Piloting a Design Thinking Based Pedagogy for Teaching Innovation and Co-Creation at a Liberal Arts and Science College in Netherlands


This research aims to describe the Design Thinking (DT) based Global Citizenship program and the institutional context at Liberal Arts and Science (LAS) education at Leiden University College (LUC) in Netherlands, with the goal of sharing lessons learned for similar initiatives at LAS around the world. A case study approach was used to examine diverse DT activities conducted at LAS-LUC with undergraduates along with review of institutional mechanisms supporting these activities. Data were collected through literature and document reviews, observations, in-depth interviews, student focus group discussions (FGD) and faculty in-depth interviews. This case study of a DT program implemented at a major LAS college in the Netherlands, illustrates how such a program can be successfully introduced. A qualitative analysis showed a positive association between DT and students’ perceptions of their creativity and personal growth in understanding sustainability practices. Students reported that the DT approach was enriching and demonstrated appreciation for multifaceted application of knowledge across disciplines. Nonetheless, results from FGD show that students encounter difficulties in abstracting ideas from real situations to tractable innovative solutions. The findings from our study can inform and support the ongoing transformation in LAS education to go beyond traditional disciplinary ways of teaching. We call for educators to engage students in the complex interactions between social, economic and environmental systems to build students’ capacities to address and solve wicked problems in the real world.

Author Information
Min Jung Cho, Leiden University College The Hague, Netherlands
Ann Trevenen-Jones, Leiden University College The Hague, Netherlands

Paper Information
Conference: IICE2023
Stream: Nurturing Creativity & Innovation: New

This paper is part of the IICE2023 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Cho M., & Trevenen-Jones A. (2023) Piloting a Design Thinking Based Pedagogy for Teaching Innovation and Co-Creation at a Liberal Arts and Science College in Netherlands ISSN: 2189-1036 – The IAFOR International Conference on Education – Hawaii 2023 Official Conference Proceedings https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2189-1036.2023.68
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2189-1036.2023.68

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon