NZC and Design Thinking Part 2

While last week was about deconstruction and reconstruction of the New Zealand Curriculum, this week has been about gaining clarity in our process. The state of the table over the past 2 weeks in our “Curriculum Hacking Cave” shows this quite nicely.


The emergence of a Design Thinking process from the curriculum had led us to reading further into this approach. We explored other models from business and education backgrounds and came together on Monday to discuss our findings.

The discussions led to us exploring the language from the NZC and comparing it with the language from the Design Thinking models to further refine our Learning Model. This saw our process gain an extra phase as we decided it really needed an explicit phase of testing your ideas/product/action before you refine or share. I really enjoyed discussing which words made the model and which were unnecessary; which phase the words belonged to; and which words best described the contexts that those learning verbs could be applied to.

Our model now has a central thinking phase that needs to constantly occur so learners (students and teachers) can reflect on where to go next. Around this are 7 phases (Explore, Make Sense, Focus, Generate, Test, Refine, Share) with descriptors of what would occur in this phase and contexts in which that might happen. For example, the Explore phase has descriptors that include gather, experiment, observe and contexts such as identities, perspectives and factors. It is not a step-by-step process as, for example, after you test a product/idea/action your reflection may lead you to explore more ideas or generate new ones.

I am extremely proud of the Learning Process model we have at present and particularly proud of these aspects:
– it is non-linear and not a step-by-step process
– at it’s heart is critical reflection and getting students to think So What? What If?
– there are only 2 words in the entire model not from the NZC document itself

It is in iteration 4 or 5 and will evolve even further with time but for now we need to turn our focus from the how of learning to the what. Once we have the core concepts to be learned from the curriculum, we will be able to run them through our learning model as a large test for our process. Time for us to explore the concepts and contexts for learning within the NZC!


10 thoughts on “NZC and Design Thinking Part 2

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