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Tag : empathy

08 Nov 2018

Using StrengthsFinder to discover the potential in our students (and employees)

One of my very favorite things about working with students is watching them come to understand how unique they are and how unique they can become. For nearly 5 years, I have taught the Transformational Leadership class at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School in Atlanta, and one of the core pieces of the curriculum is to discover and harness that which makes our students unique: their strengths. The tool we use with our students is StrengthsQuest, the Gallup StrengthsFinder test. The 30-minute […]

17 Apr 2018

HMW curate a museum that evokes empathy about social justice?

Blog post by Team 3, Mount Vernon Presbyterian School   We start with questions here at Mount Vernon…. How might we curate a museum that evokes empathy around social justice? Before beginning our research around social justice, our driving question led us to investigate museums and how they are created. We decided to take an expedition to Fernbank Museum of Natural History so that students could examine different types of exhibits as well as elements of museums including lighting, sound, […]

17 Oct 2017

Design with Empathy, by Larisa Pender-Healy

Guest post by Larisa Pender-Healy, Middle School Faculty at MVPS. This is post #2 in a series about 7th graders engaging in a design project as biomedical engineers.  === My students were about to embark on a design challenge to create medical solutions that could potentially be used by humans. I couldn’t help but think, how can I mentor them to be better than the medical professionals that I have come across? One memory stood out to me and I […]

23 Aug 2017

Empathy as Translation of Souls

You will never be the expert of someone else’s experience. – Mike Young At its very essence, design thinking is “human-centered problem solving.” It is caring enough and being curious enough so that our compassion motivates us to refuse to quit until we’ve uncovered the root of an issue and discovered possible solutions to apply. It is collaborative, as we must resist the urge to solve for someone versus solving with someone. So what’s the key to doing this work […]

27 May 2016

Kindergarten PBL: Happy Habitats

“Zoo Atlanta called. They need to design better habitats for their animals that reflect their natural habitats. What should we do?” This was the initial, challenging question that launched the PBL unit for the Kindergarteners. When I first met with Kindergarten Head of Grade, Eileen Fennelly to learn about this project, I was struck by her team’s ability to weave together a rich, Gold Standard PBL unit with design thinking tools and visible thinking routines that clearly cut across numerous […]

18 Apr 2016

T.J. Edwards: From Project to Passion

T.J. Edwards: From Project to Passion Describing himself as a “recovering engineer” compelled by design thinking, T.J. Edwards shared the story of how his students created a 3D-printed, prosthetic hand for Alex – a user they matched with via eNable. By getting to know a person’s needs, we can transform mere projects into purposes…and we can make school more about this work. “These problems that are worth solving are everywhere. And there’s no sense in us as teachers, as educators, inventing […]

11 Apr 2016

Holly Chesser: Good at Design Thinking? Thank an English Teacher

Holly Chesser: Good at Design Thinking? Thank an English Teacher “Whether it’s convergent thinking, whether it’s divergent thinking, the central thing we need to be embodying is empathy.” In this powerful talk, Chesser explained how the study of literature can deeply help us to understand others and ourselves. She used To Kill a Mockingbird, Johari’s Window and a moving quote from Rumi to weave together a compelling message at the heart of design thinking – being willing to analyze our own […]

08 Apr 2016

Prototyping Within a Prototype

It’s easy to find definitions of the steps to the design thinking process and for those who practice design thinking methodologies, it’s also easy to describe to someone what the steps are in this people-centered problem solving technique. But what I think is integral to understanding the dt process is realizing that it’s more than just a set of steps to arrive at a solution that meets the needs of a user. In fact, design thinking is not just a […]

14 Feb 2016

To Help Another

(This post was originally published on October 14, 2015, on The Creek Bed) A bit of background before I get into the meat of this post: There are two cohorts this year in Innovation Diploma. There is the Disney Cohort, who all started last year, and the Jobs Cohort, who all started this year. The names were picked by the cohort and are innovators that we admire. In this past week of Innovation Diploma, we were split up into our […]

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