- To articulate the design process into the English curriculum so as to enhance students’ understandings.
- To build knowledge by actively exploring problems, developing ideas and pursuing authentic solutions.
- To know and deliberately use the design process for generating ideas, testing solutions and creating innovative artifacts.
- To foster self-directed learning.
- To develop higher order thinking skills.
- To communicate clearly and express creatively for a variety of purposes using the tools, styles and digital media appropriate to the goal.
Integrating Making into the curriculum provided the context to place academic learning in the “heart, mind and hands” (Pestalozzi) of our students. As a result, our objectives were fully accomplished given that students critically curated a variety of resources, using different tools to construct knowledge, design creative artifacts and involve themselves and others in meaningful learning experiences.
We believe that this kind of maker-based project can be applied to any other topic within the curriculum, without needing to shift away from the academic content to just focus on the Making itself. In this way, we are certain that our students will be able to transfer the knowledge and skills acquired during the process to design and create new, useful, imaginative solutions.
In our quest to build thinkers for the 21st century we are certain that our students throughout the project “Kindling Roald Dahl’s Creative Flame” were able to display motivation in engaging activities, set their own goals and persist to achieve them, request and offer help to create innovative solutions to solve real-life problems. Furthermore, they were able to seek and respond to feedback by testing and redesigning their devices on an ongoing basis. They offered authentic explanations for an outcome and challenged their ideas so as to keep on constructing knowledge.
Blending the design thinking process into our traditional Roald Dahl unit enhanced students’ learning by cultivating and equipping them with a broader set of skills that will enable them to cope with the 21st century demands. Critical thinking, self-directed learning, creativity, problem solving, communication and collaboration were some of the key skills our students put into practice. This learning opportunity led them to deepen their understandings of the subject area content and to develop the critical skills needed to meet future challenges.