Could Design Thinking Disrupt Higher Ed? SMU Prof Believes So

Southern Methodist University research professor Kate Canales told Fast Company recently that design offers a good foundation for learning and problem-solving.

Higher education is ready for a change and design thinking could be the answer, according to Southern Methodist University research professor Kate Canales. 

Canales, who spearheads the Design and Innovation Programs at SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering, told Fast Company recently that design offers a good foundation for learning and problem-solving. 

“Design is a wonderful framework for promoting the skills that leaders and innovators need, including things like empathy, collaboration, persisting through failure, and comfort with ambiguity,” Canales said. 

At SMU, Canales opts for the term, “human-centered design,” rather than design thinking. 

“If higher ed is going to embrace design, it’s going to simultaneously embrace a new way of looking at who guides the learning experiences.” 

Kate Canales

She believes the thought process will play a “major role” in shifting the higher education industry. To carry it out, schools will need to turn to non-traditional academics such as herself. 

“If higher ed is going to embrace design, it’s going to simultaneously embrace a new way of looking at who guides the learning experiences,” Canales said.

Read more of Canales thoughts on design thinking here


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