The concept of design learning fits innately with an IB education. Design thinking is a process that factors in a multitude of considerations that span an array of subject areas. The interdisciplinary nature of design makes it a natural fit with an IB education.
The IB Design Cycle is a “model of thinking” used by International Baccalaureate students to help them create solutions in response to challenges by employing the steps learned in the ‘Design Cycle,’ which is a series of tools used by designers to help them create and evaluate solutions in response to design problems. The structure of the Design Cycle helps formalize the natural process that we go through when creating a product. The cycle has deeper subsections, but in its simplest form it is: Investigate, Plan, Create and Evaluate.
At Fairgreen, we use the Design Cycle as a way to structure:
- inquiry and analysis of design problems
- development and creation of feasible solutions
- testing and evaluation of students’ models, prototypes, products or systems
Fairgreen’s IB Design Programme challenges students to:
- apply practical and creative thinking skills to solve design problems
- explore the role of design in both historical and contemporary contexts
- consider their responsibilities when making design decisions and taking action.
Ultimately, our Design Programme focuses on a holistic design process rather than on final products and solutions. By learning to work the Design Cycle by applying it to a multitude of challenges, students are developing key skills and personal qualities defined in the IB learner profile, becoming innovators, thinkers, knowledgeable, risktakers, and more. These qualities and the skills learned within our Design Programme will serve them well throughout their lives in any future career of life pursuit.
At Fairgreen, we have developed our programme to fit the needs of our students at their various stages of development.
The Design focus for students in Grades 2 - 7 is on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) as an important perspective from which to consider integrated teaching and learning in concepts and skills related to these subjects. We use the Design Thinking Model to structure students' ideas and build up their ability to research, plan, sketch, create and evaluate their prototypes. We link to real life problems and focus on creating solutions to everyday issues.
For MYP Grades 8-10, Design takes the form of our Design Engineer Construct!® programme, an acclaimed, accredited STEM programme for secondary school students focusing on the digital Built Environment sector of industry. DEC is a learning programme with a range of qualifications developed for the sole purpose of engaging young students with the competencies required to successfully operate in the real world of digital construction. Through this engaging programme, our students interface with engineering professionals and experience industry standard software, learning at close range the competencies required to successfully operate in the real world of digital construction and seeing how professionals in the field are encouraging and incorporating sustainability into construction standards.