When Design Thinking Goes to School: A Literature Review of Design Competences for the K-12 Level

Anna Rusmann*, Stine Ejsing-Duun

*Corresponding author

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

School can nurture critical thinkers, creative individuals, and skilled collaborators and communicators, who are curious about and invested in society. Design thinking is a promising educational approach because it builds on the notion that students learn by tackling problems in the world. However, implementing this approach in a school setting is not straightforward. Our paper synthesizes the findings from the literature on design thinking in the K-12 school context. We explore what competences students apply and develop in the design process and how these competences are described in the literature. Then, we link the discovered competences to the pedagogical context by comparing them with phases of inquiry developed by educational thinker John Dewey. This paper’s main contribution is a conceptualization of competences and their relations, which we in closing summarize in our Design Competence Framework. This model can encourage teachers and researchers alike to be attentive to these competences and to assess them.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Technology and Design Education
ISSN0957-7572
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Aug 2021

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