Design Thinking for Educators

A creative process that helps you design meaningful solutions in the classroom, at your school, and in your community. The toolkit provides you with instructions to explore Design Thinking.

The fact that the teacher is becoming the designer of his or her own classroom experience professionalizes the role of the teacher and allows for the most valuable change–authentic change driven by the students’ needs rather than a school or district mandate.

Design thinking is a creative act and lets teachers understand that the act of creating a really effective learning environment is an art that is both reflective and intentional. If we want to change education and learning to make it more relevant, more effective and more enjoyable for all involved, teachers need to be the entrepreneurial designers and redesigners of the “systems” of schools and of the schools themselves. 


Maker culture

Philosophical emphasis

Learning emphasizes learning-through-doing (constructivism) in a social environment. Maker culture emphasizes informal, networked, peer-led, and shared learning motivated by fun and self-fulfillment. Maker culture encourages novel applications of technologies, and the exploration of intersections between traditionally separate domains and ways of working including metal-working, calligraphy, film making, and computer programming. Community interaction and knowledge sharing are often mediated through networked technologies, with websites and social media tools forming the basis of knowledge repositories and a central channel for information sharing and exchange of ideas, and focused through social meetings in shared spaces such as hackspaces. Maker culture has attracted the interest of educators concerned about students’ disengagement from STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) in formal educational settings. Maker culture is seen as having the potential to contribute to a more participatory approach and create new pathways into topics that will make them more alive and relevant to learners.
Some say that the maker movement is a reaction to the de-valuing of physical exploration and the growing sense of disconnection with the physical world in modern cities. Other scholars including Raymond Malewitz and Charles Jencks have examined the Utopian vision of Maker culture, which they link to myths of rugged individualism, the possibility of a counterculture and libertarianism Many products produced by the maker communities have a focus on health (food), sustainable development, environmentalism, local culture and can from that point of view also be seen as an anti-response on disposables, globalised mass production, the power of chain stores, multinationals and consumerism.


What is Theatre of the Oppressed?

Theatre of the Oppressed is a theoretical framework and set of techniques developed by Brazilian director, artist and activist Augusto Boal.
Recognizing that humans have a unique ability to take action in the world while simultaneously observing themselves in action, Boal believed that the human was a self-contained theatre, actor and spectator in one. Because we can observe ourselves in action, we can amend, adjust and alter our actions to have different impact and to change our world.
Theatre of the Oppressed engages people in discovery, critical reflection and dialogue and the process of liberation! Through Theatre of the Oppressed we can better understand ourselves, our communities and our world. There are several series of techniques, tools and expressions of Theatre of the Oppressed. Below are some The Forum Project uses regularly.
Game playing is the core of Theatre of the Oppressed. An extensive arsenal of well crafted and expertly facilitated games allows participants to stretch the limits of their imaginations, demechanize habitual behaviors and deconstruct and analyze societal structures of power and oppression. Plus, game playing is fun and builds community!
In Image Theatre participants explore issues of oppression by using nonverbal expression and sculpting their own and other participants’ bodies into static physical images that can depict anything concrete or abstract, such as a feeling, issue, or moment. 
Forum Theatre is a performance that functions to transform from spectator (one who watches) to a spect-actor (one who watches and takes action). A short scene by Forum actors presents an issue of oppression and represents the world as it is–the anti-model. Audience members are then encouraged to stop the play and take the stage to address the oppression, attempting to change the outcome through action. The show engages Forum actors and audience members in fun, entertaining and enlightening community dialogue.
Legislative Theatre is an extension of Boal’s Forum Theatre techniques and functions to determine the need for, create, and enact laws.  Beyond community building and issue awareness,z Legislative Theatre uses theatrical techniques to create concrete and specific socio-political impact.
Rainbow of Desire uses Image and Forum techniques to investigate internalized oppression. This highly therapeutic series of techniques asks participants to explore how external oppression causes us to oppress ourselves and helps to identify greater social issues and identify opportunities and even action for change.