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Design Thinking Methods for Educators
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Method Cards

Teaching aid for educators, add your own cards to this template
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Why & How
Description
Students can be encouraged to ask Why and How questions around phenomena. “Why” probes the reasons/factors/events behind the phenomena and “how” focuses on explaining them.
Uses
Understanding cause and effect relationships.
Visualizing events in history (e.g. events leading up to a conflict and its repercussions), chemistry (molecular chain reactions), biology (stimulus-response) etc. that occur in a timeline.
Propose a Question
Description
Students are intrinsically motivated to learn when an explicit knowledge gap is present. Asking questions about phenomena that are commonly seen in the surroundings can help identify this gap.
Uses
When the subject matter you’re teaching is based on phenomena that students have observed in their surroundings.
When it is possible to cover the entire concept in a single session.
Observing & Journaling
Description
Asking students to observe phenomena would trigger an exploration. Journaling helps students process information and later consolidate what they observed.
Uses
Individual pre-work to build interest in the subject matter to be taught in upcoming classes.
Promoting an intentional and multi-sensorial observation of a phenomena in the students’ surroundings.
Fostering a note-taking habit in the students.
Talking & Questioning
Description
Framing questions in itself is a learning opportunity which encourages students to think about the topic. Talking to people will help students to expand their knowledge, learn in a non-traditional setting, observe how the same question can have different answers, and become more comfortable with asking questions.
Uses
Learning beyond the classroom environment.
Exploring societal topics/issues.
Understanding and accepting others’ point of views to generate empathy.
Identify & Summarize
Description
Finding patterns and connecting concepts is an intuitive way of making sense of information. This can be summarized by students to make a knowledge bank of key concepts.
Uses
Helping students identify their knowledge gaps.
Recapping and condensing learnings.
Building bite-sized knowledge repositories.
Concept Map
Description
A visual method to map out phenomena/ideas/concepts by forming relevant connections or identifying dependencies.
Uses
Breaking down large topics or problems.
Identifying interdependencies, connections, and cause-effect relationships.
Creating visual snapshots of classroom discussions.
Comic Strip
Description
Comic strips are an excellent method of visual storytelling and can be used to solidify the understanding of a concept. They help break down the concept into action.
Uses
Better understanding of a concept that is sequential in nature.
Replacing fill-in-the-blanks questions (e.g. for topics in history, boxes can be labelled with important years associated with an event. Students can draw simple drawings or name what happened in that year; for languages, students can illustrate/write a short story in the style of a playwright).
Ideating and capturing imagination.
Experimentation
Description
Simple experiments conducted prior to teaching a new concept can create curiosity which leads to an intrinsic motivation to learn the science behind the phenomena.
Uses
Helping students think critically and investigate phenomena.
Keeping students engaged and focused while explaining related concepts.
Eliciting and tackling misconceptions that students might have related to the phenomena.
Build & Create
Description
Making models and prototypes adds a dimension to ideas and concepts learnt in class. It is a way of stretching the students imagination and help in developing problem solving skills.
Uses
Encouraging learning by doing.
Building the habit of prototyping and testing.
Adding dimensionality to concepts and textbook images/diagrams.

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