Affiliation No: - 2132980 | Period: - 01.04.2020 to 31.03.2023 | School Code: - 71048 | Affiliated till Senior Secondary

Enriching Training For Teachers On Design Thinking by Mohit Goswami at Seth Anandram Jaipuria School

Enriching Training For Teachers On Design Thinking by Mohit Goswami at Seth Anandram Jaipuria School

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“We must design for the way people behave,
not for how we would wish them to behave.” -Donald Arthur Norman, Professor, The Design Lab, University of California, San Diego.

Mr. Mohit Goswami, the pioneer for design thinking projects in Seth Anandram Jaipuria School, Lucknow, spearheaded an invigorating and interactive session on the concept of design thinking and how to go about implementing the same. He kick-started the session with an elaborate discussion on 21st-century skills with a special focus on collaboration and creativity. He inspired us to introspect whether it would be wise to judge the capabilities of the students with that of our own considering the remarkably varying extent of experiences behind both. “This is where design thinking comes to play”, was his confident introductory statement.

To inspire the designers within us, Mr. Goswami have us pleasant examples of a student from Grade 5, Ramesh Mishra, whose expertise in a solution-oriented approach to problems left us reeling in the power of thoughts. The aforementioned student, among many others, was informed that the air conditioners in the school have units through which a lot of water drops continuously and goes down the drain. He deliberated and ideated a proposition comprising a list of solutions for harvesting the water that otherwise, stands wasted. Solutions like using that amount of water for gardening, mopping, or even washing the school vehicles came up in his propositions. 

Next, he kept the pace moving and came up with an interesting activity wherein we had to draw ourselves, the way we look at ourselves. The sheets of paper wore vibrant sketches on them delivering an array of personalities. He then asked us to exchange our sheets randomly and add to those sketches we receive, with ideas, opinions, or thoughts of our own, through additional sketches. The room overflowed with gratitude, inspiration, and humor alike. He explained how the activity was to show that we must empathize with others. That’s the most important and the first factor of design thinking. He seamlessly made us flow from an activity we were roaringly engaged in, into a moment of realization. He emphasized how empathy initiates the process of design thinking and also that this process is what’s relevant and most important over what we usually prioritize, which is the end goal. Examples were shown to showcase how, when we focus on end goals, we limit solutions to problems. It is about the mindset to prioritize the intent to find creative ways to reach a solution, not the solution itself.

He further elaborated on the three lenses of design thinking: desirability, viability, and feasibility. He laid focus, repeatedly, on how design thinking is about the process of achieving a feasible solution to a desirable problem and not the outcome itself.

This was followed by another engaging activity which was to draw something on another’s back while the one in front, has to trace the same on a separate paper-based on perception. This was followed by a second-round wherein a volunteer, who’d play the designer, has to design a sandal for the client based on the latter’s descriptions. The participants were entirely engrossed in this activity. Once done, he explained to us why he made us do so. He reiterated how, in the first activity, active empathy was missing while an active, empathetic, direct connection was created with the help of the descriptions given by the client in the second round of the activity. He explained how design thinking combines creative and analytical thinking, which is an amalgamation of the functions of the left and the rights sides of our brains.

He further explained how the next step, after empathizing, defining, and ideating a problem, would be the creation of a prototype solution followed by testing and retesting of the same, until the end goal is achieved. He also emphasized that the end goal isn’t what is pre-decided according to our expectations. Rather, it is solution-oriented research leading to a successful culmination of the users’ needs. Examples of Nike, Apple, Hippo Rollers and Mercedes were given to deliver the impact of design thinking in real life situations.

He also expressed how the school wishes to create a green area in each classroom. He asked the teachers to brainstorm and ideate over it and try to come up with possible prototype solutions for the same. He stated how th school plans on preparing post-it walls in the corridors and student may write their solutions to the allotted problems.

The session culminated with an ebullient activity which brought out quite a buzz within the room. He asked us to pair up randomly and take turns designing wallets according to the partner’s needs and choices. This was followed by yet another vibrant task which was to create the letter “T” with inflated balloons. Once done, he explained how it is also important to manage resources. He stated how we could have gone about using lesser resources to create something more sturdy, effective and long-lasting.

Conclusively, this enriching experience along with the confident expertise of Mr. Mohit Goswami was an experience that was eye-opening. Ideas were flowing freely towards the closure of the session with how such an approach can be utilized in our classrooms.

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