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The last phase of design thinking involves implementing and testing the solution
                             with the users of the innovation. However, the design process may not be complete
                             because  designers  still  need  to  gather  information  about  their  solutions.  They
                             may gather feedback through questionnaires or conversations. Designers take this
                             information and continue to iterate for continuous improvement.

                                           Design Thinking in K–12 and Higher Education
                                According to IDEO (2012), educators often face challenges around the design and
                             development of learning experiences (curriculum), learning environments (spaces),
                             school programs and experiences (processes and tools), and system strategies, goals,
                             and policies (systems). For example, if entry into a building is chaotic when the first
                             bell rings, the morning routine system (or lack thereof) is creating this issue and can
                             be redesigned to produce a safe and orderly routine. Design thinking can help make
                             it so…and if the new routine is still not perfect, evaluation and more iteration can
                             improve it further.
                                Instructors  can  use  design  thinking  as  a  pedagogy  to  move  students  beyond
                             learning  theory  and  memorizing  content.  Design  thinking  incorporates  informed
                             improvisation,  risk-taking,  and  action  as  students  prototype,  test,  and  evaluate
                             possible  solutions.  In  this  user-centered  approach,  students  must  consider  the
                             perspectives  of  those  for  whom  they  are  designing.  Finally,  design  thinking  can
                             be an approach to equity because the process itself focuses on minimizing power
                             structures by expecting participation from different stakeholders, designing with the
                             user in mind, examining the bias of the designers through reflection, and allowing
                             divergent voices and ideas to emerge (Sellers, 2018).

                                  Using Liberatory Design Thinking in an Educational Leadership
                                                         Preparation Program
                                As part of my efforts to implement action-oriented pedagogies that help aspiring
                             school leaders move beyond the theory of social justice leadership and be prepared
                             to  implement  solutions  that  help  create  more  equitable  outcomes  for  students,  I
                             created and implemented a design-thinking unit for my graduate class on the school
                             principalship. Numerous disparities exist in outcomes for White students as compared
                             to their minoritized peers, such as a 10% gap in the national graduation rates between
                             White and Black students (National Center for Education Statistics [NCES], 2022a).
                             At a time when 54% of students in public schools are from minoritized populations
                             (NCES, 2022b) and the current system is producing and reproducing disparities in
                             outcomes, social-justice leaders are needed in schools across the United States.
                                Social-justice leaders are those who “advocate, lead, and keep at the center of
                             their practice and vision issues of race, class, gender, disability, sexual orientation,
                             and other historically and currently marginalizing conditions in the United States”
                             (Theoharis, 2007, p. 223). Today’s school leaders are charged with creating equitable
                             and inclusive schools. Yet, addressing inequalities and injustices found in schools
                             requires “deep changes in the overall structure and operation of schools” (Faircloth,
                             2018, p. 58).
                                In  addition  to  reading  about  and  discussing  transformative  and  culturally
                             responsive social-justice leadership, I wanted graduate students to reconceptualize
                             the inequitable structures in today’s schools and generate solutions that might lead
                             to more equitable outcomes for historically marginalized and underserved students.
                             I created a unit in which students were presented with the design challenge of “How

        8                                             The Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin: International Journal for Professional Educators
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