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Using Other Models-for-Process in Education

This page has two goals, to Gain Knowledge and Use Knowledge:

COMPARING Models-for-Process (Design Process & others)

        Goals for Models - Sequences (short-term, long-term)

        Using Models for Education (Stanford's d.school, ...)

        Other Process-Models (for SRL CER Science Design)


COMBINING Models-for-Process (Design Process & others)

        and Experience + Principles, Added Value, Compatibility

        Inquiry-Instruction using No Model, Semi-Model, or Model


(and there are sub-goals that support these two main goals)



 Comparing Models-for-Process   (put into left frame`)

Compared with other models for inquiry (for a process of science-inquiry or design-inquiry), my model of Design Process is similar in most ways, but is distinctive in some ways, so it's old-and-new.  All models* are similar in goals and having flexibility (being not-rigid & not-uniform) and using long-term phases and being useful for learning from experience.

We'll look at these similarities (along with differences), beginning with Goals for Models before moving on to Non-Rigid Sequences in Models and Using Models in Education (beginning with Stanford's d.school) and Other Models for four types of process, for Thinking Strategies & Evaluative Thinking & Science & Design Thinking.


* In this page, "all models" refers to all of the educationally useful models that I have selected to describe in the page.



Goals for Models — Success and Failure  (put into LEFT frame`) (take out of frame)

I have two kinds of goals for Design Processdescriptive (to accurately describe a process of design), and educational (to effectively help students understand the nature of design and improve their skills when they do design) — that are similar to the goals of other models.

Partial Success:  Whether evaluation is based on a relative scale (by comparing Design Process with other models) or an absolute scale, I think one of these goals (for accurate description) has been achieved, but the other (for effective education) has not.  Why?


Accurate Description? — Yes

Design Process accurately describes a typical process of design.  I think it does this with more simplicity (in some of its models) and more thoroughness (in other models within its own family of models), when it's compared with other models-for-process.*  It has wider scope because it views science as a special type of design so Design Process includes Science Process.  And it has a logically organized framework that is educationally beneficial.

* All models are fairly accurate, because all were constructed by carefully examining the process we use to solve problems (in various contexts) and then trying to describe the process accurately.  If all models are accurate, they will be similar in most ways.  But some differences — especially in describing how flexible improvising occurs using short-term sequences & long-term phases — are examined later in the page.


Effective Education? — No (not yet)

Currently, education is more effective with other models.  Why?  Because they are being used — in schools, businesses, online communities — and Design Process is not.  They have better educational ecologies with easy-to-use instruction and helpful method-suggestions for teachers, ways to persuade educators (in a school, business, or online) to use the model, and they have built networks of enthusiastic supporters & collaborators.

I'm happy to see the success of instruction using other models.  And I think the current non-use of Design Process is only temporary, so "No" just means “not yet” instead of “not ever”, because I'm confident that “No (in the present)” will become “Yes (in the future).”  I think there are logical reasons to expect that "Design Process might be very useful in education,* so its possibilities are worth exploring and developing."  And, sort of like Einstein's feeling (due to logic-and-intuition) that his Theory of Relativity was “too beautiful to not be true,” I have a feeling that Design Process is “too beautiful to not be useful.”

One possibility is to creatively combine sequences by designing instruction that uses short-term sequences (in Design Process) to supplement long-term phases (in other models), while blending useful principles-for-process from both, as described later.  A major challenge will be designing instruction, using any model, to teach principles while maintaining flow-and-fun.


* Description and Education:  My humble response is that “I'm not certain” for a central question about goals:  Will accurate-and-thorough understanding of design help you improve your skill in doing design?  (or, What are the relationships between metacognitive knowledge & reflection and quality of performing-learning-enjoying?)   /   If we say "yes" for this central question, and if accurate Descriptions (in Design Process) help students improve their understanding, and thus their skills, then Design Process "might be very useful in Education."  But if this question should be answered “no”, Design Process probably won't be useful.   /   What is the best answer?  Despite some reasons for a lack of certainty (which isn't the same as “no”), we have many reasons to justify “yes” so it seems like “a good way to bet” even though it isn't a certainty.



Accurate Models are Not Rigid  (put into LEFT frame`)

Educators should try to reduce an incorrect stereotype about models-for-process, with two denials of rigidity – in real life, and in the classroom.  All models (at least all those I've studied) emphasize that...

    in real life, expert problem solvers rarely follow a rigid sequence of fixed steps;  instead their actions are flexibly improvised.
    in the classroom, and later in real life, a model is intended to be used flexibly.  Even if a model BEGINS with instruction that follows a step-by-step linear sequence, students should not END their model-using experiences with the misconception that problem solving always follows this linear sequence.  Instead, teachers should help students recognize how their own problem-solving actions are flexibly improvised.     { One way to "help students recognize" is by combining models to show how the short-term actions of Design Process — with actions that must be flexibly improvised during the process, due to the many branching-options when deciding "what to do next" — occur inside the long-term phases of another model.  Or we can "help students recognize" by using the simplest model for Design Process in which we Solve Problems by just creatively Generating Ideas and critically Evaluating Ideas in iterative Cycles of Design. }

In an attempt to reduce common misunderstandings, I emphasize the importance of knowing, for my own model, both what it IS and IS NOT

What it IS:  Design Process IS a flexible framework that can help students master the typical thinking-and-actions used by expert designers when they solve problems.  Experts use a flexible process that in some ways is analogous to a hockey skater's goal-directed structured improvising, because in both hockey and design the strategic plan-for-process includes an intention to adjust the process with real-time improvising.  A similar basic process is used for both General Design and Science-Design.

What it IS NOT:  Design Process IS NOT a rigid step-by-step sequence, so it's not like the totally pre-planned choreography of a figure skater.


In similar ways, Other Models-for-Process also have flexible improvising (not rigid sequencing) in the full description of their model — and in its intended uses for instruction — as you can see in this explanation and these examples.  Although some models begin with rigid sequences, the goal of all models is to encourage a flexible using of sequences:


Sequences in Models-for-Process  (into LEFT frame`)

Are sequences used in a process of design?  NO and YES.  NO, there is not a fixed sequence-for-design that is used in the same way by all designers in all situations, so (by contrast with inaccurate stereotypes) there is no rigidity and no uniformity.  But YES, during design some sequences of actions (mental & physical) are used often, but instead of rigidity these sequences are used flexibly, with goal-directed improvising.


Short and Long:  During a process of design, expert designers typically use short-term sequences (with flexible improvising allowed by options-for-branching when you ask “what should I do now?” and choose a short-term action)* in the context of long-term phases (that occur due to tendencies of timing).  The actions within your short-term sequences are functionally integrated when (guided by your functional goal of solving the problem) you ask “what should I do now?” to coordinate your goal-directed process of problem solving.   /   Timings are comparative, so a short-term sequence is actually a shorter-term sequence that requires less time than for a longer-term phase.

Combining Short and Long:  Later we'll look at the potential benefits of designing instruction to creatively combine short-term sequences (in Design Process) with long-term phases (in other models-for-process, and also in Design Process).  Now we'll look at both kinds of sequences, short-term and long-term.


Short-Term Sequences for Design   (put into LEFT frame`)

Symmetry - Diagram 2a Diagram showing Symmetry of Design Process

A long-term phase usually contains many functionally related short-term actions (mental and/or physical) that are organized in functional short-term sequences where creative-and-critical productive thinking actually occurs.  For example, two long-term phases described below are Mental Ideation & Physical Testing, and...

    • During a long-term phase of Mental Ideation, typical shorter-term sequences (constructed from shorter-term actions) are to Design-and-Do/Use-and-Use-and-Use Mental Experiments, as you can see in the lower-left corner of Diagram 2a` or (with smaller size) in the diagram here.  Evaluations in a Quality Check, based on mental Predictions made in a Mental Experiment, then can be used for Guided Generation by asking "revise Option?" in a Design Cycle on the left side of Diagram 3b.
    • Similarly, the lower-right corner shows that during Physical Testing you Design-and-Do-and-Use Physical Experiments.  Evaluations in a Quality Check, based on physical Observations made in a Physical Experiment, then can be used for Guided Generation by asking "revise Option?" in a Design Cycle on the right side of Diagram 3b.
    These two sequences, on the left & right side, are the Symmetry – of Mental & Physical Experimenting – in Simplicity and Symmetry.
But these sequences are not rigid pathways that must be followed.  Instead, sequences are just possibilities for goal-directed rationally creative wandering, while you're exploring a problem and seeking a solution.  During a process of design, you can flexibly improvise because many branching options are available when you coordinate your process of design by making action-decisions about “what to do next.”

Long-Term Phases of Design   (put into LEFT frame`)

These functional sequences of short-term action — including Design-Do-Use and Guided Generation and more — occur within long-term phases that can be very useful for a teacher who uses the phases "as a scaffold to structure an experience [of doing design] for the purpose of learning."  Therefore, long-term phases are the scaffolding-framework used in most models for a process of design.

Two tendencies of timing, which are used in the 4 phases of design we see in most models-for-process, are described briefly in my summary of long-term phases, and more fully here:

• Mental Ideation, then Physical Testing:  quick-and-cheap Mental Ideation (to Generate options by using Mental Experiments) tends to occur early;  later the balance shifts toward Physical Testing (to Evaluate promising options based on observations) with Physical Experiments that are more costly in time and money,* but provide feedback that usually is more informative and reliable.   This shift from mental to physical occurs logically, for practical reasons.  It occurs during most real-life design projects, so it's in most models for design.  A shift usually occurs, but not always, so it's a tendency not a necessity.  And it's a shift from mainly-mental to mainly-physical, not from only-mental to only-physical, because Physical Experiments can be useful early in a process of design, and Mental Experiments are always useful.   /   To emphasize the practical utility of physical experimenting that is less "costly", some models include a phase for prototyping in which you make a quick-and-rough version (not a full, accurate version) of a Solution-Option, so this Option can be physically actualized more easily, to allow initial physical experimenting that is relatively quick and cheap.  {In its Prototype Mode [page 7, and also on pages 30-40], Stanford's d.school explains what-and-why, as do Science Buddies and DesignInstruct.}

• Define, then Solve:  Another tendency of timing is used in all models-for-process.  You can see this two-phase framework in the simplest model for Design Process, in Stage 1 of a 5-stage progression for learning — you first Define a Problem (to do this you Learn by finding relevant information, so you can Define a Problem-Objective & Goals for a Problem-Solution), and then you Solve this Problem (by using iterative cycles to creatively Generate Ideas and critically Evaluate Ideas). ("first,...then"?)*  In almost all models, the second phase (for Solving) is split into 2 or 3 parts.  A model with a 2-way split has a beginning (to Define) and middle (to Solve with Mental Ideation in early middle, and Physical Testing in late middle).  Some models also have an ending period, to Finish the Project.  In this way the basic 2 phases – Define a Problem, Solve the Problem – can be split into 4 phases (or 3 phases if a model has no "ending" phase), as shown in this table.

