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Education - Design Thinking

Practical Examples from Calgary and area

Dan Mcwilliam from the Learning Design Team at Rocky View Schools says, "We usually reference Learning by Design or a Design for learning, as opposed to explicitly citing ‘design thinking’. We see the process living out in a thoughtful and intentional way beginning with students in mind (or user if in the hands of students)." (January, 2020) 

Dr. Ankush Garg is now a Specialist of Complementary Curriculum & Unique Pathways with the Calgary Board of Education. He has been involved in Design-based thinking projects with CBE like this one. "What happens when both teachers and students let go and engage in design thinking? Dr. Garg, an alumni of Design the Shift and a Grade 9 Science teacher at Ted Harrison School, decided to find out by asking, 'How can we humanize electricity?'" (, 2017) .

Special Thanks to:

Susan Campo (Werklund, UCalgary), Ankush Garg and Stephanie Chan (CBE), and Dan Mcwilliam (Rocky View Schools) for contributing to these resources.


Here are example videos of Design Thinking in practice.

Design Thinking in Special Education

This video shows how Dave del Gobbo, a secondary special education and science teacher in Peel District School Board (Ontario), uses design thinking with his special education students.


The Six - #InnovatorsCAN

This video is an example from Rocky View Schools where grade two teacher Ms Duong designs their social studies learning through the year.

How to find practical examples of Design Thinking in K-12 schools using UCalgary Library Resources

Keyword search terms to use:
Some search terms that may be helpful:

  • "Design Thinking"
  • elementary education OR secondary education OR K-12 education
  • teaching OR (teaching and learning)
  • examples, practical, applications, case studies
  • calgary, alberta

Sources to try:

  • Library Catalogue
  • Library Databases
  • Online searching - internet search engine
    • look at existing school board resources on their official news channels (Websites and Social Media - YouTube, Twitter, Instagram) for their learning and curriculum support specialists; search their sites for programs and initiatives with words like "design", "designer", "innovation", "innovator"

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