Incorporate THINK Skills for Student-Centered Learning: Use Design Thinking as Your School’s Foundational Backbone

Mature male auto-mechanics teacher answering questions about a machine from three diverse high school students, one is pointing at the machine.

Design thinking relies on the natural — and coachable — human ability to be intuitive, to recognize patterns, and to construct ideas that are emotionally meaningful as well as functional.

– Tom Kelley


Review the provided resource that highlights how Waipahu High School is one of the most successful high schools in Hawaii.


How did they do it?

  • Students enroll in one of six career pathways (Arts and communications, Business Services, Health Services, Industrial Engineering Technology, Natural Resources, or Public and Human Services).

  • Committed to a project-based learning model and small learning communities.

  • Incorporates elements of Design Thinking.


  • Brainstorm ideas for how your school can incorporate a THINK framework/Design Thinking for the benefit of all students
    • with your leadership team, teachers, and even students and community
      • the provided “THINK” PDF can help you get started.

  • Identify a THINK framework, such as design thinking, to set up as a foundational backbone that can be embedded every period, every day throughout your school.

  • (Re)design and commit to your schoolwide THINK/design thinking framework

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