Creating is just one element of the “design thinking” classes now installed in 400 Dutch primary schools. In education, this approach focuses on identifying new challenges as they develop and finding potential solutions. As Harvard’s Graduate School of Education notes, this framework can be used to design specific courses or for group projects.
Having empathy and critical thinking skills are crucial for this educational approach, says the program’s inventor, Emer Beamer. An Irish native living in the Netherlands, she founded her nonprofit organization Designathon Works five years ago. Since then, 23,680 children have worked with design thinking principles and the project has already spread to more than three dozen other countries.