Design Thinking in Early Childhood Education

Professor Jennifer Kraemer (ECE), longtime faculty makerspace champion and creative maker, brought her ECE 342 – Constructive Math and Science in Early Childhood Education class to the Innovation Center this week to work through the design thinking process. After a general makerspace tour, students enthusiastically worked through the design challenge…


…and produced some interesting prototypes…


…after which we had a really robust discussion about the ways in which they use (or might apply concepts of) human centered design in their own practice, developing activities and environments and lesson plans for children. We spent some time talking about the parallels between design thinking and the scientific method as problem-solving paradigms for children, using this video of Pre-K children creating solutions to prevent Humpty Dumpty from cracking as a leaping off point.

In addition to learning another methodology to use in designing lessons and activities, the class left with some ideas about how Innovation Center resources might help them in their work with children. A great group of students!

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