According to the data obtained from European Commission, over 46% of young people are at risk of social exclusion, since the education system has not been successful to prepare their teachers and trainers to provide them with practical and authentic skills.
Correspondingly, the learners also lack guidance about how to develop their creative thinking, problem-solving and collaboration skills, which contributes to the serious problem of early school drop-out.
Design thinking is a learning approach that fosters creative thinking, helps develop empathy, promotes action-oriented actions, meta-cognitive awareness, problem-solving skills, and enhances students’ imagination. Moreover, through design-oriented thinking, the pedagogical repertoire of teachers is expanded.
In this context, the “Professional Development of Teachers to promote Design Thinking Skills and Academic Success of Students” (DTS) Project aims at increasing the academic success of students, supporting the professional development of educators and teachers, empowering them with resources to teach design thinking skills.
Additionally, teachers will be equipped with a design thinking mindset, which will facilitate the adoption of design thinking educational practices, and strengthen the capacity of educational authorities, policymakers and decision-makers to promote and mainstream design-thinking educational practices. In turn, it is expected that this will contribute to decreasing early school drop-out.
Considering the identified needs and the objectives defined for the project, its main target groups are:
- Secondary education students and teachers
- Secondary education schools and institutions
- Educational administrations and policymakers at the regional level