 2 phases: 
 4 phases: 
 early middle 
 late middle 

* Although I say "first,...then" this timing-and-sequencing of phases should not be interpreted literally, because (as explained below)* a skillful process of design is flexibly improvised.  So when I say "then" this indicates only a "tendency of timing," not a necessity.


Comparisons of Models

To show relationships between models, I have used these four periods of time (beginning, early middle, late middle, ending) in five comparisons:

• Comparing 5 Models:  You can see all of these phases — beginning plus middle (mental ideation & physical testing) and ending — in a table that compares Design Process with four other models, from Self-Regulated Learning, Don Buckley, Stanford's d.school, and Engineering is Elementary.

• Comparing 2 Models:  In both models – Engineering is Elementary (EiE) and Design Process – a central activity is Designing an Experiment by Choosing an Option (for a Problem-Solution) and Choosing a Situation (in which to Test the Option).  In these models the terms used to describe Experimental Design are slightly different — Imagine-and-Plan (in Engineering is Elementary) = PLAN (in Design Process) — but the two models are compatible.

• Comparing 2 Models:  In DEEP Design Thinking the DEEP can be split into DE & EP, corresponding to Define & Solve in Design Process.

• Comparing 19 Models, including NGSS:  In this large table almost all placements (of model-parts into time periods) seem to fit well.

• also, here is a model added in September 2016:  The Action Collabs of ISKME use process with 4 long-term phases when the focus of designers is to Identify Opportunity (Define Problem), Design (Mental Ideation), Prototype (Physical Testing), Scale and Spread (Finish Project).


Flexibilities in Process:  * In the five comparisons above, for each model the phases and phase-sequencing should not be interpreted literally due to timing overlaps, and iterations, and because the 4 periods of time are not a rigid sequence of steps;  phases show tendencies, not necessities, because expert designers use flexible goal-directed improvisation by doing, at all times during their process, whatever they think will be most productive.   This is why my model for Design Process includes flexibility of timing and mixing of modes.


Using Phases in Education:   During initial instruction using a model, it can be useful to follow a fixed sequence* that serves as a scaffold to "structure an experience for the purpose of learning."   After using this sequence, a teacher can explain:  why the fixed sequence is useful as a teaching strategy, when the purpose is helping students learn thinking strategies for productive problem solving;  and what students can do to convert the fixed sequence into a flexible problem-solving strategy later, when their purpose is solving problems in life, inside or outside the classroom.   {teaching strategies and thinking strategies for learning and/or problem-solving performance}

* But all models have built-in flexibility, and teachers typically add flexibility during instruction.  Even during initial instruction, a teacher (and students) can use the model with flexible timings.


MORE about flexibility in models-for-process



Using Models-for-Process in Education  (put into LEFT frame`)

Part 1 — The Design Institute of Stanford

To illustrate some of the possibilities for education, we'll examine a model used by the Design School (d.school) of Stanford.  Their basic model has 5 modes: Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, Test.

What is a mode?  The d.school explains:

This compilation [a Bootcamp Bootleg (recently updated to a Design Thinking Bootleg) for their "design thinking bootcamp"] is intended as an active toolkit to support your design thinking practice.  The guide is not just to read – go out in the world and try these tools yourself.  In the following pages, we outline each mode of a human-centered design process, and then describe dozens of specific methods to do design work.  These process modes and methods provide a tangible toolkit which support the seven mindsets ... that are vital attitudes for a design thinker to hold.   {bold & italics added by me}

Actions and Process:  The tools (in modes, methods, mindsets) promote creative-and-critical thinking actions that can be combined to form a productive thinking process.  How are actions combined?  One of the mindsets — "Be Mindful Of Process: Know where you are in the design process, what methods to use in that stage, and what your goals are" — is combining your awareness-of-process ("know where you are") with your conditional knowledge (of "what methods to use in that stage") so you can coordinate a process of design by making improvised action-decisions about “what to do and when.”

What are their Mindsets for Design Thinking?  The d.mindsets are: Show Don't Tell, Focus on Human Values [by developing Empathy because it's "the foundation of a human-centered design process"], Craft Clarity, Embrace Experimentation, Be Mindful of Process, Bias Toward Action, Radical Collaboration.


Should the modes of their model be used in a long-term sequence?  A useful answer might be YES-and-NO, or YES-and-MAYBE.



The d.school's page to Use Our Methods has:  links to their Bootleg Bootcamp and (to Get Started) 16 featured methods from it;  3 "mixtapes" for designing instruction;  and an outline for Design Project Zero which is an introductory "90-minute fast-paced project through a full design cycle."  Their project has 9 stages of design (in "a full design cycle") that roughly correspond to their five modes:  Empathize (Stages 1-2: Interview, Dig Deeper), Define (3-4: to Reframe the Problem, you Capture Findings, Take a Stand with a Point of View), Ideate (5-6-7: Generate, Share your Solutions & Capture Feedback, Reflect & Generate a New Solution), Prototype (8: Build Your Solution), and Test (9: Share Your Solution and Get Feedback).


Why does d.school use this 5-mode structure for instruction?

Jeremy Utley (their Director of Executive Education) explains how the model provides "a shared language and a shared approach" that can be "a useful scaffold to structure an experience for the purpose of learning."  When students are working in groups and everyone is thinking about the first mode (Empathize), this whole-classroom focus makes it easier for a teacher to share ideas and guide students so they can use-and-understand the tools in this mode, so they will learn how to empathize more effectively (now and later) using the mindset of Focusing on Human Values.  After awhile everyone moves on to the next mode (Define), and so on through their "experience for the purpose of learning."  {but usually "the phases" are used with flexibility}


STRUCTURE for Instruction and STRATEGIES for Thinking

d.school uses a Model (with modes, methods, mindsets) that serves two important functions for education, by providing:

    • Structure, with the modes providing a flexible framework-for-instruction that "structures an experience" to help students learn, and
    • Strategies, with a coordinated system of Thinking Strategies – creatively integrated into the modes – that promote productive thinking by helping students improve their empathetic understanding of a problem-situation (and thus their defining of objectives & goals), and reduce their creativity-restricting assumptions (by using brainstorming & in other ways) and build creative collaborative communities, and more.
These two educational functions – structure and strategies – are mutually supportive, because the model's structure makes it easier for a teacher [especially when they use the instruction methods & teaching tips developed by d.school] to share ideas about strategies (with "a coordinated system... integrated into the modes") to help students use-and-learn the strategies.  Most other models (with their associated methods for teaching) also offer these two benefits, by providing a framework for instruction that is used to coordinate a system of Thinking Strategies.    { A model's educational functions, structure + strategies, are closely related to the model's framework + supplements. }



As explained above, sometimes using the model of d.school's model (including its sequence of modes) can be useful "for the purpose of learning."  But for other purposes, using their educational process as-is may not be the best strategy.  Utley explains why, in the next paragraph of his recent article (in 2014) urging us to drop the design-thinking crutches:

"The process we use for teaching isn’t meant to be replicated and repeated verbatim in perpetuity.  It should flex and adapt and be changed by adept design thinkers with an understanding of the organization, who are capable of acting on instincts in accordance with the underlying principles of human-centered design."

Instead of "repeating verbatim," designers can "adapt" in an effort to construct a process of design (for performance and/or learning) that will help them be more effective in their context, for their problem-solving projects.  Companies that have used design thinking effectively "defined it according to their own terms, executing initiatives that were appropriate to their own internal cultures," says Helen Walters in "Design Thinking" Isn't a Miracle Cure, but Here's How It Helps.

What is important?  Even when modes are used in a sequence for teaching, the focus of d.school is quality of thinking, not the sequence.*  The main goal is helping people improve their abilities to think in ways that will be productive, now and later, however this goal is achieved, whatever strategies are used.    { *Are the modes a sequence? - sort of in some ways, but not really and this "not really" might be why d.school calls their creative blending of modes/methods/mindsets a "toolkit" instead of a model or a model-for-process. }



Utley isn't saying “NO, you should never use these modes as-is.”  He is just recommending that you use their modes, or any other aspect of their model, only if you think this will be helpful, if (in the words of Walters) doing this will be "appropriate to your own internal culture" and your situation, in a business or school or elsewhere.  But if a flexible adapting of the d.school model — which already is flexible, with its "active toolkit" of modes and methods to support mindsets — will make it more "appropriate" and more effective for you, by helping to improve your teaching quality or problem-solving performance, then you should revise it by customizing it for your own situations and purposes.

This strategy of flexible adapting will help you be more effective when using any model-for-process, not just the model of d.school.



Using Models-for-Process in Education  (put into LEFT frame`)

Part 2 — Design Process plus Another Model

Design Process can be the main model used for instruction, to help students learn principles-for-process.  Or teachers can...


Use a Combination of Models, for Hybrid Vigor

Earlier (and in the website's home-page) I describe the possibility of "creatively combining sequences by designing instruction that uses short-term sequences (in Design Process) to supplement long-term phases (in other models) while blending useful principles-for-process from both," thus forming a hybrid model.   Here are some ideas about this instruction:


WHAT to teach?  (model = framework + supplements)

When we're creatively thinking about how to combine principles from different models to form hybrid models, it's useful to view each model as a framework (for actions) plus supplements that often are tips for how to do design better.

