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Design Cases

The cases included in this section illustrate how everyday people regularly do design both inside and outside the classroom. When you plan a garden or a lesson, rearrange a bedroom or the way groups work in a class, Grant Wiggins would claim that you are designing, though you might not be aware of it. Even more frequently you redesign textbook activities by adapting them for your students.

Below is a short description of the cases in this section of DITC:

  •  Teachers As Designers  Some educators see a great benefit from applying the design strategies and approaches to the enterprise of teaching -- hear the parallels between the two practice-based fields.
  •  Designing Curriculum  Curriculum developer Bernie Zubrowski talks about his creative process of making activities for the Children's Museum in Boston and authoring materials for students.
  •  Backward Design  Read about Grant Wiggins' engineering-styled approach that teachers use who want to develop tools to assess student understanding.
  •  Designing Design Tasks  Fifth-grade teacher John Gucwa tells how he created his own design activity, and used an iterative process to aid the evolution of his ideas.
  •  Designing Models  Vanderbilt's Richard Lehrer describes cases where complex systems of nature can be studied by designing simplified models that mimic them. Gettings students to design models can raise a number of questions about scientific measurement and reasoning in authentic ways.
  •  Design a Waterfall  A hairdresser/homeowner tells how he designed a waterfall for his backyard, and used analogies to devise creative solutions for his homegrown challenge.
  •  Designing Music  MIT's Jeanne Bamberger talks about her work in helping teachers explore learning by having them and students design music and musical representations. A link to her music design software is provided.
  •  Writing As Designing  English teacher Mike Frenkel tells of his work with Brooklyn Tech's Ed Goldman in coordinating the teaching the design process from the perspectives of the English and tech ed classes.
  •  FIRST Design Competitions  Each year, thousands of high-school students spend 6 weeks building robots with the help of teachers and engineers and eventually compete in FIRST regional and a national design competition.
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