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Design Thinking

Discover a new way to approach to learning, collaboration and problem-solving

NEW: A vision for education and skills at Newcastle University: Education for Life 2030+

What is Design Thinking?

Design Thinking is a mindset and approach to learning, collaboration, and problem-solving. Unlike traditional academic teaching, which tends to be analytical and focused, Design Thinking encourages learners to take an inquiry stance, think divergently, and develop reflexivity. The design process within Design Thinking provides a structured framework for identifying challenges, gathering information, generating potential solutions, refining ideas, and testing those solutions. It can be flexibly implemented, serving equally well as a framework for course design or as a roadmap for activities and group projects. In educational contexts, Design Thinking offers several benefits:

Creative Confidence: Design Thinking empowers students with the confidence to adapt and respond creatively to new challenges.

Innovation Skills: Learners develop the ability to identify and create innovative solutions to problems they encounter, fostering optimism and empathy.

Complex Problem-Solving: Design Thinking equips students to tackle complex, real-world challenges by emphasizing empathy, collaboration, and iterative problem-solving processes.

Active Citizenship: By engaging in Design Thinking, students become active contributors to solving global issues, making them valuable members of society.

Design Thinking provides a powerful framework for enhancing education, promoting creativity, and preparing students for the dynamic challenges of the modern world.

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At Newcastle University, colleagues are using Design Thinking to:

  • Solve particular operational problems
  • Co-design the student experience with students
  • Inform pedagogical approaches to module delivery and curriculum design
  • Educate students in Design Thinking techniques and processes

Find out More

If you would like to share your own experience of Design Thinking, to learn more about Design Thinking or connect with people that are interested in Design Thinking, we would love you to join our Community of Practice. 

Please contact Yulia Dzenkovska or Lucy Hatt and we will invite you join the Design Thinking Teams Site.  You will then be able to network with others interested in Design Thinking, find related resources and get invited to other Community events.