Framework + Supplements,  Structure + Strategies:   For example, I view the model of d.school as Framework-and-Supplements:  their modes form a Framework for design-actions;  this Framework-Structure is Supplemented by methods and mindsets that are Strategies for doing the Framework's design-actions better.  All of these (modes plus methods & mindsets) are important parts of their model, because all help make the model more effective for problem solving and education, by providing Structure + Strategies.  Although I consider mindsets to be a "Supplement", this does not mean “less important”.  On the first page of their Bootcamp Bootleg, d.school emphasizes the importance of improving the "vital attitudes for a design thinker" that are their mindsets for design thinking, that are supported by the modes and methods.

another example:  The framework of my model is explained in overviews of Design Process and Science Process.  But these pages (and all other pages in this website) contain supplements that include strategies to improve teaching and solving problems, for using a wide variety of metacognitive Thinking Strategies to improve creative-and-critical Productive Thinking by “doing it better” in 10 Modes of Action.

MORE  -  How can we describe many types & views & strategies with model = framework + supplements?


What?  Both aspects of a model (its framework and supplements) can be useful when we are designing goal-directed education for ideas-and-skills & more to improve the learning-performing-enjoying of students.

Usually the supplements from one model can be used to supplement another model, and most supplements can be used in a combination of principles from different models.

The frameworks of Design Process and other models are compatible because short-term sequences (in the action-framework of Design Process) occur within long-term phases (that form the action-framework in most other models), so both time-perspectives (short-term & long-term) can be used in a combination of principles.  And all models, including Design Process, describe a long-term process in which we Define a Problem and Solve the Problem.

Hybrid Models:  When we combine principles (in frameworks + supplements) from different models, as described above, we are constructing new “hybrid models” in a family of models that differ because each model describes the same process of thinking-and-actions from a different perspective, and with a different level of detail.


How?  We should try to design instruction that helps students learn principles while maintaining their flow-and-fun and increasing their satisfactions now and later.


Why?  Design Process can provide added value to supplement what students learn from other models.  How?

Benefits for Thinking Skills:  During a process of design, short-term sequences (described in the framework of Design Process) are the times when we typically DO creative-and-critical productive thinking.  For example, in a sequential Cycle of Design (or Cycle of Science) you use Guided Generation when your critical Evaluation of Ideas (from a Quality Check or Reality Check) guides your creative Generation of Ideas.  This strategy for productive thinking and other Strategies for Thinking — including the use of conditional knowledge to coordinate a process of design by deciding "what to do next" — can be improved by learning more from experience by using metacognitive reflection.  To help students reflect more effectively, the logical verbal/visual organization of Design Process can be educationally valuable.

Benefits for Transfer and Motivation:  The simplicity of basic Design Process lets us show students how they use a process of design thinking for almost everything they do (or have done) in life.  This broad scope lets us build educational bridges (from life to school and back into life, and between general design and science-design) to help students improve their confidence about learning and motivations to learn and transfers of learning.


HOW to teach?

Use a basic strategy of experience before principles in a sequence of experience, reflection, principles to teach a combination of principles from different models, including Design Process.  We can help students learn principles for design-inquiry and science-inquiry with discovery learning (using inquiry-process to discover inquiry-principles) plus explanations.

Use two models in a 3-part sequence — by using the other model (other), simple basic Design Process (DP1), advanced Design Process (DP2) — in either of two ways, by starting with the other model or with Design Process.

    • other + DP1 + DP2:  A teacher can begin instruction using other, with activities structured by long-term phases from another model — from d.school or DEEPdt or EiE or CER or POE or any model for General Design or Science-Design — because phases can be "a useful scaffold to structure an experience for the purpose of learning."  The instruction-experiences can include reflection & discussion, to help students learn principles from the model being used.   Then we introduce principles of Design Process, in two parts:*   DP1) first, we let students discover the simplicity of Design Process` by recognizing that when they are designing they are just Defining a Problem and then trying to Solve this Problem by Generating Ideas and Evaluating Ideas;   DP2) later, we help students discover how they are using Predictions & Observations (from Mental Experiments & Physical Experiments) to Evaluate Ideas, to determine the Quality of their Options for a Solution, with Quality defined by Goals.    {*  Parts 2A & 2B are about Simplicity & Symmetry, respectively.}
    • DP1 + other + DP2:  Or a teacher can begin with the simplicity of DP1 (to provide an overview of process-principles, and build educational bridges between life and school), followed by the other model (to "structure an experience" of doing design, and continue teaching principles-for-process) and then DP2 (re: the symmetry of experimenting mentally & physically, and principles for the process of using experimental results to evaluate the quality of options).
    The minor difference between these two sequences (other-DP1-DP2,  DP1-other-DP2) is the timing of simple DP1-process (Define Problem, then Solve Problem by Generating-and-Evaluating Ideas), which can occur before or after using the other model.  And with either timing, at any stage a teacher can teach useful principles from both models.


we can explore possibilities:  If you're interested, we can talk about your ideas and my ideas, and possibilities for developing them, separately and together.  We can look for areas of overlapping interests, creatively imagining how combinations of ideas might be mutually supportive.   Craig Rusbult <craigru178@yahoo.com>



 Other Models-for-Process 

This new set of sections begins with models for Thinking Strategies and Evaluative Thinking (in Design and Science) and Design Thinking and Science Thinking.    { iou – later, I'll write a transition-sentence with links to SRL & POE+CER & EiE & d.school. }



 metacognitive Thinking Strategies   (put into LEFT frame`)


Self-Regulated Learning (SRL) is a strategy for learning more from experience by using cognition-and-metacognition in thinking strategies to improve learning and/or performing.  As you'll see below, SRL is very similar to Design Process, is almost identical.    {SRL also is a field of education that studies these metacognitive thinking strategies}

In SRL a common model for Thinking Strategies is an SRL Cycle with 3 parts — "PLAN, MONITOR, Evaluate" or "PLAN, MONITOR, Adapt" or both — as explained in A (Expert Learners, with diagram on left side below) - B ("How to Become an Expert Learner") - C ("Teaching Metacognition" [why & how] by Marsha Lovett, with right-side diagram) - D (about Barry Zimmerman, SRL pioneer, including research results).

SRL Cycle - diagram

This cycle in SRL is almost identical to a cycle with PLAN-and-MONITOR (and asking, after you Evaluate, “should I Adapt?”) in Design Process:

PLAN-and-MONITOR - diagram for Design Process

There are two reasons for similarity.  First, I independently developed a very similar model.  Later, after discovering their earlier model, I borrowed their terms (Plan, Monitor) to make this application of Design Process more consistent with the already-established field of SRL.

But there is a difference.  Instead of a 3-part cycle, as in SRL, I use a 2-part cycle.  Why?  Because you automatically Evaluate (and ask “should I Adapt? should I revise the Option?") every time you re-PLAN, so Evaluate/Adapt is a natural part of PLAN in a 2-part cycle of PLAN (which includes Evaluate/Adapt) and MONITOR.


Or... instead of using this diagram for Design Process, a teacher could use the method outlined below with a different colorizing of Generate-and-Evaluate to show how we mentally PLAN by doing Mental Experiments and then MONITOR by doing Physical Experiments.


Transfers of Design-Thinking Skills:  This model for Design Process (with Cycles of Plan-and-Monitor) is similar to an SRL Cycle.*  But teaching Design Process offers "added value" because we use a process of design for almost everything in life.  Therefore, when students learn principles of design thinking — while they are using Design Process to develop Thinking Strategies as with SRL, or to solve other kinds of problems — this will help them improve their general skills with design thinking, which will transfer to other design projects in many areas of life.   {design thinking in a wide-spiral curriculum}

* Cycles of PLAN (to Mentally Ideate) and MONITOR (to Physically Test), in SRL & Design Process, are also similar to other models-for-process, as shown in a 5-way comparison — of Plan-and-Monitor (in SRL & Design Process) with models from Don Buckley and d.school and Engineering is Elementary — that is followed by comparisons of 2 models (Design Process, Engineering is Elementary) and 19 models.


Here is the "different colorizing of Generate-and-Evaluate" that's described above.  Initially I was excited by these concepts and verbal-visual representations, and featured them in a PLAN-and-DO part of the homepage.  Then I thought “maybe it's too complex for students (and even teachers?)” so I simplified my description in the homepage.  Here is the un-simplified description:


PLAN-and-DO:   During life we usually alternate between Planning and Doing, between Imagining and Actualizing in our Mental Experiments and Physical Experiments.

A useful way to show this visually-and-verbally is by starting with my simplest Model — that represents our problem-solving process as cycles of Generate-and-Evaluate — and then modifying this Model to show that we can Evaluate in two ways, either by Imagining or by ActualizingTo show these different ways to Evaluate I use different colors, because we can Evaluate (by Imagining in Mental Experiments) or Evaluate (by Actualizing in Physical Experiments).   Also, Generate symbolizes the Guided Generation that we do when our critical Evaluation guides-and-stimulates our creative Generation and we Generate new Options.  But we usually do “clusters” of Mental Experiments (not just one) when we're creatively imagining possibilities for new Options, and a creative cluster is shown by the underlining in Generate-Evaluate-Generate.

Below are continuing cycles of Generate-and-Evaluate, first colorized as in the simplest model, and then with modified colorizing that shows how we PLAN-and-DO.

    cycles:  Generate-Evaluate-Generate-Evaluate-Generate-Evaluate-Generate-Evaluate-Generate-Evaluate-etc.

    cycles:  Generate-Evaluate-Generate-Evaluate-Generate-Evaluate-Generate-Evaluate-Generate-Evaluate-etc.

