Scaffolding Students’ Development of Creative Design Skills: A Curriculum Reference Model

May 24, 2011

ABSTRACT: This paper provides a framework for promoting creative design capabilities in the context of achieving community goals pertaining to sustainable development among high school students. The framework can be used as a reference model to design formal or out-of-school curriculum units in any geographical region. This theme is chosen due to its individual, community and global impact. Learning activities are designed to promote incremental learning of creative reasoning as students iteratively work towards solving environmental goals in their communities. To inculcate thinking from multiple perspectives, students take on a stakeholder role, analyze cases from around the world with similar problems, generate new ideas, predict their counterparts’ arguments, evaluate their own arguments based on their counterpart’s points of views, and refine their own ideas/arguments corresponding to goals. For adaptation of the curriculum over a variety of communities while maintaining the main structure and the support for learning the science and for learning creative design skills, modularity is adopted in content and the sequencing of strategies and tactics. If practices are beneficial and widely accepted, they can be included as a part of the meta-reference model and instantiated/cascaded into future reference and individual classroom models. We conclude with implications for instructional design.

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