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Design Thinking in Play: An Action Guide for Educators


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Design thinking is a person-centered, problem-solving process that's a go-to for innovative businesses and gaining traction with school leaders interested in positive change. But understanding design thinking is one thing; actually putting it in play is something else.

Table of contents

Becoming a Design Thinker: How do you learn to see with new eyes?

Empathize: What does your user really need?

Define: How do you clarify the problem?

About the authors

Alyssa Gallagher co-leads BTS Spark in North America, helping school leaders across the United States and Canada access leadership coaching and professional development. Alyssa combines experience of school leadership and school district administration with expertise in leadership development. She spent 20 years in the U.S. public education K–12 sector, filling many roles, including teacher, principal, and assistant superintendent. Under Alyssa’s guidance, Los Altos School District (California) became a nationally recognized leader in educational innovation, and her work was featured on CNN and by Forbes, Wired, The Economist, and 60 Minutes. Alyssa has coauthored two ASCD books: Design Thinking for School Leaders (2018) and Design Thinking in Play (2020).

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