When I talk to other teacher friends, a common concern seems to be how to get our students engaged in the classroom lessons. So many students seem apathetic about their education, and it’s up to us to be creative in piquing their interest.
One such way to engage kids and to teach them a multitude of lessons they can use in life and in the workforce is to implement project-based learning, or design thinking. In its simplest form, design thinking allows students to explore real-world problems. When researching and exploring, the lessons become more interesting and more personal because these are problems they can see in the world or in their communities with their own eyes.
My guest today is Shari Gateley, who is an ardant supporter of design thinking as well as an AP English teacher at Putnam City West High School in Oklahoma City. She was named Teacher of the Year for the Putnam City School District, which means she is a 2019 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year finalist. Shari is also a University of Oklahoma alumni.
We had a great discussion about the benefits of design thinking, how she became interested in this platform, and the results she hopes to see in her classroom. We also discuss student empathy interviews, which is a simple way to introduce this idea of design thinking to your classroom.
Resources mentioned in today’s episode:
Stanford University’s Design Thinking Bootleg: https://dschool.stanford.edu/
I am a secondary English Language Arts teacher, a University of Oklahoma student working on my Master’s of Education in Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum with an concentration in English Education, and a NBPTS candidate. I am constantly seeking ways to amplify my students’ voices and choices.