Transforming an Organization to be Design-capable

Client

The Meadowbrook K-8 School of Weston

2015-16, Weston, MA

Tags

Capability Mapping; Product Roadmap; Needs Alignment; Organizational Design; Prototyping Mindset; Coaching Capabilities

Strategy

I extracted the learnings of our experiment and strategized how to share them as useful information for public schools at a conference.

Tools

I created tools to superimpose the design process and the mindsets that were present at each stage to show interoperability and aide in teachers' curriculum objectives planning.

Full bellies, happy hearts

I made myself available during staff's free thinking time and brought tools to help them chew on difficult ideas that were being integrated all multiple levels.

Sharing Findings

I supported my teachers in sharing their progress with the rest of the staff so as to create a space for conversation and adaptation of these key principles across functions.

Students rock

I created custom, hands-on design thinking bootcamps for students to get their hands wet and their minds warm with our key principles. The challenges needed to be beginner friendly, relevant, and most of all, fun.

Students

I commanded the attention of the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students (no easy feat!) and they seemed to actually enjoy learning about the first principles of the design thinking process. They emerged eager to apply their new knowledge to their science projects.

Curriculum

I created a curriculum bootcamp for my team of teachers— a 3-day intensive to transform their units into design thinking master projects that met their Intended Learning Objectives and our design thinking transformation goals.

The Challenge

The Meadowbrook School of Weston recruited me as a makerspace and design thinking curriculum expert to aid in their transformation as a forward-thinking STEAM school. They were installing a brand new makerspace, but required teacher buy-in and curriculum integration for teachers to feel secure in leveraging the new tools being offered. They went to MIT’s Edgerton Center, which came to me, to serve as the pioneering consultant at the client site.

The Process

I coached the team of science teachers to pilot new ways of integrating design thinking projects into their existing curriculum and finding opportunities for students to authentically create in the makerspace. I mapped their curriculum objectives as capabilities and desired outcomes to new projects to show how capabilities would transfer from one project to another. I created tools to help teachers make sense of integrating design thinking mindsets into their work.

Results

I made myself open and available to the community and that resulted in new projects with new teachers approaching me as ambassadors of the practice. I presented our successes at Board meetings and took the team to an annual congress on best design thinking practices. Teachers that worked with me emerged as confident and capable in their abilities to incorporate design thinking projects into their curriculum and with a prototyping mindset that craved feedback from their students in new ways than ever before. I implemented a new governance model that brought the makerspace specialist into the classroom to reduce redundancies and inefficiencies in project design.