Smash-Up: Design Thinking, Personalized Learning, and Gifted Learners

Smash-Up: Design Thinking, Personalized Learning, and Gifted Learners

Laurie L. Alisat (Independent Research, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9232-7.ch013

Abstract

Among the current trends, globally in education, is a focus on personalized learning as a way to meet student needs, increase engagement, and improve achievement. Design thinking is a process, as well as a way of being, which, as a promising practice, provides a means for personalizing learning through work that is meaningful and relevant to students. The mindsets and processes of design thinking were used to invite gifted students into problem finding and problem solving, which began with where the students were at and further developed their knowledge and skills in action-oriented solutions. Using design thinking, students engaged in the world to solve authentic problems through a lens of empathy and human centeredness, strengthening their ties to community. Design thinking provided rich learning opportunities that were effective for gifted learners, engaging their curiosity, sense of social justice, imagination, and critical thinking.
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Background

Selected Review of the Literature

The following topics: personalized learning, design thinking, and gifted learners, are reviewed with the intent to provide background as innovative pedagogies and best practices for gifted learners as well as others.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Design Attitude: A disposition that is common among designers where identifiable mindsets are present in their approach to a task or problem.

Design Thinking: Refers to the process designers use that has been taken up by non-designers to approach problem finding and problem solving.

Competency-Based: Refers to an approach where student progress to the next level is determined by demonstrated mastery of particular concepts and skills. It is not in relation to grade or age.

Disposition: Refers to one’s way of being that influences how they approach tasks, problems, and life.

Standards-Based: Refers to a particular benchmark that achievement is marked against for a particular age or grade. All students are held to the same standard of achievement.

Gifted Learners: Refers to intellectually gifted learners who have been identified through standardized psycho-educational assessments as having cognitive ability that is two or more standard deviations above the average.

Overexcitabilities: Refers to Dabrowski’s five neurologically excited states in individuals of high potential that are observed and described as heightened behaviors.

Mindset: Refers to a way of mentally approaching or framing a task, experience, or relationship. Mindsets influence a disposition.

Personalized Learning: Refers to an approach to teaching and learning that is focused on individual learner interests, needs, and motivation.

Human Centeredness: Refers to approaches that begin with a focus on the human impact first.

Metadisciplinary Methodology: Refers to an approach where the discipline reflects back on itself through its theory and practice.

Designerly Thinking: Refers to the scholarly disposition, mindsets, and processes that inform trained designers’ way in the world.

Ideate: Refers to generating ideas; in the context of design thinking it includes extensive brainstorming and building upon ideas.

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