The DESIGN FUTURES project aims at enhancing the capacities of teachers in competence-based education by developing and delivering teaching and learning modules that will enable them to embed highly innovative pedagogies of Design Thinking and the Maker Education in school curricula that can contribute to the development of the 21st-century skills, such as critical thinking, problem-solving, interpersonal skills, entrepreneurial initiative, media and Information literacy, and more. These pedagogies offer an interactive, open-ended, student-driven, multidisciplinary experience that enhances the development of diverse skills, knowledge, and ways of thinking.
The project partners were chosen from a variety of European countries in order to spread and increase the impact of the project around Europe, as well as to add diverse national contexts to the mix of activities, a facet that can yield better comparative results. TUE, the academic partner, focuses on educating students and advancing knowledge in science & technology. Designathon Works, expert in Maker culture, envisions a world where children are engaged in co-designing their future world. STIMMULI for Social Change, a social innovation research organization, specializes in
the educational field and innovative education. AllGrow Romania aims to create systemic change through collaboration between individuals and organizations. PACO, a design collaborative in which the potential of design and education is focused on fostering social innovation. Finally, the school partner, Aristoteleio College, offers a valuable field environment to apply the project’s products.
Two main results are derived from DESIGN FUTURES:
1) Design of a professional development program for educators wishing to embed design thinking and “making” in their curricula. This program will move beyond traditional learning models that are lecture-based and have no direct connection to students. Instead, it will be based on a makerspace learning model to enable educators to practice and learn how to incorporate design and maker learning into their curriculum.
2) Design and development of the DESIGN FUTURES Student Curriculum based on the design thinking and maker education that will offer a variety of activities under different school subjects and disciplines. The objective of the curriculum is not to teach students what is right and wrong but to enable them to experience, reflect upon and engage in innovative practices through which they use their experiences and reflections as a means to a deeper learning process leading to the development of 21st-century skills.
Thus, the DESIGN FUTURES will inspire the next generation to adopt more skills and competences, cut out for the future of the labor market which will contribute to overcoming mismatches between supply and demand in the employment area.