…Student curriculum is evolving across all divisions and disciplines through the incorporation of design thinking…
The Nueva School Design Institute in San Mateo, California houses a world-renowned Innovation Lab (I-Lab) created in partnership with IDEO and Stanford University’s d.school. The institute has pioneered the teaching of design thinking across the globe, and eight of Ranney School (Tinton Falls, NJ) faculty members will have the opportunity to attend workshops at the Nueva School this summer, thanks in part to a generous Ranney family gift.
In 2015, four of our academic leaders participated in a week-long training at the institute and we are thrilled to send an additional eight faculty members this summer. The workshops will give teachers the tools and expertise they need to empower students to think creatively, part of Ranney’s new strategic mission. Faculty members will bring this training into their classrooms, across all divisions and disciplines, and provide students with skills and methods that complement and animate our curriculum. In addition, through the school’s growing Innovation Lab spaces, students will have the opportunity to put design thinking into action by collaborating, inventing, iterating and constructing projects. Already, they are using circuits to study electricity, 3-D printers to program and generate sculptures, and simple plywood and tools to build canoes from scratch. Our students are also using traditional arts and crafts materials to reshape the way they think and imagine. Lower School classes, for instance, used cardboard to design and construct classroom “furniture.”
This creative and analytic approach to experiential learning is enabling our students not only to generate ideas but also to design solutions for real-world problems. By training our faculty in design thinking, our curriculum is—and will continue to—evolve into perfect balance between classical education and cutting-edge practice.