Approaches to Learning

Design Thinking

Design thinking is a holistic and constructivist approach that promotes divergent thinking and aims to develop creative confidence in youth through hands-on projects.

Design thinking has an inventive element and a focus on empathy, action, ideation, and active problem solving; it is highly consistent with 21st century skillsets. There is a need to integrate design thinking into academic content since these skills are generally not fostered in traditional school settings.

Computational Thinking

Computational thinking is a set of core reasoning and problem solving skills that enable one to include computational tools in finding solutions to problems.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that jobs requiring computational and mathematical aptitude in occupations will increase by 18% in the years leading up to 2022, creating more than 1.3 million job openings by 2022.

Computational thinking skills will have a transformative effect on youth, positioning them to take advantages of a growing number of professions that are based upon advances in technology.
Computational Thinking
Image By KaptainFire [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Models, Simulations, and Gaming

Models, Simulations, and Gaming
Use of computational models, simulations, and games improve students’ ability to understand complex concepts and engages them in the process of scientific inquiry. Students who use these methods in learning tasks outperform their counterparts who use traditional learning methods.

Models, simulations, and games provide experiential learning that facilitate cognitive aspects of the learning process and complex decision making.