Teaching and Learning Design Thinking (DT):

How Do Educators See DT Fitting into the Classroom?


  • Eden Hennessey Wilfrid Laurier University
  • Julie Mueller Wilfrid Laurier University


As a problem-solving approach, design thinking (DT) emphasizes iterative, user-focused designing. While DT is being readily adopted into education, little is known about how educators integrate DT across curricula. To address this question, we collaborated with a tech-ed industry partner and a focus group of experienced educators to assess curriculum content developed using a DT framework. Results showed that educators expressed positive impressions of the DT framework and lesson plans, but also identified potential challenges to integrating DT into classrooms (e.g., assessing skills and attitudes related to DT). Findings suggest that DT-based learning aligns with a shift from project-based instruction to experiential learning aimed at achieving global competencies.


Keywords: design thinking, education, teaching, assessment, creativity, global competencies

Author Biographies

Eden Hennessey, Wilfrid Laurier University

Research and Programs Director, Laurier Centre for Women in Science

Julie Mueller, Wilfrid Laurier University

Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education




How to Cite

Hennessey, E., & Mueller, J. (2020). Teaching and Learning Design Thinking (DT): : How Do Educators See DT Fitting into the Classroom?. Canadian Journal of Education/Revue Canadienne De l’éducation, 43(2), 498–521. Retrieved from https://journals.sfu.ca/cje/index.php/cje-rce/article/view/4033