Design Thinking at Hausner—Partnership with Stanford

Design Thinking at Hausner—Partnership with Stanford
Carol Piraino

For the past two years, Hausner has partnered with Karin Forssell, the director of the Learning Design and Technology (LDT) master's program and senior lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Education to bring design thinking to Hausner. 

Who is Karin Forssell?
Karin Forssell is a distinguished figure in the field of education. With a wealth of experience and expertise in learning design, technology integration, and educational innovation, Karin has become a driving force in transforming education through the lens of design thinking. Her collaboration with Hausner brings these innovative principles into the realm of primary and middle school education.

What is Design Thinking?
Design thinking originated in the business and design sectors as a way to approach a challenge by considering the end user's needs. It is a multi-step iterative process that continuously asks how a potential solution will impact the user. There is a strong emphasis on testing, collecting user data, and then redesigning the original solution based on the user data.

At Hausner, we are applying design thinking to improving aspects of our curriculum, pedagogical approach, and instructional strategy. With Karin’s support, each grade level in the lower school and department in the upper school has identified a shared challenge to address. Some examples: How do we help students listen to one another more effectively? How can we incorporate more joyful activities that also connect to the math standards for our grade level? How do we help students respond more positively to critical feedback?

Karin has helped the teacher teams brainstorm strategies to address these questions, develop strategies for collecting data, and create new strategies based on this data. She meets with the teams 2-3 times a year to guide them through the process, and she is also available outside of these meetings to offer support and suggestions.

In Conclusion
Hausner's collaboration with Karin reflects our ongoing commitment to pioneering innovative educational practices. By applying design thinking, Hausner is preparing teachers and students with critical problem-solving skills and fostering a culture of creativity and empathy.

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