iServi News | 3 December 2021 | Term 4, Week 8
The Design Thinking Process – Year 9 Nannup Learning Experience
At Servite we promote a very contemporary vision for learning which aims to develop students as “researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs”. We know that the associated higher order thinking skills will best prepare students for their dynamic future world. We want to build in students the capacity to be critical thinkers who are creative and collaborative in solving complex, real world problems.
This underpinning philosophy was a key driver for our recently concluded Year 9 program which ran at our Nannup campus over the past few weeks. This special initiative allowed our students to work with key members of the local Nannup community to assist in the development of entrepreneurial solutions to key contemporary and real-life issues.
In engaging with community members and exploring the issues at hand, students had to adopt an inquiry-based mindset. Utilising our College-created design thinking process, students followed a series of steps to explore the problem, gather data and then work toward an appropriate and innovative solution.
The design thinking process is an important one as it allows students to think and plan broadly. It helps them to draw in information from a rage of sources and then to think critically in working toward a solution. The process is iterative and collaborative, with students working in teams to challenge assumptions and test ideas to arrive at an innovative solution.
Being able to critically analyse situations and work toward a solution is a key skill set for success in our dynamic world. We want our students to develop the capacity to apply their findings, established through quality research, in an entrepreneurial way to solve real world problems. Having these skill sets will of course provide a great foundation for student success across their different subjects and best set them up future success.
The Nannup experience also provides student growth opportunities outside of the learning domain. We know that being away from the regular daily school routine, friends and family can provide a challenge for our students and therefore offers growth opportunities for them around resilience and building quality relationships with others.
We know that the multiple learning approaches integrated into the program promote a sense of self-regulation where students begin to develop their own methods in gathering the appropriate data and addressing the key questions. This style of learning also builds student confidence, as they are encouraged to step outside of their comfort zone to communicate directly with others to source ideas and feedback.
Spending time outside of the confines of a regular school environment and sharing experiences and time together allows students to connect with one another and to share their talents. It promotes opportunity for students to see others in a different light and to recognise them for whom they are and for the gifts that they bring. Importantly the experience also allows for genuine leadership opportunities for all students as they take on key responsibilities in different facets of the programme.
We are very grateful to our College staff for their support of our innovative approach to learning this term with our Year 9 cohort. We also acknowledge the excellent work of Deputy Principal Teaching and Learning Mr Peter Jones, Director of Research, Innovation and Enterprise Ms Krystal Skelin and our specialist Nannup teacher Ms Melissa Plant in ensuring the success of the program.
We are also very thankful to parents and students for their input in co-developing the learning experience to help ensure it was a genuinely engaging and impactful one.
Mr Jeff Allen