The second series of cycles is a summary of what will occur if you PLAN — if you Generate an Option-for-Action, then you Imagine this Action (in a Mental Experiment) so you can Evaluate the Option in an evaluative Predictions-Based Quality Check and then use this Evaluation to guide your cluster-Generatings (i.e. your Generate-Evaluate-Generate) of multiple new Options until you think one is “good enough to use” — so you decide to DO this Option-for-Action (to Actualize it in a Physical Experiment) and then you Evaluate and use this Evaluation to guide your cluster-Generating of new-and-better Options (i.e. you-Generate-Evaluate-Generate), and you choose one Option to DO and then you Evaluate it and decide whether it's acceptable so you'll continue doing it as-is, or (as indicated by "etc") you will continue revising it to Generate new Options.

effective teaching is wise teaching:  Of course, a wise teacher won't “dump all of this” on their students, in a single session.  In fact, they may never teach all of the Principles.  Instead the teacher will first think about “all of this” until they understand the Principles-for-Process.  Then they will choose what to share with students – e.g. by asking questions to guide the Reflections of students, to help them discover Principles – in a process of “discovery learning” with Experiences + Reflections → Principles.     {another option for instruction:  you can use Diagram 2b.}



 Evaluative Thinking in Science - Part 1   (put page into LEFT frame`)

We'll look at one Model now, and others in Part 2.

POE (Predict-Observe-Explain) is a simple Model for Evaluative Thinking in science, for the scientific logic we use to evaluate an explanatory theory about “what happens, how, and why.”

POE is often used for science instruction – with interactive lectures & in other ways – and research has shown it to be effective.  A common goal of instruction-with-POE is to improve the conceptual knowledge of students, especially to promote conceptual change from their semi-scientific inaccurate concepts to more-scientific accurate concepts, with accurate defined as being a close match with reality.  But students also improve their procedural knowledge for science, for what the process is, and how to do the process.  I think all of this learning, conceptual and procedural, will be more effective when we combine POE with Design Process.


The Framework of POE  (aka PEOE)

The overall framework (used to provide structure for instruction) of POE is actually iPOE [introduction], Predict, Observe & Explain.

Or if students are asked to Explain their Prediction, the process expands to iPEOE [introduction], Predict & Explain, Observe & Explain.



The teacher describes-and-shows an Experimental System that soon will be “run” in an Experiment, and asks students to predict “what will happen?” so “what will you observe?”  A teacher may also want to remind students about relevant scientific principles they have learned, or their previous experiences with similar systems inside or (to build transfer-bridges from life to school) outside the classroom.

While you're reading the descriptions below, imagine that "you" are a student who is Predicting-Explaining and Observing-Explaining, during a PEOE Activity.


What occurs during a typical process of skillful predicting?  You...

Explain (to yourself) by thinking carefully about the Experimental System so – by considering everything you know – you can construct an accurate mental Model for "what the system is," and then you imagine "what will happen."  In this two-step process of prediction you construct a Model of the system, and then use if-then Logic by thinking "if the system is      [is my Model]", then      [my Prediction] will happen."  The diagram for Predict` shows that you "do a Mental Experiment using Model + Logic" to make Predictions.    {Or maybe you simply remember a similar Experimental System and assume “what happened before will happen again.”    /    And a teacher may ask students to...

Explain (to others) with a discussion, by explaining how you made your Prediction (by remembering a similar System, or by using your Model + Logic) and listening to how they made their Prediction (by remembering, or with Model + Logic).  If you're a student, instead of just "considering everything you know," during a discussion-of-predictions you also can "consider everything they know," or think they know.  In this way you can benefit from the perspectives and experiences of others, by learning about their Models & Logic, and the previous Experiments-and-Observations they remember.



This is simple.  Somebody (teacher or student, or video) does the Physical Experiment by actualizing the Experimental System, and you Observe what happens.

The diagram for Observe — containing only the Experiment & Observations, isolated from everything you have been thinking about in Predict — symbolizes the scientific ideal of objective observing so you will know what actually happens in reality, unbiased by what you expect will happen, or want to happen.


Explain  (again)

This second Explain (after Observe) is almost the same as your first Explain (during Predict).  The main difference is that during your first Explain you were using Model-and-Logic based on old knowledge, by considering what you remembered about old Experiments, but now you have new knowledge.  Now you know more, because you know the Observations you made during the new Experiment in this PEOE Activity.  Therefore when you use Model-and-Logic, you now can consider what you know about old Experiments plus the new Experiment.    { Although you can use Observations from all Physical Experiments, old or new, probably your main focus will be the new Experiment that has been featured throughout the sequence of POE.  But a teacher may ask you to compare this new Experiment with a previous Experiment in your classroom. }

so its diagram is almost the same. 

Another difference is that during "Predict" your Explanation(s) can be cautiously tentative, but now a teacher will expect you to be more confidently conclusive.   { A teacher should communicate their “expectations for the quality of a conclusion” gently, and respond to whatever students say with aware sensitivity, in ways that support accurate-and-optimistic self-perceptions by students, to promote a growth mindset. }


Predict-Explain → Observe-Explain: 

Now let's look at the entire process more closely.  Higher in this diagram (which shows the "Science Cycle" part of Design Process), you "GENERATE Options... for a Model" (by remembering "old" Models and/or inventing "new" Models) and "CHOOSE an Option so you can EVALUATE this Option."  How?

First you use your Model (which usually is a Mental Model) to make Predictions, as described above.  Your initial Prediction can be your "final answer" or you may want to think about things more carefully and thoroughly.  As with other decisions, usually your Predictions will improve (in accuracy and/or justifiable confidence) when you consider everything you know,including all of our past experiences with similar systems.  For each experience (whether it's first-hand or second-hand) you can "remember a Physical Experiment" and the Observations of what happened.

For each of these old Physical Experiments, you Evaluate (test) the chosen Model by comparing your Model-based Predictions and the Reality-based Observations in a Reality Check.  If there is a close match, you may want to conclude that this is a satisfactory Model and Prediction.  But if there is a difference between Predictions and Observations, you can do Guided Generation in a Science Cycle that lets you "revise Model" to invent a new Model, and then use it for a new Mental Experiment (using the new Model) to make new Predictions.  You can continue doing Science Cycles as many times as you want, trying to get a closer match in your Reality Checks.

Or, at any point you can decide to GENERATE other Options (that are not revisions of the current Option, so they're “more different”), and choose different Models to Evaluate by testing them with Experiments and Reality Checks.  In some situations, in the classroom or outside, you will want to use multiple Reality Checks for a thorough evaluation ("when all things are considered") of many competing Models.


Discussions:  During "Predict" and "Explain" students can talk with each other (and the teacher) in small groups or as a whole class, about their reasons for predicting what will happen, or explaining what did happen.  The goal can be “persuading others” or just a cooperative sharing of ideas, to expand the range of “what you know about the world.”  These interactions are "Collaboration & Communication with colleagues" in Diagram 3b` of Design Process, which shows an overall context for POE that includes both Science-Design and General Design.

Explanations:  What kind of explanation is satisfactory? is most educationally desirable?  Students can predict with if-then logic using model-based deduction or model-based simulation, or (without constructing a model) using experience-based induction by just assuming that what happened before, in similar situations, will happen again.  Because we want students to think about “why” — which lets them use the full range of scientific logic, and will help them transfer their scientific understandings into other situations (other Experimental Systems) — we should encourage them to ask “why?” and build model-based explanations.


explanations by scientists:  At the outer boundaries of real-life research science (not in a classroom), scientists often debate the meaning of a failed Reality Check, when they ask The Science Question and say “I'm surprised” because Observations don't match Predictions.  Why are they not certain?  Because a mis-match has many potential causes, and the actual cause may not be obvious.  By contrast, in a classroom the scientific principles being tested are almost always known with almost-certainty – i.e. the theories are not at the boundaries of what is confidently known – and this narrows the search for a cause of mis-matching, because “the accepted theory is wrong” is not a plausible option.


Effective Instruction

Above you've seen how the thinking of students, during POE instruction, can be described verbally-and-visually using Design Process.  For example, during the P in POE we want students to experience "what occurs during a typical process of skillful predicting."  This might be easier if we help students understand this process-of-predicting more thorougly, by using Design Process.  Or it might not.  So we ask, “Will using Design Process to promote metacognitive reflection (how?)* make POE-instruction more effective in helping students improve their ideas-and-skills knowledge?”

I'm humbly confident that “yes” is the best way to bet.  We have reasons to expect that using Design Process during POE could be especially beneficial for improving students' ideas (conceptual knowledge) about the nature of science, and their skills (procedural knowledge) in doing science;  and maybe also, in the long run, their understandings of scientific concepts because...

The main strategy for Conceptual Change is helping students recognize that Observations of reality (in Reality Checks) support one conception rather than another;  this is the main purpose of POE.  Design Process can help students understand the process of using Reality Checks.

POE-based instruction is often used as a scaffold, an intermediate step that helps students (and perhaps teachers) move from an absence of inquiry activities to doing science-inquiry, and maybe then design-inquiry.  And we can use POE to move from an absence of Design Process to using it.

* How should we "promote metacognitive reflection"?  A difficult challenge will be designing instruction that helps students learn principles of Design Process (and thus scientific logic) in ways that maintain flow-and-fun in a classroom or on a computer.


Scientific Logic and Science

Relationships between the logic of science (in POE) and the process of science (as a whole) are examined below, with

an example of POE-instruction and What's missing in Predict-Observe-Explain?

Logic of Science and Process of Science:  During instruction with POE, students use the basic logic of science when they Predict, Observe, Explain.  But an overall process of science includes more than just the logic of science, so “What is missing in POE?



* MORE - An in-depth look at POE/CER explains how we can use Design Process to help students understand the process of POE (and CER)can we make POE more effective by combining it with Design Process? — and compares POE with CER (to find similarities & differences), and describes a sample activity (for an interactive simulation program, PHET), and links to external websites (in more about POE & CER), and asks “what is missing in POE?” by comparing the logical simplicity of POE with the complexity of real-life science (where we see logic combined with other things).


MORE - Thinking in Science - Part 2



These two Models-for-thinking have similarities and also differences:


differences in scope:  Logically and educationally, POE (above) is similar* to the CER (below) in which students do Claim-Evidence-Reasoning.  Both frameworks, POE and CER, are useful for instruction activities.  The focus of POE is only Science-Design.  CER has a wider scope, because it can be used for both Science-Design and General Design, for almost everything we do in all areas of life.  Thus, the wider-scope CER is more flexible and is easier to generalize into all areas of life, for a wider range of instruction activities that include argumentation.  POE is a very close match for the basic "logic of science" that scientists (and students) do in Science Process, and it's an easy way for students to learn about Design Process;  and CER is an effective way for students to improve their scientific Reasoning (CER) so their scientific Explanation (POE) is expressed logically in an evidence-based argument.


