Refining to a Focus

It’s that time of term where students have been really using their knowledge to develop deeper understandings. For the modules I teach, the last 2 weeks have been full on action time generating possible actions/solutions/products, refining them down and taking action.

Under the d.School Design Thinking process this would be the Ideate and Prototype stages; those using DEEP Design Thinking would know it as Experiment and Produce. For us at Hobsonville Point we use the language from our Learning Design Model below:

HPSS Learning Design Model

HPSS Learning Design Model

So, the last 2 weeks have seen us talking about Generate, Refine, Focus and Test.

Take Action, which I co-teach with Martin and Bryce, have been working out the actions to take based upon the community issue they are focusing on. After time investigating their chosen issue (see this post for more on some of the activities undertaken with this) they had to Generate 10 possible actions they could take. Once they had their 10 actions they had to put them into this decision making matrix to Test them against each other:



This allowed them to Focus on 1 or 2 appropriate actions and go on to Generate this. Students are undertaking a variety of actions such as an app to help with Diabetes (with info on nutrition, exercise etc.) a petition to get cosmetic products made with animal testing to be labelled as such, a variety of money raising initiatives and actions aimed at reducing violence against women.

In Apocalypse Now (which I co-teach with Danielle) the students have been studying the Wicked Problems of Biodiversity Loss, Climate Change, Depletion of Fossil Fuels, Environmental Degradation and Food Security. These investigations have been in quite some depth to ensure they gain a good understanding of both the Science and Human Perspectives at play in these complex issues. The last 2 weeks have seen them Generate 10 possible solutions for their chosen problem including 2 that had to disregard all practicalities to force some creative thinking. After playing these 10 solutions off against each other they had to put 5 solutions through an analysis table:


This will then allow students to develop their 1 solution further investigating how it could happen and pitching it to their classmates.

Over this year, I have been working really hard to develop students abilities to generate multiple ideas. This last two weeks has been great to see structures coming into action to help students refine those ideas in a far more purposeful and analytical way.

How do you get students refining down to their best possible action/solution/product?


3 thoughts on “Refining to a Focus

  1. This is great Steve. Lots of food for thought. I have been developing some thing similar for an online Social Studies topic on Consumer rights for Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu.

    • Thanks Allan. Our Social Studies focus next term is the Economic World strand, so will be developing some more economic focused strategies soon. Would be keen to bounce ideas back and forth if you are interested.

  2. Pingback: A Catch Up | Steve Mouldey

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s