Faculty Experience Design Thinking

Collegiate students aren’t the only ones who learn the process of design thinking (a problem-solving method that helps individuals develop empathy, understand human needs and collaborate on solutions to meet those needs).

During a professional development workshop on campus in June, Collegiate teachers from all three divisions engaged in a design thinking challenge about how they might provide a better education to girls in emergency situations. The challenge was sponsored by an organization called Open IDEO and was issued to educators worldwide.

Collegiate’s faculty focused on life in refugee camps and relied on two colleagues to help them gain a better understanding of the issue. The faculty groups interviewed Global Scholar-In-Residence and former Lost Boy of Sudan John Dau about his experience as a student living in a refugee camp for several years. Daniel Bartels, Middle and Upper School STEAM Coordinator, then showed them how to use Virtual Reality to explore refugee camps and make observations that would inform their solution ideas.

“Having concentrated time for faculty to learn and collaborate allows for innovation and growth that directly impacts our students educational experience for many years to come,” said Clare Sisisky, Collegiate’s Institute for Responsible Citizenship Director.

In addition, representatives from the Buck Institute for Education returned to campus for the second consecutive year to facilitate a three-day Project Based Learning 101 Workshop with 23 Collegiate faculty members, as well as faculty from Anna Julia Cooper Episcopal School, Church Hill Academy and St. Andrews School.

The Buck Institute offers professional development for teachers on how to design, assess and manage projects that engage and motivate students.