* similarities in process:  In POE and CER, you Predict {P in POE} to produce Predictions that are a Claim {C in CER}, and you Observe {O in POE} to produce Observations that are Evidence {E in CER}, and you Explain {E in POE} by using Reasoning {R in CER},

Predictions = Claim
 Observations = Evidence 
 Explain with Reasoning 

differences in process:  But we also see important differences between the 3 actions in POE and in CER, for example when we ask “are Predictions a part of CER's Claim (this is a typical function) or (also possible) its Evidence or Reasoning?” because our answer depends on the kind of Prediction and kind of Problem-Situation, and how we interpret the functioning of the Prediction.


 Evaluative Thinking in Science-Design and General Design   (put into LEFT frame`)

Generative Thinking + Evaluative Thinking:  During a problem-solving process of design you use cycles to Generate-and-Evaluate Ideas with Generative Thinking (to creatively generate ideas) and Evaluative Thinking (to critically evaluate ideas);  during cycles, usually productive creative/critical interactions occur because usually creative Generation is motivated-and-guided by critical Evaluation.

Using Scientific Thinking with POE, Predict-Observe-Explain:  To help students learn science-process by doing it, POE Activities are very useful.  And schools can help students improve their skills of "scientific thinking" in a wider variety of life-areas, by...

Using Evaluative Thinking with CER, Claim-Evidence-Reasoning:  Teachers can help students improve their Evaluative Thinking (used for Argumentation) with a model of CER (Claim-Evidence-Reasoning) in all areas of school.  CER is an effective framework for structuring Argumentation Activities when students do design-inquiry and/or science-inquiry in areas that include engineering, science, history, literature, social studies, philosophy, arts, sports, and (as in learning how to recognize logical fallacies) general critical thinking.  This wide scope is possible because people use a similar process of thinking to evaluate claims in all areas of life for almost everything we do in life.*  And it's useful for building two kinds of educational bridges — between different areas, and between school & life — to promote confidence, motivation, and transfer.


using Models – CER and Design Process,... –

for Standards-Based Curriculum & Instruction

In the homepage my Introductory Overview ends by urging educators to combine different Models for Problem-Solving Process.  I explain why-and-how we should combine Design Process with other Models and end by claiming that “for more” you can read this section.  But... (iou) there is “not more” here now;  this section will be developed during the summer of 2022, beginning in mid-July, although I don't know how quickly its idea-content (and its links to external web-resources) will grow.


Using CER + Design Process

To help students understand their process of Evaluation/Argumentation more thoroughly, teachers can supplement CER with principles of Design Process.


Before we look at ways to supplement CER, here is a quick overview of Design Process, in two parts:

    A) Simplicity — Diagram 1` shows (with "Define" at top, and "Solve" on bottom) how, in a process of design thinking, you Learn about a problem-situation (it's any opportunity to “make things better”) so you can Define an Objective (for a Problem you want to Solve) and Goals (for a satisfactory Problem-Solution).  Then to Solve this Problem, in Cycles of Design you Generate Options (for a Solution) and Evaluate Options.
    B) Symmetry — Diagram 2a shows how you Evaluate an Option by comparing its imagined properties (PREDICTIONS from a Mental Experiment) and observed properties (OBSERVATIONS from a Physical Experiment) with the desired properties (that you have defined as GOALS) in Quality Checks (with Quality defined by your Goals) so you can estimate a Quality Status for this Option.  Quality Checks are used in General Design, when your objective is a Product, Strategy, or Activity.  In Science-Design (i.e. Science) when your objective is an explanatory Theory/Model the main Goal is Predictive Accuracy, which is estimated in a Reality Check by comparing PREDICTIONS with OBSERVATIONS.  The 3 elements (Predictions, Observations, Goals) can be used in 3 Comparisons (2 Quality Checks, 1 Reality Check), as shown in Diagrams 3a & 3b.
    These two views of Design Process, in Parts A & B, can be viewed as its simplicity & symmetry.


In the following description of CER (Claim, Evidence, Reasoning) in terms of Design Process, imagine that "you" are a student.


Claim:  Someone (you or another person) chooses an Option to evaluate, and someone makes a claim that can range from strong support (by claiming this Option's properties are a close match for all Goal-criteria, so the Option has a very high Quality Status) through moderate support (claiming some matching for some criteria) and moderate opposition (with a little less matching) to strong opposition (claiming weak matches for all criteria, thus a very low Quality Status).  In Science-Design when the Option is an explanatory Model, a Claim is a Hypothesis claiming that a mental System-Model and physical Experimental System are similar to some degree in some ways.  For the same Option, people can make different Claims, ranging from strongly supportive to strongly opposing.   /   Appropriate Humility:  Instead of adopting a “debater's mentality” by trying to argue that ALL evidence-and-logic supports a particular Option, during an Argument-Activity the student, individually and in groups, can construct and evaluate Claims that honestly acknowledge the pros & cons of competing Options.  These experiences will help them develop a habit of appropriate humility about Claims (by themselves and others) with a confidence that is not too little and not too much.    {more - Transfers of Evaluative Thinking into Life - Appropriate Humility and 3 Kinds of Error - Accurate Understanding & Respectful Attitudes}


Evidence:  The Claim is evaluated based on relevant Evidence (= Observations or maybe Predictions+Observations)* with Information that can be old or new.  To get old Information you remember it (in your personal memory) or find it (in our collective memory).  To get new Information you Design-and-Do new Experiments, mentally (to make Predictions) and physically (to make Observations).  Usually we consider Observations to be more reliable than Predictions, so Observations are stronger Evidence, as indicated by gray-and-bold in "Predictions+Observations" in the table below;  but Predictions (for example, using a computer to “run” sophisticated numerical models for climate change) can be important, and often are necessary when making evaluations & decisions.    /    {disclaimer & iou – this long paragraph ends with me acknowledging that others know more about this than I do, and promising that "soon I'll think about this more deeply, and will find the deep thinking that has been done by other educators."}    When we ask "what counts as Evidence?" should we consider Predictions to be one kind of Evidence?  i.e. is Evidence only-Observations, or Observations-and-Predictions?   I think good arguments can be made for each, so I'm keeping an open mind about the logical status & educational utility of defining “Evidence = only Observations” (with Predictions done as an extremely valuable part of Reasoning) versus “Evidence = Predictions+Observations”.  I'm leaning strongly toward Predictions+Observations, but am willing to use whatever other educators think will be most useful.   One simple Problem is planning whether to do a summer picnic Tuesday evening or Wednesday evening, when your Claim that “we should do it Tuesday” is based mainly on the Evidence provided by Predictions (of a sunny Tuesday, and rainy Wednesday) made in weather forecasts, plus simple Reasoning.  If we don't consider these Predictions to be Evidence, there is no Evidence-based Reason to choose Tuesday.  But there are two kinds of predicting;  one kind (in the weather forecast) is Evidence;  and you make a Prediction when you think “the weather-forecast Predictions will be accurate” so this Prediction a part of your Reasoning, or maybe it's part of your Claim, or both?    also: There are MANY other Situations, like the picnic but more complex and more important, with a Claim that ___ (where ___ is choosing one governmental policy instead of another, or choosing one personal career or job position, or...) MUST be based on Predictions of “what things will be like if ___” for each of the competitive Options.  When we ask “are the Predictions part of the Evidence, or part of your Reasoning? or your Claim?” I think we must say "sometimes a Prediction is ___" (because the blank can be filled in 3 ways, with C or E or R) because we can only say "in this particular case, these Predictions are ___" due to different kinds of Predictions being used in different kinds of Problem-Situations;   depending on the combination (re: nature of the Prediction, and how it's being used in the Situation) a Prediction could be your Claim, or part of your Evidence, or part of your Reasoning.    {a disclaimer and iou – I'm sure this question has been raised by many educators, who have done much deeper thinking than what you see above;  soon, in late-July & August, I'll think about this more deeply, and will find the deep thinking that has been done by other educators.}


Reasoning:  To do Evaluative Thinking, you use Quality Checks (by comparing Goals with Predictions or Observations) and Reality Checks (by comparing Predictions with Observations).  Then – if your overall objective includes persuasion of others, not just yourself so you can make a decision – this Evaluative Thinking is "used for Arguing" when you use Reasoning (by combining Evaluative Thinking with a Persuasion Strategy and Communication Skills) to construct an Argument that can be verbal (with speaking or writing) and visual (with hand waving, or pictures drawn by hand or by computer, or prototype objects, or graphs, tables, videos, or...).


This table outlines a process of Evaluation-Based Argumentation using actions in CER and Design Process, with these two models-for-process combined to form a hybrid model.  It shows two stages of Reasoning, beginning with Evaluative Thinking (in Quality Checks & Reality Checks) which then is used for persuasive Communication in Argumentation.  

 CER Evidence-Based Arguing is used in all design: 
in General Design,
in Science-Design,
re: Status of Option
for Problem-Solution
 re: Status of Option 
 for explanatory Model 
 = Predictions+Observations 
 = Predictions+Observations 
 used for 
use Quality Checks:
compare Ps with Goals,
 compare Os with Goals. 
use Reality Checks:
 compare Ps with Os. 
use Evaluative Thinking (by comparing P-O-G) for
persuasive Communication that is Argumentation.


MORE - A Deeper Examination of CER and (to supplement the intro below) POE


iou – Maybe I'll "do something" with this table, to supplement my verbal description in the Introductory Overview.

scope of Model
 Design Process   Design + Science   short-term actions 
 CER  Design + Science   short-term actions 
 POE           only Science   short-term actions 
 most Models  Design only,   or
          only Science
 long-term phases 



 Design-and-Science (with other models?)   (put into LEFT frame`)

Design-and-Science versus Design or Science:  My model of Design Process includes cycles for Design and for Science which is possible because Science is a special type of Design so Design Process is a model for Design-and-Science together.  But most other models are for a process of either Design or Science, not both together.  Or they have separate models for Design and Science, as with Science Buddies.  The only exception I've found is...

