A Sustainable Learning Approach: Design Thinking in Teacher Education

A Sustainable Learning Approach


  • Derya Girgin


In the 21st century individuals are expected to use their knowledge to find user-centric solutions in a variety of circumstances, places and times. Design thinking is a human-centric process application compatible with 21st century skills such as innovation, creativity, problem solving, critical thinking, communication, and cooperation. Design thinking takes the theoretical structure of thinking and turns it into action. The design thinking approach is a tool to raise individuals who solve problems, question situations and create products. Design thinking asks students to solve complex problems with more than one applicable solution and evaluates the students in a flexible and dynamic structure. This study aimed to ascertain student teachers’ opinions about the concept of design thinking before they started to work as teachers. The phenomenology approach, which is a qualitative research design was used in the study. The participants of this study comprised 28 student teachers in different departments of the selected faculty of education. The purposeful criterion sampling method and maximum variation sampling method were used to identify the participants. Semi-structured and non-directive focus group interviews were conducted to collect the data. During the focus group interview, the data were enriched and deepened through social interaction and group dynamics. The opinions were obtained via the focus group interviews qualitatively in accordance with the content analysis and presented through the program Maxqda-20. The results showed that student teachers saw design thinking as a flexible and dynamic structure that could facilitate high quality cooperative interaction. Also, in the changing and developing structure of a world with ever more complex problems, the student teachers found design thinking to be a strong alternative to combat challenges. The findings, additionally, indicated that looking into the concept of design thinking as a sustainable learning tool in teacher training was very important to raise students with a focus on design thinking.