Empathy = Design Thinking = Creativity & Curiosity

in someone else's shoes!

Photo of Paula Marra
4 9

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I work with a great Math Coach, who is also an architect (Rebecca Murry). We collaborate A LOT!!!!!

Rebecca suggested and organized a Field Trip for all kinder classes to the Cooper Hewitt museum. 

The Field Trip:

"You have selected to focus your Design Field Trip on Beautiful Users, an exhibition that highlights the significant role of the user in design. With the guidance of a Design Educator, your students will critically explore everyday examples of products, spaces, and interfaces that illustrate how designers today are shifting their philosophy from designing for people to designing with people. During the workshop, students will construct their own design that fits the need of a user based on a unique scenario."

We all received a Teacher Resource Pack with activities we should do before and after the trip! My students were already used to the DT process so we were ready!

I was in total awe by my students creations!!! Their challenge was to adapt a fork for someone that has/had little mobility, they wore oven mitts on their hands to experience it and they creatively created!

Take a look at their creative designs!!! 

We should provide in class these moments for creation using empathy as the channel for creativity and curiosity!





How does this idea help to spark student curiosity?

It helped the students to think outside their comfort zone, to experience something as someone else.

I marked below Elementary (1-5), but my students are kinder and the aced it!!!!

What grade level is this idea most appropriate for?

  • All of the above

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Photo of Lisa
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Awesome Paula! All my ninth graders are going to the Cooper Hewitt as are my architecture students! What an amazing place. I did a pocket brainstorm in class with students, asking them to pull out two or three things from their backpacks and combine them to make something new: think "spork." They were so into it! And they then got feedback and reiterated. Last they pitched it along with a poster to market it... So much fun!

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