Learning by Design whose model includes two interconnected cycles — to Design/Redesign (when there is a Need to Do) and to Investigate & Explore (when there is a Need to Know) — for design and science.   {more about Learning by Design}


The model of NGSS recognizes overlaps between the Practices used for Engineering and Science.



 Design Thinking (with other models)   (put into LEFT frame`)

When we compare models, or combine them, a useful perspective is...

Model = Framework + Supplements:  When we teach principles from one model of design (or by combining ideas from several models or semi-models), it's useful to view each model as its framework-and-supplements.  Why?  Because this perspective helps teachers be flexible in deciding how to teach "in ways that are personally customized for their own situation... and educational philosophy," and to describe a process of design in a wide range of design-fields.


a disclaimer:  The list below* — of models for Engineering Process and Design Thinking and Science Thinking — is not comprehensive, because some worthy models are not included.  But all included models are worthy.    (and above, with SRL & CER & POE)

A major category of non-inclusions are the models & semi-models for other approaches to inquiry-instruction — including PBL (Problems-Based Learning, Project-Based Learning), POGIL (Process-Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning), Case Studies, Video Games, and more — that are compatible with Design Process and other models-for-process, like those you see below.


ENGINEERING DESIGN PROCESS  —  Using Models in Education

EPICS (home - about), at college level, is an engineering program using EPICS Design Process with a framework supplemented by sophisticated strategies from real-world engineering.  EPICS began at Purdue University and is now used at 20 schools including Purdue, Princeton, Dartmouth, Columbia, Notre Dame, Virginia, Penn State, Texas A&M, and UC San Diego.     { Its model for a flexible process includes supplements that in education are especially useful for promoting expert professional-level problem solving. }

Engineering is Elementary (E is E) develops inquiry activities for students in grades K-8.  To get a feeling for the excitement they want to share with teachers & students, watch a video and explore their websiteTo develop its curriculum products, EisE uses educational research and works closely with teachers to get field-testing feedback, in a rigorous process of educational designDuring instruction, teachers use a simple 5-phase flexible model of engineering design process "to guide students through our engineering design challenges... using terms [Ask, Imagine, Plan, Create, Improve] children can understand."   /   a possibility:  The models of EisE and Design Process are compatible and could be combined to get the best of both.  This might be especially useful for teachers of older students, in EisE's programs for grades 3-5 and 6-8.http://www.eie.org/overview/engineering-design-process

Project Lead the Way — Later, maybe in late-2022, a paragraph for PLTW will be here.

NGSS (the new Science Standards) outlines a process for Engineering Design:  "defining and delimiting engineering problems... ;  designing solutions to engineering problems [by generating & evaluating options]... ;  optimizing the design solution..." (Appendix I, page 1, includes definitions where you just see "..." here)

Science Buddies, at k-12 level, has a model for Engineering Design Process (and for Scientific Method) with links to "Detailed Help for Each Step."  {it's a model for flexible process}


DESIGN THINKING  —  Using Models in Education

d.school of Stanford (home - POV) is featured in Using Models-for-Process in Education.  The d.school (the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford) offers transformative Learning Experiences to help students improve the productivity of their design thinking.*  How?  Their model combines a wide range of useful strategies for thinking-and-action, in modes & methods to support mindsets.  One of their mindsets is Radical Collaboration so they "bring together innovators with varied backgrounds and viewpoints" because this "enables breakthrough insights and solutions to emerge from the diversity."  The other mindsets (especially a Focus on Human Values) are also important.   /   * What is productive design thinking?  Their views (here & in Bootcamp Bootleg & elsewhere in their website) and my views (here & elsewhere) seem very similar.   /  {it's a model for flexible process}

education – college and k-12:  The d.school wants to "help prepare a generation of students to rise with the challenges of our times."  This goal is shared by many other educators who are excited about design thinking.  Although d.school operates at college level, they (d.school + IDEO) are active in K-12 education and are influential, as in their website about Design Thinking in Schools (FAQ - resources) that "is a directory of schools and programs that use design thinking in the curriculum for K12 students."  This information is useful because "design thinking is a powerful way for today’s students to learn, and it’s being implemented by educators all around the world."


There are many other models (in addition to that of d.school) for structuring activities of Design-Inquiry, including these:

Nueva School (Design Thinking* in Action) has an Innovation Lab (led by Kim Saxe) that was "created in partnership with IDEO and Stanford's d.school."  Their model-for-process is compatible with the model of d.school but is not the same.  A diagram of their model has 7 circles, with six for actions (Research/DeepDive, Focus, Generate Ideas, Make Informed Decisions, Prototyping Cycle, Collaborate) plus one in the middle asking "What Next?" to make action-decisions that coordinate a process of design.   /   "As one of the central pillars of a Nueva School education, Design Thinking spans all curricular areas [as in a wide spiral curriculum] and increases the effectiveness of students both in school and [because the shared goal of teachers & students is education to prepare for life] as they venture out into the world."

Mount Vernon Presbyterian School has designed a coordinated system of education, with excellent educational ecology, to help students develop the mindset-virtues of a 21st Century Mount Vernon Mind.  They offer an Institute for Innovation that includes a Center for Design Thinking featured in About Us for the school.  To help students improve the quality of their design thinking, they use a model for DEEP Design Thinking (DEEPdt) — with DEEP = Discover, Empathize, Experiment (mentally & physically), Produce — developed by Mary Cantwell.  She began with the model of d.school and adapted it (which is encouraged by d.school who want to help other educators) to make it more effective for students in the K-12 context of Mount Vernon, to provide educationally valuable structure and thinking strategies.  To help teachers (and students) in other schools, they wrote a DEEPdt Playbook.    {I.O.U. - Mary has moved on from MVP School, and later (maybe in August) I'll revise this paragraph.}

I.O.U. - Soon, probably in August 2020, more programs (now described in rough-draft form) will be included here, using (among other sources) these links:

Holy Family Academy is led by Lisa Abel-Palmieri -- and Nazareth Prep offers Deeper Learning thru Project-Based Learning


Empathy in Design Thinking

In education to improve design thinking, a common emphasis is the importance of thinking with empathy so your problem-solving efforts will meet the needs of those you want to serve.  Empathy is especially important when you Define a Problem (including your goals for a satisfactory solution) but it's also useful when you try to Solve the Problem by Generating Ideas and Evaluating Ideas.

For example, the models-for-process used by d.school and MVPschool each include a mode for Empathy:

    Stanford's d.school strongly emphasizes the need, in high-quality design thinking, to Focus on Human Values (a mindset) by improving Empathy (a mode) because it's "the foundation of a human-centered design process."  In their "Bootcamp Bootleg" you can see the importance of Empathy by finding it (when you search for "empath") in 19 of the 47 pages.
    The model used by Mount Vernon is DEEP Design Thinking, and in DEEP the first E is Empathy.  Mary Cantwell says, "I believe the most important aspect of the DEEPdt is the flexing and opening of our hearts and minds creatively towards others and their needs.  Developing empathy towards others brings us together as a society in a way like no other and through design thinking, we collaborate, create, and connect together."
I.O.U. - Soon this subsection (which later may be moved to another location in the page) will have a brief conclusion, including links to Compassion in Design and asking "Is empathy always useful?"


Educational Ecology

This section about educational ecology (intro & more) begins with d.school (at Stanford) and MVPschool (in Atlanta).

IOU - This section will be continued, along with more models-for-process, using ideas you can see in very rough form below.



I.O.U. - What you see below is in this "gray box"
because it's chaotic, so it needs to be revised,
and this process will continue in September.


Educational Ecology

This section about educational ecology (intro & more) begins by describing the excellent edu-ecosystems of d.school (at Stanford) and MVPschool (in Atlanta).


Stanford -- Due to their effective actualizations of their teaching strategies, plus who they are (at highly respected Stanford, in a d.school begun by David Kelley of IDEO fame) and where (Silicon Valley), they are able to build stimulating collaborative communities with high-quality students (from Stanford and outside? are there any non-students, or just those who were outside and now are students?) and teachers (from academia & business). / some factors in edu-ecology include high-quality actualizations of ideas-for-instruction, plus status (Stanford, IDEO) / on twitter, #dtk12 for summit-event in early August 2014, with event also covered in #dtk12chat


Mount Vernon Presbyterian School has developed an excellent system for design-thinking education. .....  [to be continued]

I.O.U. - This section is extremely rough (it's incomplete, and with potential inaccuracies that must be fixed) so it's included here with justifiable humility.  Because I recognize the limits of my knowledge about the "what, how, and why" of their educational ecology, later this paragraph will be expanded, hopefully by including links to pages they will write (with contributions by Mary, Bo, Brett, and others) about their school and beyond.

..... I think the enthusiasm for instruction to promote high-quality design thinking began with Mary Cantwell (Director of The Center for Design Thinking, who seemed to be the "driving force" in bringing DT strongly into MVPS (here I'll make links to her bio & blogs), and continued with teachers (including ---) who ----  //  with support from Brett Jacobsen (Head of School, welcomer & speaker & blogger/interviewer & tweeter) and Bo Adams (Chief Learning & Innovation Officer, bio & synergy & about a blog - twitter?), Chip Houston (Head of Middle School), Shelley Clifford (Head of Lower School), Trey Boden (Creative Director), James Tiffin (Director of Media & Maker Programs), and probably more. FAQ -

MV is associated with active communities of enthusiastic educators, within their school and beyond, in their city and online.

city of Atlanta - Atlanta K12 Design Challenge (with 11 public & private schools, and Stanford's d.school) http://www.atlantak12designchallenge.org/our-process.html - http://www.atlantak12designchallenge.org/who-we-are contact-info.html

Museum of Design Atlanta (with Education at MODA)

Twitter - especially through Mary Cantwell who is an enthusiastically creative dynamo of idea-stimulating and network-building, in person and online // Mary was co-founder of a vibrant Twitter community (#dtk12chat) of educators who are enthusiastic about #DesignThinking,

other sites - http://deepdesignthinking.com - http://mvidesignlab.wordpress.com/ ---- and on twitter, @scitechyEDU @mvifi @mvpschool + Bo, Brett, others at MVP (those above + Chris Andres, James Campbell,...)


