Prerequisites

No previous experience with design thinking needed. We recommend that participants take the course with colleagues from their organization (school, district, learning environment).

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.

Image: Alyssa Napier and Garrett Beazley. © MIT

What you'll learn

  • 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

Meet your instructors

Justin Reich
Assistant Professor, Comparative Media Studies
MIT
Elizabeth Huttner-Loan
Digital Learning Lab Fellow, Comparative Media Studies
MIT
Alyssa Napier
Course Developer
MIT

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Frequently asked questions

Q: How familiar with design thinking do I have to be to take this course?

A: Because the first unit of the course is an introduction to design thinking, you do not have to be familiar with design thinking before taking this course.

Who can take this course?

Unfortunately, learners from one or more of the following countries or regions will not be able to register for this course: Iran, Cuba and the Crimea region of Ukraine. While edX has sought licenses from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to offer our courses to learners in these countries and regions, the licenses we have received are not broad enough to allow us to offer this course in all locations. EdX truly regrets that U.S. sanctions prevent us from offering all of our courses to everyone, no matter where they live.