Design Thinking and Education

  • Joyce Hwee Ling Koh
  • Ching Sing Chai
  • Benjamin Wong
  • Huang-Yao Hong


This chapter revisits the role of design and design thinking in general and in education in particular. It then suggests a replacement of traditional educational system with a new one where design thinking is integrated as part of the curricular. Acknowledging that the new educational design is a work in progress, this chapter discusses some important dimensions which have surfaced: (1) epistemological concerns with generating useful, practical ideas to resolve real-world problems as opposed to traditional epistemology which takes the view of knowledge as verified truth; (2) based on the three-world ontology developed by Popper (Three worlds. Retrieved 16 Mar 2010 from, 7 Apr 1978), the new design of education should engage students on all three worlds of reality which allows them to explore different tools and thinking protocols in order to create practical and/or ingenious solutions to resolve complex problems and to fulfill human needs and wants; (3) the need for a review of current pedagogical practices while embracing constructivism where design is deemed as a main pedagogical activity (Kafai, Constructionism. In: Sawyer K (ed) Cambridge handbook of the learning sciences. Cambridge University Press, New York, pp 35–46, 2006); and (4) design thinking useful not only for student learning but also for developing teacher professionalism.


Preservice Teacher Design Mode Practical Wisdom World Economic Forum Wicked Problem 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joyce Hwee Ling Koh
    • 1
  • Ching Sing Chai
    • 1
  • Benjamin Wong
    • 1
  • Huang-Yao Hong
    • 2
  1. 1.National Institute of EducationSingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.National Chengchi UniversityTaipeiTaiwan

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