Under “CMR for Better Bangalore”, the Design Thinking Challenge at CMR National Public School is aimed at helping the specially-abled to actively participate and be part of the society. Ms. Shobha, the facilitator of the challenge, takes us through how the focus of the Design Thinking at CMRNPS is on the process, and not just the outcome.
“When we find ourselves in sticky situations, faced with problems, our minds find the easiest solutions to get out of them faster. Looking for the easiest route to solve the issue at hand, we do not spend time thinking about what we are doing, why we are doing it and how we are doing it. The hurry to solve problems keeps us from solving them completely. Because problems are never solved at one go – we may be just fixing a ‘symptom’ without thinking about the greater damage the problem could be doing.
As a creative thinking tool for problem-solving, Design Thinking is not just a process-oriented, it is a process by itself. It helps us identify and outline problem areas, and envision multiple ways to solve it by delving deeper into finding the root causes, understanding how users are affected by the problem and developing greater insights into the problem itself.
Students document their observations across their journey, focussing not just on the solution but every detail they have picked from an activity or session.
Research through observation and interviews helps develop empathy for those affected by the problem and the users affected by the problem. It also helps one think of multiple ways of solving a problem versus just coming up with a temporary fix.
Students at CMRNPS hosted members from the Diya Foundation to understand the challenges faced by specially-abled community
In Design Thinking, the process focuses on meaningful practices that do not limit progressive thought and allows one to envision all the possibilities and solutions to a given problem. Refining good ideas and eliminating others teaches us to develop a concept in its entirety.
At CMR National Public School, we take teachers and students through the Design Thinking workshop one piece at a time.
Each session is focused on specific skills and practices that lead to effective problem-solving. Teachers and students are not introduced to all the content at the same time. The choice to do so is deliberate and intentional as it helps teachers and students focus on one step at a time.
This allows them to spend quality time enhancing their skills and learning the role of the process in problem-solving, resulting in solutions that are carefully thought out and better planned rather than just finding a temporary solution to our real-world problem.
‘Teachers and students learn that it is giving your best that matters, not just the end result. This technique, of concentrating on what’s in front of you and giving it your 100%, and to not get carried away with what the end result needs to be is what places the process in focus and not the product.’, adds Ms. Shobha.
As facilitators of the design challenge, even the teachers are focused on what to do in their next session with the students. They are not told what is happening next week, which translates the importance of here and now, from them to the children.
At CMR NPS, Design Thinking is a process which starts with empathy and consideration and ends with confidence and determination. I am truly excited to be a part of this wonderful process!”
On 25th November, the challenge will conclude in a showcase, where our children will put up their respective work on display while reflecting on the journey through the different processes that brought them there.