SESSION TITLE: Cultivating Empathy in Design Thinking with Elementary Students

SESSION TIME: 15 minutes

SESSION DESCRIPTION: This session will focus upon how design thinking can be used as a tool for young children to problem solve social problems. Thereby, creating spaces for children to problem solve life problems while cultivating an empathetic stance to others and their peer’s perspectives. A focus on the art of design will be highlighted. After witnessing two video clips and hearing about the basic theoretical framework to create these spaces with children, educators will be encouraged to think about their own educational environments while engaging in a design thinking activity.

PRESENTER BIO: Nichole Baumgart is a consultant, educator and professor in the education field and is dedicated to fostering STEAM concept learning with children and adults. She teaches in a transitional kindergarten at Mills College Children’s School in Oakland, CA. She is an adjunct professor for Pacific Oaks College and Children’s School and mentors student teachers at Mills College in their field practicums. She has engaged in teaching young children for over 14 years and was introduced to design thinking while working at Google. Nichole’s current interests are centered on the intersection of technology and early childhood, STEAM concept learning, transitional kindergarten curriculum implementation and the use of design thinking. She is currently writing a book titled, The Thinking Behind the Thinking: STEAM Concepts with Infants and Toddlers to be printed by Redleaf Press in Spring 2018.