A Professional Development Teacher Training in Design Thinking Approach for Higher Students' Academic Success
Proceeding: EDULEARN22 Proceedings , pages: 8495-8502 - IATED
Published: 06/07/2022
A Professional Development Teacher Training in Design Thinking Approach for Higher Students' Academic Success
Many studies found that low academic levels and grades strongly predict school dropout. According to the data obtained from European Commission, over 46% of youths are at risk of social exclusion since the education system has not successfully prepared and maintained teachers and trainers with high performance to provide their learners with practical and authentic skills. Correspondingly, the learners lack guidance applicable and life context skills, such as creative thinking, problem-solving and collaboration skills. As a result, accumulated school failures favour early school leaving while decreasing their self-esteem.

Therefore, the need to introduce innovative pedagogical approaches focused on developing students' creative confidence has become relevant. Thus, the design thinking methodology is proposed to tackle this continuously increasing gap between the formative offer, students, and employment market requirements. Originating in the development of psychological studies on creativity and its' techniques in the 1950s, by the 2000s, design thinking evolved into a generalizable approach to technical and social innovation. In particular, a design thinking methodology is a human-centred approach that provides people with the tools to act, combining both "designer" and specific problem-solver perspectives, enabling one to use the design process and strategies to think, plan and make decisions.
It consists of five phases with particular goals: empathize, define, ideate, prototype and test. The practical adoption of the methodology presumes no linear progression from one phase to another. In general, being a non-linear iterative process, design thinking methodology is widely adopted to understand users, challenge assumptions, redefine problems and create innovative solutions to prototype and test. Within the educational context, design thinking is known to foster creative thinking, help develop empathy, promote action-oriented actions, meta-cognitive awareness, problem-solving skills, and enhance students' imagination. The last supports the students' critical thinking development, social inclusion, teamwork skills promotion, and academic performance improvement.

In this context, the paper introduces the DTS project co-funded by the European Commission through the Turkish National Agency in Erasmus Plus Programme – School Education (Cod. 2020-1-TR01-KA201-094174). The project aims to bridge the gap in teachers' professional development to provide students with applicable skills and guidance by introducing the design thinking approach into the classroom. In particular, the work discusses the context, objectives, intellectual outputs, and the work realized so far.

Keywords: Teaching, Learning, Design Thinking, Professional Development.

How to cite this paper:
Tramonti, M., Dochshanov, A. M. (2022). A Professional Development Teacher Training in Design Thinking Approach for Higher Students' Academic Success. In EDULEARN22 Proceedings (pp. 8495-8502). IATED.