Design-a-Thon School has an underlying pedagogical model inspired by Reggio Emilia; John Dewey’s Child and Curriculum; and Seymour Papert’s Learning theory constructionism.
Our Learning by Design cycle, combines Design Thinking for children, with the Maker Movement approach to making, all structured in experiential projects. The projects are real world issues. The design thinking process has been especially adapted for children in the 6 to 12 year range and enhanced with reflection moments for the educational context. The process was first developed and tested for the Global Children's Design-a-Thon in 2014.
Through the Design-a-Thon School, students learn to:
Cultivate their creativity:
Apply design thinking to a social challenge
Think creatively and critically about proposed solutions
Cultivate their sense of curiosity and imagination
Make with new and old technologies:
Sketch and build prototypes
Program with Scratch
Develop robots and interactive machines
Life long skills:
Develop empathy and understanding for other perspectives;
Collaborate with their peers
Communicate their ideas
And think philosophically about society
And teachers?
Through the Design-a-Thon School teachers gain:
Knowledge and skills on technology (and programing / engineering)
Self-confidence to put that knowledge into practice (to apply that knowledge in the classroom )
Enthusiasm to apply the new approach to the exhausting themes in the classroom
What makes us different?
There are a lot of (great) methods coming up which engage children in learning to program and make. Our program (method?) (does this too and)(though) goes two steps further:
1.Design-a-Thon School combines learning and making with real world issues which encourages children making the world a better place.
2. The underlying design process which children and teachers learn through, contributes to changing the whole education system, it’s a new way of learning, which can be applied to all subjects. (maybe good to say why changing the whole educational system is a good thing..)
Children and teachers can choose to do whole Design-a-Thon as prescribed or pick and choose tools and themes to create their own. Depending on the time available and what you want to learn. You can create your own learning experiences.
All projects follow our Learning by Design cycle.
Hereunder we describe the steps: