Design Thinking

3 Why focus on Empathy and Creativity?

While Design Thinking is often attributed to business and industry,  there is increasing evidence for its value to instruction of students in this method and it comes down to one word: empathy. This initial and critical step in the process is necessary for students’ emotional intelligence and maturity. According to Tim Elmore, author of Artificial Maturity: Helping Kids Meet the Challenge of Becoming Authentic Adults, empathy had dropped 40 percent in college students in a 2010 University of Michigan Study, and according to Vicki Zakrzewski, education director at the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, "Scientific research is starting to show that there is a very strong relationship between social-emotional learning and cognitive development and performance” (Tavenger, 2014). Empathy is like a muscle- use it, or lose it.

 Through incorporation of Design Thinking in making, creating, and problem solving, students learn the value of observation, exercise and strengthen questioning skills, and develop the ability to view their world through multiple viewpoints.


Elmore, T. (2012). Artificial Maturity: Helping Kids Meet the Challenge of Becoming Authentic Adults. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Tavenger, H. (2014). Empathy: The Most Important Back-to-School Supply. Edutopia. August 7, 2014. Retrieved from


Being a Maker:

Design and Thinking -

Creativity vs Innovation: We often confuse innovation with creativity. "Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things."Theodore Levitt


Adam Grant named creative thinkers as "Originals ". They are nonconformist, act on their ideas, have ideas, speak out, and are driven by change. They look nothing like I expected: 

    • moderate procrastinator (give the task time to consider divergent ideas)
    • Quick to start slow to finish... first movers failure rate 47% / 8% failure rate for the improvers
    • Doubt and Fear (self-doubt and idea doubt are 2 different things. They key to being original is to be able to prototype. 
      • If you feel doubt, don't let it go!
      • They are more afraid to fail to try, than to fail.

Originals have tons of bad ideas. The greatest fail the most because they try the most. --