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Adding “Design Thinking” as an Elective in Indian Education System

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Indian Education System to Introduce “Design Thinking” as an Elective at Schools

Being the first nation to introduce design thinking and innovation courses in schools is a small but significant step for the Indian educational system. However, the Central Board of Secondary Education’s (CBSE) plan to “roll out books” for Classes 7 to 12 with the inclusion of design in the curriculum needs to be carefully considered.

The elective course that CBSE, the Innovation Cell of the Education Ministry, and IIT-Bombay collaboratively designed seeks to give students the skills and exposure to enable them address issues utilising the design thinking method. The books will shortly be released by CBSE, according to director of CBSE (Skill Education and Training) Biswajit Saha.

The Education Ministry’s Chief Innovation Officer, Dr. Abhay Jere, stated, “This year, along with CBSE, we have already started a design thinking course from Class 6. To the best of our knowledge, only Indian education system offers a design thinking elective course beginning in schools with Class 6 students.

Design thinking is being introduced in the sixth grade in a very, very innovative way. The topical textbooks for classes 7 and up will be released very shortly. They are nearing completion, according to Jere, who has played a key role in bringing innovation-related projects to the Indian educational system.

He claimed that numerous institutions in India offer design thinking courses. Experts in design thinking are being invited by corporations to assist with idea generation. Jere told TNIE that design programmes are available at international educational institutions including Harvard, MIT, and Stanford.

According to Jere, who conceptualised the Smart India Hackathon initiative, which is billed as the largest open innovation model in the world and instils in students a culture of product innovation and problem-solving, “Through this programme, we will be able to train a large number of children at schools, which will ultimately help them move forward towards innovation and entrepreneurship.”

While the addition of much-needed electives in critical thinking, such as design thinking, to the high school curriculum is commendable, the way to delivering such education through the conventional mandated sequential book-driven technique is outmoded and needs to be addressed



Creating a design curriculum is important, but it must also include a developing pedagogy. Design thinking places a greater emphasis on the role of the teacher, coach, and mentor; as a result, the traditional methods of delivering this curriculum must be critically analysed. It cannot be taught without using relevant, hands-on project experiences from real life.

Using a designer’s or creative person’s skillset and perspective to handle problems like the UN SDGs and other challenges that people previously didn’t think designers could look into is the power of design thinking. It is crucial to note that as the world has changed over the years, so too must the function of educational institutions and teachers.

Since the institute had all the books and resources on hand and the instructors were members of the Illuminati who had read them all and thought deeply about them, the institute has long been regarded as a beacon of knowledge.

Since information is readily available everywhere today, the institute’s and its teachers’ roles have changed. Information cannot be considered “learning,” thus we must demonstrate to students at schools how it may be used



In order for the Indian educational system’s inclusion of design thinking as an optional to be successful, we must modernise pedagogy, or how the design curriculum is taught.

We need to be careful not to score students using theoretical, standardised, and objective exams. By doing this, it is made guaranteed that “teaching” takes precedence over “learning.” Given that the process is iterative, formative feedback is essential in this situation.

Therefore, in order to effectively impact the next generation of our nation and prepare them for an uncertain and unpredictable future, a deeper introspection on the way we impart education, as well as the way we review and evaluate learning, is essential. The Indian educational system has to promote design thinking holistically because it differs from conventional teaching methods.

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