DS 123: Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE 2023)

Year: 2023
Editor: Buck, Lyndon; Grierson, Hilary; Bohemia, Erik
Author: Zong, Chen; Loh, Leon; Takano, Noriko; Shimomura, Moe; Zhang, Yanfang
Series: E&PDE
Institution: Kyushu University, Graduate School of Design, Japan; Kyushu University, Faculty of Design, Japan
Section: Design and engineering from under-represented perspectives
DOI number: 10.35199/EPDE.2023.21
ISBN: 978-1-912254-19-4


In recent education reforms in Japan, one of the emphases is how 21st-century skills should be implemented into practice. Fukusho High School collaborated with the SDGs Design School in Kyushu University, Faculty of Design, to launch the SDGs Challenge Project as Period for Inquiry-Based Cross-Disciplinary Study for all 3rd-grade students in 2021. In 2022, the SDGs Challenge Project was again implemented for all 3rd-grade high school students. Consisting of 18 lessons, the project applies the design process, adopted mainly from product design practices, in the learning activities for each lesson. Through problem identification, ideation, and design concept development, this project develops students with 21st-century skills and increases awareness of sustainability. The study aims to clarify the necessary interventions for supplementing teachers’ knowledge and skills related to the design process to facilitate the design-based learning activities in the SDGs Challenge Project. This study highlights the importance of supporting teaching and learning practices for Japanese high school students in design education. The SDGs Challenge Project is studied as a case study by comparing data collected in 2021 and 2022. The data collected was from a pre-project survey and post-lessons surveys from 7 lessons that involved problem identification and ideation. The study participants were teachers involved in facilitating the SDGs Challenge Project in 2021 and 2022. In 2021, 27 teachers were involved in the SDGs Challenge Project. In 2022, 27 teachers, including some who were also involved in 2021, participated in facilitating the project. The teachers who participated in the project came from different subject backgrounds. Before the start of the program, there were no formal training sessions for the teachers. Comparing the pre-project survey in 2022 and 2021, teachers’ understanding and teaching experience in the design process have improved due to additional online resources. In addition, teachers who were involved for the second year might have gained more familiarity with the design process. However, in general, teachers’ understanding and teaching experience of the design process remained low. As a result, teachers’ main concern was that they were unclear on how to facilitate the design activities. The post-lesson surveys indicated that teachers lacked knowledge of the design process. Other concerns surfaced as follows. 1. The worksheets provided to the teachers to facilitate the project were not well designed. Teachers found it difficult to connect the different stages of the design process. 2. Teachers could not understand the educational purpose of some activities stated in the worksheets provided. 3. Lack of exemplars for the design activities done in this project. In conclusion, the current design of the worksheet resources requires improvements. In addition, providing online resources is not sufficient. The following improvements can be suggested. 1. The worksheets design should be more coherent with the design processes used in the project. 2. A teaching handbook that offers different design methods and educational strategies should be created as a form of just-in-time knowledge and skills to supplement teachers’ existing skills and knowledge. 3. Exemplars should be created to provide clear student outcomes and expectations.

Keywords: Design Process, Design Education, Educational Resources, Problem Identification, Ideation


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