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and  followed  brainstorming  protocols.  Finally,  participants  were  prompted  to
            action. They had the opportunity to articulate the redesign of some aspect of their
            school. They committed to exploring solutions further and taking small steps toward
            creating more equitable schools within their own environments. As they engaged
            in design thinking, they acted as social-justice leaders who made issues that affect
            historically  marginalized  students  part  of  their  advocacy,  vision,  and  leadership
            practices (Theoharis, 2007).

                            Additional Applications: Theory to Practice
               Samples of how some students incorporated design-thinking concepts into their
            work as educators and school leaders may provide further insight. For example,
            when Alicia was a principal intern, she worked with the school’s assistant principal
            to redesign the school’s approach to engaging parents from diverse backgrounds.
            They conducted individual and focus-group interviews and incorporated the parents’
            ideas into their meetings. This included more time for connection with each other
            and more feedback loops so that parents could have more voice in improving the
            middle school. Likewise, Jenn had the opportunity to redesign the master schedule at
            the elementary school where she recently became the assistant principal. She worked
            with the leadership team to start with students’needs and then ideate wild ideas and
            creative solutions. She reported that it was a great way to introduce the design-
            thinking process at the school and help the team break out of their old patterns of
            thinking. They stopped saying, “We tried that once,” “That won’t work for me,”
            or “This is the way we have always done it” to focus on innovative ways to meet
            students’  needs  for  interventions  and  enrichment. As  another  example,  although
            not leading the process, Keely practiced her flexible thinking recently at a design
            collaborative hosted by the state department of education. Constituents from across
            the state—including mental health workers, counselors, school administrators, and
            teachers—came together to rethink ways to distribute grant funds so that schools
            could more seamlessly support students rather than compartmentalizing academic,
            behavioral, and social-emotional supports for students. Although the process took
            time, it allowed leaders to let go of their own needs and develop student-centered
            solutions that would support students across the state. These examples show a small
            slice  of  how  design  thinking  might  be  used  within  educational  settings  and  for
            organizational improvement.

               My  journey  with  design  thinking  started  several  years  ago  when  I  attended  a
            workshop and experienced the process with a team of educators. A few years later,
            my oldest child attended Olin College of Engineering and was energized about many
            projects that involved user-based design. Since that time, I have facilitated the process
            with various groups, from teachers building online courses for the first time to faculty
            groups wanting better ways to mentor new educators. While I have continued to read
            and learn, design thinking has evolved. Liberatory Design and EquityXDesign are
            newer versions of design thinking developed within the last 6 years. Here are some
            websites with free resources for people wanting to learn more or get started with this
            powerful concept:
              • Resources from at Stanford:
              • IDEO’s Design Thinking for Educators Toolkit:  http://designthinkingforeducators.

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