Later, maybe also info about edu-ecologies of LASD (Los Altos, CA) and Ellis School (in Pittsburgh, PA).


DESIGN THINKING - other models

I.O.U. - Later, probably in September, I'll describe these programs more thoroughly.

Design for Change facilitates design projects for children, using a model for "I Can" - Feel, Imagine, Do, Share.

Butterfly Works works with clients, using cooperative design in a process of Co-Creation - Social Need, Research, Ideation, Co-Creation Workshop, Making, Pilot Test, Scaling Up.

THNK - from Amsterdam uses a process of Concepting (with Sensing + Visioning + Prototyping + Scaling) and Realization (by Incubating, Building, Accelerating) -- Creative Leadership Program - The Art of Thinking Differently by Reframing - tools overview -


d.school and IDEO & openIDEO [in very rough form] - with several interconnected websites & communities

http://www.designthinkingforeducators.com/DTtoolkit_v1_062711.pdf - 5 phases of the design process: Discovery - Interpretation - Ideation - Experimentation - Evolution // pg 13 // What is Design Thinking? Design thinking is about believing we can make a difference, and having an intentional process in order to get to new, relevant solutions that create positive impact. Design Thinking gives you faith in your creative abilities and a process for transforming difficult challenges into opportunities for design." It's Human-Centered, Collaborative, Optimistic, Experimental

model is outlined on pages 13-16 of their excellent 81-page booklet, graciously offered for free (but must register first)

IDEO plus Riverdale Country School have created a Design Thinking Toolkit for Educators


Design Thinking is a Mindset - http://www.designthinkingforeducators.com/design-thinking/

IDEO - home http://www.ideo.com/ - http://www.ideo.com/about/ - http://www.ideo.com/expertise/education/ with many links to click/explore

about http://www.hcdconnect.org/toolkit/en - Human-Centered Design (HCD) free toolkit with phases (Hear, Create, Deliver) on an Arc (moving from concrete to abstract and back to concrete), Lenses (for solutions that are Desirable, Feasible, Viable) and lots of

3 phases (Hear, Create, Deliver) with 39 tools/tips,

http://www.ideo.org/hcd - http://www.ideo.org/tools - https://openideo.com/challenge


OpenIDEO uses online open collaboration in a process with 6 phases (Big Question, Brief, Inspiration, Concepting, Refinement, Evaluation, Winners, Realisation) in 12 weeks, after they have defined an objective for the project. [[they decide some - challenges (=1A, also 1B?) and provide some 2A-background]] // I emphasize the non-rigidity of models, but... in some educational situations involving groups of designers [for OpenIDEO, maybe others?] a flexible model is used in an inflexible sequence of rigid steps [but --- encourage flexible improvising by collaborators during each phase]

Big Question, Brief, Inspiration, Concepting, Refinement, Evaluation, Winners, Realisation

Big Question, Research, Missions, Ideas, Applause, Refinement, Evaluation, Winning Ideas, Impact

is an open innovation platform for social good. we're a global community that draws upon the optimism, inspiration, ideas and opinions of everyone to solve problems together

an open platform for innovation, where we create better, together

tool kit - http://www.openideo.com/blog/openideouniversitytoolkit

model (pg 2) - http://documents.openideo.com/openideo_university_toolkit.pdf

FAQ - http://www.openideo.com/faq


history - http://www.ideo.com/work/openideo - Inspiration, Concepting, and Evaluation

https://openideo.com/faq - Research, Ideas, and Evaluation


leftovers from main section for Engineering is Elementary -- So far, EiE has developed classroom curriculum for Grades 1-5, and outside-classroom activities (for afterschool or camp programs) in their Engineering Adventures (Grades 3-5) and Engineering Everywhere (6-8)


Learning By Design is described in a brief text-summary (with 4-minute video) and a longer summary (with 9-minute video) and in another website with an FAQ about instruction and much more.  It's associated with a comprehensive website about Design in the Classroom (sitemap) and an enthusiastic community of educators who in the past (mid-1990s through at least 2004, led by Janet Kolodner at Georgia Tech but with many other co-leaders and contributors) were sharing many creative ideas (in publications and in other ways) for education using design activities.  {more about LBD}  {it's a model for flexible process}

questions for me to explore - is Janet K connected with current design-thinking education in Atlanta? what are people who were associated with LBD (in 2004) doing now?


A different kind of “model for problem solving” is The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  It's a coherent system of principles for living more effectively, is one of my favorite models for performing-and-learning.

DEBATES about "Design Thinking" [IOU - later I'll link this to an earlier section about "yes no/maybe"

are different models useful for different functions? like for Problem Solving, and for Education -- (@ yes and no, dschool)


Educational Applications:   Most models include supplements that can be educationally valuable in different ways.*  Each model contains useful insights that can be used within the framework of Design Process, to supplement it, and I recommend doing this.  Teachers can study the supplements, searching for useful insights, deciding what they want to include and omit.    { I.O.U. – Eventually I will do this "searching" and will share what I discover. }

* Two kinds of "valuable...ways" are in the title of this website, "Using Design Process for Problem Solving and Education."  For example, at the college level and beyond, the supplements of EPICS and Stanford offer valuable professional-level strategies to promote expert Problem Solving;  and the supplements of other models (EiE, DEEPdt, Science Buddies, Learning By Design, SAPA, NGSS) are especially useful for k-12 Education.  But we can adapt the design-tips for younger students, and the education-tips for older students.




 Science Thinking - Part 2   (put into LEFT frame`)

Currently, models for process-of-science are not popular in education, partly due to inaccurate stereotypes about models by many educators.  This is unfortunate, because a skillful use of models can encourage a “thinking about thinking” (metacognitive reflection) that promotes learning of useful principles that include strategies for coordinating a process of science-design.  Here are some educationally useful models:

My current model for Science Process is a special type of Design Process because Science is a special type of Design.

Some models are more complete because they include a wider range of factors that influence the process of science, when it's done by scientists who work as individuals and also as members of their research groups and larger communities.  For example,

    Part of my PhD work was developing a model for Integrated Scientific Method that was a unifying synthesis of ideas from scholars in many fields, from scientists, philosophers, historians, sociologists, psychologists, and educators.  This comprehensive model includes theory-evaluation criteria that are empirical (as in the Reality Checks of Science Process), conceptual, and cultural-personal.
    Understanding Science (developed at U.C. Berkeley - about) also describes a broad range of science-influencers, beyond the core of science: relating evidence and ideas.  Because "the process of science is exciting" they want to "give users an inside look at the general principles, methods, and motivations that underlie all of science."  You can begin learning in their homepage (with US 101, For Teachers, Resource Library,...) and an interactive flowchart for "How Science Works" that lets you explore with mouse-overs and clicking.
    Knowledge Building (developed by Bereiter & Scardamalia, links - history) describes a human process of socially constructing knowledge.

POE is Predict, Observe, Explain.  Compared with the models above (Integrated Scientific Method, Understanding Science, Knowledge Building), POE is near the other end of a spectrum for simplicity→complexity.  It's closely examined in Part 1 which ends with a question, "What is missing in POE?"  One answer is that the main science-actions it's missing are “Ask a Question” and “Design an Experiment” because in a typical POE-activity these are done by the teacher, not by students.  But a teacher can adapt instruction using basic POE (or basic CER) so students do Ask Questions and Design Experiments.  In fact, an obvious question when using CER (by asking “is that all the Evidence you have? how could you get more?”) will challenge a student to Design Experiments (by finding old Experiments or inventing new Experiments) so they can get more Evidence (old or new).   /   Also, real-life science uses many kinds of logic, and other kinds of factors;  these are described in the model of science – Integrated Scientific Method, ISM – that I developed for my PhD project.  You can learn about that model in this website (overview & detailed) and in my PhD-oriented website (big overview & hugely detailed and "even more" in my PhD Dissertation}

PHEOC — Problem, Hypothesis, Experiment, Observe, Conclude — is a simple model of science.  Its history is examined in John Dewey and "The Scientific Method".   When PHEOC, or a similar model, is presented (or interpreted) as a fixed series of rigid steps, this can lead to misunderstandings of science, because the real-world process of science is flexible.  An assumption that “model = rigidity” is a common criticism of all models-for-process, even though this unfortunate stereotype is not logically justifiable.  If a “step by step” model (like PHEOC or its variations) is interpreted properly, it can be the basis for a model that is reasonably accurate and is educationally useful.  For example,

Science Buddies has separate models for Scientific Method (with a flowchart showing options for flexibility-of-timing when using "Steps of the Scientific Method")* and for Engineering Design Process.  SB compares these models and, for both, offers "Detailed Help for Each Step" to supplement the basic model-frameworks.  Their main objective is helping students develop science projects or design projects for exhibitions (like science fairs) in K-12.   /   * They explain how both models describe a flexible process even though each model-framework has steps.


POGIL isn't a model-for-process, instead it's an approach to instruction.    { I.O.U. - This sub-section, with POGIL and other approaches, will be developed later. }


Science: A Process Approach (SAPA) was a comprehensive semi-model.  Their methods for teaching short-term process skills (basic & integrated) were impressive, and their approach influenced education in the late-1960s and 1970s.

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) - In the future, this very comprehensive semi-model for ideas-and-skills will be much more influential than SAPA.   The New K-12 Science Standards  Design Process is Compatible with NGSS


Scientific Method:  The concept of a “scientific method” was popularized by educators based on the writings (beginning in1910) of John Dewey, as explained by John Rudolph in Epistemology for the Masses: The Origins of “The Scientific Method” in American Schools, especially in pages xx-xx. [soon, maybe in mid-February, here I will cite the most relevant pages.]



