Teachers as Designers: A Human-Centered Approach to Solving Problems—and Creating New Opportunities—in Schools
Jessica Brown, Student Experience Lab Associate, Business Innovation Factory
@kmjlbrown | Website
Stephanie Lanoue, Talent Associate, Business Innovation Factory
Over the past few years, “design thinking” has emerged as one of the most effective collaborative strategies that leaders, educators, and students can use to tap into the intrinsic capacities that all individuals and groups possess, but that tend to be overlooked by more conventional approaches to leadership, problem-solving, and collective action. By bringing a human-centered approach to investigating and solving problems, design thinking helps organizations and groups create experiences and products that will provide the best outcomes for everyone involved.
For the past several years, the Business Innovation Factory in Providence, Rhode Island, has been working with teachers to harness the creativity and critical-thinking skills they use every day to solve tough problems in education—from creating student-centered schools to elevating the priorities of teachers in school governance to creating, testing, and implementing classroom activities and pedagogical approaches that meet the needs of every student.
This workshop will teach educators Design Thinking skills that will empower them to create, test, and implement solutions that can transform education. We will use Teachers Design for Education (TD4Ed), a free, collaborative platform and curriculum that the Business Innovation Factory’s Student Experience Lab co-created with teachers with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Jessica Brown is the Lab Associate in the Student Experience Lab at the Business Innovation Factory. She is responsible for coordinating with the Lab Director to strategize operational plans for the national Education Lab that utilizes human-centered design processes to research, design, prototype, and spread innovative education models. She is tasked with researching in support of Lab projects and initiatives, packaging and sharing storytelling assets, and building the Lab’s network and capacity.
Prior to joining the BIF team, she co-founded 1vyG, the inter-Ivy, first-generation student network to mobilize student voice and build and test best practices for student success. She studied Business, Entrepreneurship, and Organizations at Brown University.
As Talent Manager, Stephanie Lanoue is responsible for connecting people to projects. In this capacity, she improves processes, manages assignments and priorities, and develops growth plans for her colleagues. A former educator, she uses her insight into an individual’s strengths to provide impactful opportunities for implementation. Her passion for, and experience in design thinking, was kindled by BIF when she served as team captain in piloting TD4Ed (see BIF’s Student Experience Lab, “Teachers Design for Education") in her school district. She led the charge by creating a “Tech Team” which trained teachers and inspired them to utilize technology as a primary teaching tool.