Design Thinking for School Leaders

Five Roles and Mindsets That Ignite Positive Change

by Kami Thordarson , Alyssa Gallagher

Number of pages: 208

Publisher: ASCD: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development

BBB Library: Education

ISBN: 978-1416625940

About the Authors

Kami Thordarson : Kami Thordarson, who has worked as a classroom teacher, helps lead


Alyssa Gallagher : Alyssa Gallagher, an experienced public school educator, school and district administrator,


Editorial Review

It’s no secret: schools need to change. The world is changing rapidly. Our learners have changed, and everything in the world of education must change, as well. We are in the middle of major disruptions in almost every industry, including learning, yet our roles and infrastructures haven’t kept up. Innovation is pushing us to fine-tune our skills in data collection and interpretation and demanding that we master lifelong learning.

Book Reviews

We are trying to fix 21st century problems with 19th century solutions. To get out of this cycle, we need to think about our problems in a different way. A new way of thinking and attacking our educational problems is what Gallagher and Thordarson describe in their book,Design Thinking for School Leaders.

"Design thinking is more than a fad; it is a set of principles around which creative people find and solve problems and unlock opportunities. For the first time, two veteran educators and expert design thinkers provide both theory and clear, highly practical guidelines for how school leaders can shift from being mere managers to becoming design-inspired leaders. A must-read for all school leaders seeking to build and sustain nimble, adaptive organizations that will positively impact our students in an increasingly VUCA (volatile & complex) world." —Grant Lichtman, author of #EdJourney

Design Thinking for School Leaders can help you guide your school to the forefront of the new design and education movement, one that will move traditional education into the modern world and drive the future of learning.

Books on Related Topics

Wisdom to Share

The world is changing rapidly. Our learners have changed, and everything in the world of education must change, as well.

Designers actually see the world differently and therefore bring a new perspective to their work.

Opportunity Seeker. Shifts from problem solving to problem finding and actively seeking opportunities.

Mindfulness is becoming an important component to our lives.

Innovation is often about seeing opportunity in the everyday and being able to clearly identify a need where you didn’t know one existed. Where might there be unmet needs in your school or district?

As an Opportunity Seeker, you recognize that each unmet need or problem may actually present incredible opportunities.

Almost everyone’s first step to problem solving is suggesting solutions.

Taking what appears to be a difficult situation and finding ways to turn the problem into something positive is the essence of positive reframing.

When you’re stuck on a problem and struggling to positively reframe it, try explicitly looking at it from a different perspective.

A perspective matrix helps you identify and look at the problem at hand from a minimum of four perspectives.