Examples of Non-Rigid Sequences — Part 1

Earlier, I describe sequences in models-for-process and explain that all models use sequences of mental & physical actions because this is useful for accurately describing a process of design.  I also emphasize that these sequences are not rigid because, like a hockey skater's goal-directed improvising, expert designers improvise "by doing whatever they think will be most productive."  I claim non-rigidity for the sequences in Design Process and also in other models, as you can see in these examples:

As explained earlier, even when Stanford's d.school uses a fixed sequence of long-term phases during instruction because this provides "a useful scaffold to structure an experience for the purpose of learning," they remind you to do real-time improvising by combining your awareness-of-process (of "where you are in the design process") and your conditional knowledge (of "what methods to use in that stage") so you can coordinate your process of design by making action-decisions about "what to do now."   {quotes are from the mindsets-page of d.school's Bootcamp Bootleg}  {MORE - a detailed look at sequencing & non-sequencing in the model of d.school}

Deep Design Thinking has four modes (D,E,E,P), but although the modes "may seem linear, it's actually messier than that — which is part of what makes it fun and interesting."

Engineering is Elementary uses a 5-step model for an Engineering Design Process, EDP, that is not-uniform (because "there are as many variations of the model as there are engineers") and is not-rigid ("the EDP is flexible... there’s no official starting point or ending point. You can begin at any step, focus on just one step, move back and forth between steps, or [to develop a new idea] repeat the cycle.").  They also distinguish between problem-solving process inside & outside the classroom: "With EiE [activities], students work through all five steps, but in real life, engineers often work on just one or two steps, then pass their work to another team."

The model-framework of EPICS provides a clear structure ("the overall goal is to move through the phases" that include "decision points") but they also emphasize flexibility: "Sometimes you gain new knowledge... that makes it necessary to iterate, or go back to a previous phase and complete it again," and "a number of tasks can be completed throughout the design process."  {more - some details about semi-flexibility in EPICS who explain that "there are a couple of points in the design process [commonly used in real-life industry, and therefore used by EPICS] that are “go vs. no-go” decision points [called "gates"] that require an agreement from the project partner, advisors, and/or EPICS administration to go forward with the design"}   In a similar way, ...

Science Buddies explains that Engineering Design Process "rarely moves in a linear fashion.  Instead designers jump back and forth between steps" in an iterative process of moving toward a satisfactory solution.   /   Their framework for Scientific Method includes a cycle to "Think! Try Again" (to "Construct Hypothesis" again) if this seems justifiable, which occurs when "Analyze Results" shows you that a Hypothesis is "False or Partially True."  They explicitly deny rigidity: "Even though we show the scientific method as a series of steps, keep in mind that new information or thinking might cause a scientist [or engineer] to back up and repeat steps at any point during the process.  A process like the scientific method that involves such backing up and repeating is called an iterative process."

Learn By Design has sequences (indicated by arrows in two interconnected cycles) to use for instruction, but their model has inherent flexibility due to its emphasis on shifting back & forth between cycles of design-inquiry and science-inquiry in which "students work ‘iteratively’ to make their design solutions better and better." {more about LBD - link available later} 

And... other examples (in Part 2 of this section) also show the flexibility of models.


Flexibility during Instruction

A teacher may decide to initially use a model's long-term phases in a fixed sequence, the first time they lead students through a design activity.  But later (even later during the initial activity) they will encourage students to do “whatever seems productive” during their process of designing.


Performance and/or Learning ?

Our educational use of models should be guided by asking “What is the objective?”  Is it better performance and/or better learning?  Although I think models should be used flexibly when solving problems (for better performance), in many educational situations it can be effective (for learning) to use an inflexible sequence of steps during instruction (at least during initial attempts to solve a problem),* even though the model itself is capable of being used flexibly, and should (for best performance) be used flexibly.    /    * I.O.U. – The ideas in this paragraph need to be developed more thoroughly and carefully, which I'll try to do in March 2017, using ideas from here and here and elsewhere.



 Inquiry-Instruction using No Model, Semi-Model, or Model 


This section is an extension of its overview-summary`.


Teaching Inquiry by using No Model

As explained in the overview-summary, "during inquiry activities the simplest teaching strategy" is to guide students in ways that are not directed toward a goal of "learning the principles in any ‘model’ for the process of science and/or design."  Teachers do help students learn some principles of effective design-thinking, but don't organize these principles into a model.


Teaching Inquiry by using a Semi-Model

In the overview-summary, I define a semi-model as a teaching strategy that "describes thinking skills, individually and in functional combinations, but there is no attempt to integrate these thinking skills into a coherently organized framework that could be called a model."  Here are four examples:


• My model for Design Process — which actually is a family of models — includes a semi-model system of functionally related Modes of Thinking-and-Action that in Five Stages of a Progression for Learning are organized (verbally-and-visually) into a coherent model for the thinking-and-actions we do in a process of design.


Science: A Process Approach (SAPA) is a major curriculum program that began in the 1960s.  Michael Padilla explains how SAPA defined science skills as "a set of broadly transferable abilities, appropriate to many science disciplines and reflective of the behavior of scientists.  SAPA categorized process skills into two types, basic and integrated.  The basic (simpler) process skills provide a foundation for learning the integrated (more complex) skills."  Based on what I've seen, SAPA did not try to describe how these "integrated skills" are combined into a model for an overall process of problem solving.     {more about SAPA}


• Originally, I also defined the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) as a semi-model because NGSS includes the "practices" of science & engineering, but these practices are not organized into a model that shows their inter-relationships.  It seems that the writers of NGSS made a deliberate decision to avoid a model, as explained in Why NGSS is a Semi-Model.    { When it's viewed in wider perspective, NGSS is an extremely comprehensive, well-organized model for science education, although for a process of science/design I define it as a semi-model. }   /   But... later I discovered that NGSS – in Appendix I (page 1, quoted below with bold added) – does define a model for Engineering Design:

    The core idea of engineering design includes three component ideas:
    A. Defining and delimiting engineering problems involves stating the problem to be solved as clearly as possible in terms of criteria for success, and constraints or limits.
    B. Designing solutions to engineering problems begins with generating a number of different possible solutions, then evaluating potential solutions to see which ones best meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
    C. Optimizing the design solution involves a process in which solutions are systematically tested and refined, and the final design is improved by trading off less important features for those that are more important.

• An Introduction to POGIL (Process-Oriented Guided-Inquiry Learning) emphasizes the importance of metacognition, describes the benefits and how instructors can guide students in ways that encourage reflection and will help them develop metacognitive strategies & skills, and how students are "trained in a five-step self-explanation self-regulation methodology" to promote metacognition that helps them more skillfully "construct the large mental structures that are essential for success in problem solving: those linking conceptual and procedural knowledge."   {more about POGIL is below, in "A Continuum of Modeling"}

Because the views of inquiry that I define as semi-models span a wide range, other examples are possible.    { I.O.U. - Eventually, but maybe not soon, other semi-models will be examined in an appendix.}


Teaching Inquiry by using a Model

Models for 4 types of process (for Design, Science, Design-and-Science, Learning Strategies) are examined earlier in this page.


A Multi-Dimensional Continuum of Modeling

As described in the page-summary, "In reality there is a multi-dimensional continuum of modeling, with two kinds of overlaps between no model, semi-model, and model, but I think these categories... can be useful for thinking about the educational usefulness of different strategies for teaching inquiry."

As an example of multi-dimensional instruction, POGIL has a "five-step... methodology" that is a model for a metacognitive thinking strategy for learning.  But I consider POGIL to be a semi-model because it proposes no model for the overall process of inquiry.  So in different "dimensions" of instruction, is POGIL a model (for metacognition) or a semi-model (for a process of inquiry)?  In my opinion, there is no "correct" answer for these questions, but asking them can be useful when we're thinking about strategies for instruction.



This conclusion examines a set of related claims:

Design Process is compatible with other strategies for teaching inquiry, and other models for the process of inquiry,

but is distinctive in some ways, so it offers special added value for education;

understanding these characteristics (of strategies & models) will help us build a conceptual foundation for thinking about the effectiveness of different strategies for teaching inquiry, and my claim that "we should expect a well-designed combination of ‘experience plus principles’ [taught using Design Process and/or other models] to be more educationally effective than experience by itself."


• Experience plus Principles

When asking “should we teach principles-of-inquiry, to supplement inquiry-experiences?”, I think the best answer is “yes” so...

we should ask better questions — “what principles should we teach?” and “how should we teach these principles? (using no model? semi-model? model? which model or models?)” and “with how much emphasis?” — about experience plus principles.


• Design Process is Distinctive

IF we have reasons to think Design Process is distinctive in ways that offer "special added value for education” so it might be especially valuable in making a "combination of ‘experience plus principles’... more educationally effective," THEN we should conclude that because "Design Process might be very useful in education, its possibilities are worth exploring and developing."


• Design Process is Compatible

Unfortunately, it's rare for the educational community to explicitly challenge under-examined stereotypes about “what a model-for-process must be,” and explicitly clarify potential misconceptions about implications.  For example, the new set of Next Generation Science Standards is a semi-model that might be perceived as anti-model (implying that a model should never be used for instruction) when its Framework explains (p 44) that in NGSS "a focus on practices (in the plural) avoids the mistaken impression that there is one distinctive approach common to all science, a single ‘scientific method’... [because] in reality, practicing scientists employ a broad spectrum of methods" so (p 78) an accurate "picture of scientific reasoning is richer, more complex, and more diverse than the image of a linear and unitary scientific method would suggest."

But this implication is not warranted because a careful reading shows that writers of the Framework (and NGSS) are not opposed to all models, just models proposing a "linear [rigid] and unitary [uniform] scientific method."  But being "not-rigid and not-uniform are essential characteristics of Design Process," which includes Science Process because Science is a special type of Design.   NGSS is not compatible with rigidity and uniformity, but that's alright because these are what Design Process IS NOT. (and what Other Models-for-Process ARE NOT)

And looking at what Design Process IS, we also see compatibility:  NGSS describes (in Appendix F , p 11) the "iterative and systematic" process used by designers and scientists.  Design Process (which includes Science Process) is systematic and its foundation is a flexible use of iterative cycles for design and science.   {more about NGSS and Design Process}