Design as Inquiry : A Manual

Concepts such as design thinking, knowledge creation, or open-ended problem-solving have become popular in recent years as they hold promise to generate innovation and prepare ourselves for the challenges we are facing at the beginning of the 21st Century. What these approaches have in common is that they build on a creative and transformational under-standing of learning and inquiry. They mark a shift from a belief mode, focused on the plausibility and justification of ideas towards a design mode, oriented towards the utility and promissingness of ideas (cf. Bereiter, 2010).

While a lot has been written about these new forms of learning and inquiry there is no commonly agreed upon model on its methodological and epistemological foundations. Additionally there are only limited resources available for students and teachers on how to make use of these approaches in education.

Against this background this manual introduces Design as Inquiry as a common conceptual denominator and provides practical guidance for teachers and students. Yet, rather than providing a full-fledged methodology, the manual comprises a set of evolving ideas. The presentation therefore is intentionally fragmentary and unfinished, aiming to stimulate the readers’ curiosity, reflection and response. In this sense, this manual provides a snapshot of its authors’ ideas at the time of writing, but we are eager to learn about your questions and ideas regarding the matters tackled and are willing to discuss them with you.


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