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Hallmarks of a Shore Education

Design Thinking

A MindsetOf Discovery

Design Thinking is a set of principles first outlined in 1969 by American Nobel laureate Herbert Simon, an economist, political scientist, and artificial intelligence pioneer. Simon’s work on decision-making and organizational dynamics—in which he redefined the concept of “design” as a way of thinking, rather than simply a blueprint for physical objects and systems—gave rise to a multi-phase, human-centered model for understanding problems and developing solutions. 

The essential phases in the Design Thinking approach as it is practiced today are empathy (observing something about people or the world), definition (identifying a problem or challenge), brainstorming (considering many possible ideas), prototyping (quickly iterating potential solutions), and testing/reflection (evaluating results and seeking feedback before repeating the cycle). The process is both a way of working and a way of understanding, aimed at challenging assumptions and redefining problems in an attempt to identify alternative strategies and solutions that might not be instantly apparent. It can be applied not only in solving concrete challenges or answering unmet needs, but also in envisioning entirely new insights, products, or creative works.
Many of the world’s most innovative and successful companies (Apple, Google) have adopted Design Thinking as an engine of unprecedented growth—as have the countless designers, programmers, creators, and leaders who fueled their rise. Major universities (Harvard, MIT, Stanford) teach the Design Thinking process to students in a broad array of fields, from computer science to architecture, from business to urban planning and beyond.
In progressive learning environments such as Shore, Design Thinking is now taking its place in classrooms from Pre-K on up as an essential model for learning, problem-solving, creative expression, and collaboration. The Design Thinking process can provide a structure for activities as diverse as coding, creative writing, lab experiments, discussions of primary sources, and art; and it helps support a classroom culture rooted in empathy, teamwork, and comfort with failure.

At heart, Design Thinking’s purpose is nurturing a mindset of discovery and creativity that applies whether the task at hand is an inquiry into history, a science experiment, a computer animation, the assembly of a simple truss bridge, or the fabrication of a complex architectural model. Every teacher at Shore seeks to enable breakthrough moments for their students. Design Thinking is a tool that seems tailor-made for the purpose.

Shore Country Day School

545 Cabot Street, Beverly, MA 01915
(978) 927-1700
Shore Country Day School’s mission is to provide an education that inspires a love of learning and encourages children to embrace academic challenge. We seek to build character, cultivate creativity, and value diversity as we help our children become healthy, compassionate citizens of the world.
The School admits qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, sex, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, or any other status protected by applicable law, and extends to them all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the School. The School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, sex, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, or any other status protected by applicable law in the administration of its admissions, scholarships, and loans, and its educational, athletic, and other programs.