Exploring Seek, Learn, and Lead: Seek

We wrap design thinking into our Seek, Learn, and Lead process. Let's discover SEEK!

Our design thinking process is wrapped up into three sections: Seek, Learn, and Lead. Each section contains three different skills that we want to build. Lets start with Seek, which contains the words: Wonder, Empathize, and Understand.

  • Wonder - Wonder involves curiosity and questioning. Many of our classrooms have incorporated "wonder walls" where students can ask their many questions. We begin working with students in the early grades on identifying different types of questions and learning to categorize them and identify them as open-ended or closed. An open-ended question has many more answers than a closed question which is often answered with a "no" or "yes."  As students move through the grades, we build their capacity for asking deeper and more meaningful questions. Part of wondering is noticing. Helping students to stop and notice before diving into a project or a conversation can give them many more insights as they move forward.
  • Empathize - Empathy is where we spend a lot of our time. It is the skill that gives our students the ability to problem solve with each other, listen with their hearts, and find a deeper understanding of another's experience. We often use empathy maps as a tool for helping our students identify the different components. Each empathy map includes these four quadrants: What did someone say? What did someone do? What are they feeling? What are they thinking? Students can use their observation, inference, and noticing skills to think about each one of these questions as they work to better understand a book character or a classmate.
  • Understand - Developing a better understanding helps our students clearly define a problem. It is often difficult for students to stop here and just think about the problem they are trying to solve. They often want to make more than a few assumptions and jump straight to a solution.  Design thinking is about taking the time to truly understand the human piece of the probem so that you can focus on solving the right one. 

Some ways you can support Seek at home? Encourage your child to ask more than one question.  Ask them an array of questions so they learn how to create different kinds of questions. Take some time to discuss what they notice about a situation or about what might be happening to someone. Ask them empathy questions and help them build some different perspectives around what they are seeing. This will help them build a deeper understanding as they get ready to move into the next part of the process, Learn.