; it turns out the d.school is housed about 20 meters from where I spent most of four years on my geology degrees. But that is not the point.
I think the d.school is a potential center of gravity that can help overcome the powerful inertial forces that keep much of American education in the last century…or the one before that. We kicked around ideas and found a lot of common themes and ideas. Of course we drew up a few ideas on a writing wall! It is too early to share thoughts, or even thoughts of thoughts, but this I WILL share. Do you and your school know about the work of the d.school? If not, you need to. They have an enormous array of resources, people, space, events, and interest that you can access, right now. If you are not accessing this kind of thinking, either through the d.school or similar groups, you are probably not seeing the whole picture of what learning can be.