Design Thinking and Its Impact on Education Innovation

Today’s episode explores Design thinking. It’s everywhere in education right now, or at least we think it should be. It’s the topic of many of our blogs and we often use design thinking to help our partners reach their goals — whether it be designing a new school, helping to turn around an existing school, or working on resources for educators. But, how does it play into the work of school design and leadership?’, and ‘Where do I get started?’

Emily and Adam recently got together to discuss all aspects of design thinking. A lot of educators are just now getting familiar with design thinking, so they dive into the topic to explain what it is, how it can improve their practice, and to rethink how they facilitate learning. Adam has been using the design thinking approach for years and has lots to share, so tune in to this week’s episode to learn more.

Key Takeaways:

[1:00] Emily explains why they want to discuss design thinking and welcomes Adam to the podcast.
[1:37] What is design thinking and why is it coming to be a really hot topic in education today?
[3:48] Some fun examples Adam has seen throughout the years.
[4:26] The many different ways that design thinking can be applied.
[5:38] How Adam has seen design thinking used in his years of leading schools.
[10:50] The element of empathy in solution-based learning and design thinking.
[12:00] The importance of having seen the world through a design-based lense.
[15:10] The design thinking Adam has seen in his kids’ games that encompass collaboration, creating, and iterating as they go.
[16:46] Where Adam recommends getting started with design thinking.
[21:15] Adam’s favorite resources when it comes to finding design thinking inspiration.
[22:45] How purpose is key in engaging in design thinking.

Mentioned in This Episode:

Stanford D.School
One Stone
Seth Godin
Poke the Box: When Was the Last Time You Did Something for the First Time? by Seth Godin
Daniel Pink
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, by Daniel Pink

Is there someone you want to learn from? Send your interview suggestions to [email protected] or comment below.

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Getting Smart Staff

The Getting Smart Staff believes in learning out loud and always being an advocate for things that we are excited about. As a result, we write a lot. Do you have a story we should cover? Email [email protected]

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A lot of academics are now familiar with design thinking, so they need to explain how to improve the practice and how to reconsider how they are easy to learn.


Where can I listen to this discussion? Can you email me a link?


Erik Day

Hi Erica,

The podcast embedded in this page is a good place to listen, otherwise you can find our podcast on iTunes here.


Sandesh Kale

Good article. In the modern era, Design Thinking has emerged as an important skill that can bring greater success for individuals. Avantika University, the Top Design and Engineering College in MP focuses on offering Design Thinking Education.

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