The Power of Partnerships: The Importance of Teaching Middle School Students to Be Design Thinkers

Debbie Hanney, Middle School Director, collaborated with Dr. Allison Butler, Professor at Bryant University and the leader of Innovation Nation at Lincoln School, to write an article in Middle School Journal about the benefits of design thinking. The piece focused on how this approach helps Middle School girls build creativity and problem-solving skills. 

The study was based on Lincoln’s Innovation Nation, a partnership with Bryant College, now in its fifth year. This partnership provided invaluable data that helped inform the study. Results showed that participants not only dramatically increased their understanding of design thinking as a result of the Innovation Nation experience, they also experienced a boost in self-efficacy for creativity, design, and problem-solving, and better attitudes about group work. 

Introducing young women to design thinking has an even greater value, Allison Butler explained. “While design thinking skills can benefit all students, empowering young female learners to be innovative thinkers and problem-solvers is especially important. Historically, women have been proportionally outnumbered by men in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) fields due to long-standing gender stereotypes and biases, which lead to a dangerous lack of confidence in women’s ability. Design thinking provides an entry point for young women to succeed in engineering, science, and mathematics-based fields.” 

Click here to read the full article.