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Rikke Toft Nørgård

Educational Design Thinking: On overcoming present tensions between educators and designers in design processes with new technologies within educational settings

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This paper suggest that the import and implementation of creative, innovative and entrepreneurial design processes within formal informal educational settings carry inherent potentials and pitfalls within them in relation to educational design, pedagogical practice and design agency. More specifically, a clash between educational organization and design thinking paradigms emerges, tensions between goal-oriented education and vision-driven design build, and unproductive war on what education through design implies flare. Children are caught in the middle. Drawing on central works within design thinking (e.g. Nelson & Stolterman or Cross), empathic design (e.g. Bannon or Gagnon & Coté), technological imagination (McCarthy & Wright or Balsamo), educational design and technology use within education (Laurrilard or Donohue), the paper builds a case for new ways of thinking through technologies in formal and informal educational settings where children’s creative, innovative, and entrepreneurial design processes are the goal. Based on works such as the above as well as data on these matters (see below) the paper develops a conceptual framework for Educational Design Thinking. Here, the focus is on how to promote, sustain and scaffold designerly ideation and technological imagination within formal/informal educational settings. Something that seems to require a dialectics focused on children’s transitions, transformations and transgressions within educational settings, engaged, empathic teaching and radical educational experience and competence in the tradition of e.g. Freire, Ranciére, or Hooks. Rather, than focusing on the potentials of technology to support visible learning, instructional design, differentiated learning or measurement of quality in teaching and learning, this paper focuses on the potentials of technology to liberate learners, promote transformatory relations in education and invite for transgressive actions and rebelhood within educational settings. In this paper, I suggest that a particular framing of Educational Design Thinking, aiming for changemaking and futuremaking in education creates a context that promotes a turn towards respectful, genuine and earnest design thinking in education. Children should be allowed to become the humans they need to be in order for them to create the society they want to live in. That is, we need to teach children to rebel, to transgress, to construct, to take place, and give teachers and children the power back that allow them to do so. If education is to make room for them to do this then we need to develop alternative ways of performing, thinking and talking about literacy, competencies, and the purpose of education.
Original languageEnglish
Publication year2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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