Because Human-Centered Design (HCD) offers techniques for problem-solving that are useful in every administrator’s and teacher’s toolkit, we’ll again be offering HCD training sessions in the fall.
Educators interested in these professional development opportunities can sign up now to receive notifications when sessions are being scheduled. To schedule customized trainings for groups, contact our Chief Organization Officer, Jackie Foor.
Rooted in empathy, HCD is a subset of the design thinking process architects and urban planners have long used to ensure that their work meets all of their clients’ needs.
IDEO, a world leader in design, regards design thinking as a “mindset” that encompasses all the tenets of effective design: empathy, clear problem-definition, dynamic brainstorming, prototyping, and testing of solutions.
“The methods entailed in design thinking and HCD have utility far beyond planning for spaces or buildings,” said Consortium Program Director Aaron Altemus, one of our certified HCD trainers. “These are tools that we, as educators, can and should embrace as a powerful means to ensure all stakeholders’ needs are considered as we plan, solve problems, and make decisions in classrooms, schools, school districts, and communities.”
The techniques also ensure a methodical and inclusive approach to problem-solving, making them useful in classrooms whenever students are called upon to work collaboratively as well.
Districts that have participated in our trainings have tackled a variety of challenges using HCD, including:
- Redesigning learning spaces
- Building better connections with the community
- Aligning professional development with staff needs
- Improving Project-Based Learning (PBL)
- Improving school culture
- Creating career readiness opportunities for students
To see how one example played out, we invite you to read a Case Story on how Brownsville Area School District engaged students to repurpose a middle school library.