Design Thinking for Teachers & Students: 21st Century Innovation

Design thinking is a creative act. A design thinking mindset encourages ideating and experimenting. It provides permission to fail. It encourages learning from mistakes. A design thinking mindset develops innovative thinking, a needed core competence for the future.

Teachers can learn design thinking principles in order to apply them to curriculum development, school processes, teacher collaboration, and parent communication. More importantly, teachers can learn design thinking principles in order to teach them to their students. Students can develop a design thinking mindset that is experimental, empathy/human-centered, and forward moving. Design thinking helps prepare students for a complex and ever-changing workplace.


  • Gain a foundational understanding of design thinking methodology.
  • Learn design-thinking activities to use in the classroom.


  • Identify the key aspects of design thinking.
  • Practice using design thinking methodology.
  • Use design thinking to test an idea relevant to the classroom or school.

To inquire about bringing an NNU Workshop to your district or building, please contact the Center for Professional Development at


Christa Sandidge

Christa is the Assistant Director of the Center for Professional Development and serves as Education Liaison to Idaho school districts and educators. Christa holds a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from Northwest Nazarene University.

Students who qualify for and desire accommodations in this course due to a disability, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, must follow the NNU Disability Services Policies and Procedures as put forth by the office of Disability Services. Any student may review a copy of these policies and procedures at Call 208-467-8463 or email for further information.