Towards a Paradigm Shift in Education Practice: Developing Twenty-First Century Skills with Design Thinking

  • Christine Noweski
  • Andrea Scheer
  • Nadja Büttner
  • Julia von Thienen
  • Johannes Erdmann
  • Christoph MeinelEmail author
Part of the Understanding Innovation book series (UNDINNO)


Science, business and social organizations alike describe a strong need for a set of skills and competencies, often referred to as twenty-first century skills and competencies (e.g. Pink, Wagner, Gardner). For many young people, schools are the only place where such competencies and skills can be learned. Therefore, educational systems are coming more and more under pressure to provide students with the social values and attitudes as well as with the constructive experiences they need, to benefit from the opportunities and contribute actively to the new spaces of social life and work. Contrary to this demand, the American as well as the German school system has a strong focus on cognitive skills, acknowledging the new need, but not supporting it in practice. Why is this so? True, we are talking about a complex challenge, but when one makes the effort to take a closer look, it quickly becomes apparent that most states have not even bothered to properly identify and conceptualize the set of skills and competencies they require. Neither have they incorporated them into their educational standards.


Constructivist Learning Divergent Thinking Design Thinking Convergent Thinking German School System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christine Noweski
    • 1
  • Andrea Scheer
    • 1
  • Nadja Büttner
    • 1
  • Julia von Thienen
    • 1
  • Johannes Erdmann
    • 1
  • Christoph Meinel
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Hasso-Plattner-InstitutePotsdamGermany
  2. 2.Hasso-Plattner-Institut (HPI), für Softwaresystemtechnik GmbHPotsdamGermany

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