From the very beginning, the project ADDET was a real innovation for Italian students and VET trainers. The design thinking methodology is still not very well known in Italy: bringing it into Italian classrooms proved to be a challenge at first, but we did not give up and embarked on a training course that was – for CESIE – a source of personal and professional pride.
Transversal skills are considered essential in the XXI century: it is a set of skills that relate to the personal sphere of the individual and that can range from the ability to manage stress to that of leading a team or being guided by a leader within a group. These skills are necessary to create a serene but at the same time dynamic work environment. Unlike technical skills, which concern specific knowledge acquired through study or professional experience, soft skills constitute an extra gear that can make a difference for the candidate during a job interview. Together with the students of ITC Ferrara of Palermo, CESIE aimed to develop design thinking and transversal skills of students.
Having in mind the different steps of the methodology, it was possible to start a dialogue with the students, to understand their ambitions, their expectations but also their needs and fears. Starting from this dialogue with the students, the challenge they decided to face during the design thinking process was “how to make the school more stimulating”: in the further steps we applied the subsequent phases of the methodology to be able to find a creative solution shared by all those who took part in the process.
The school is that place where you enter as an individual and leave as community: this path helped students to work in groups, creating a safer and more serene environment, where they learnt to express their ideas and opinions without being judged but rather encouraged.
The results of this piloting with students – that lasts 2 months – were presented during the VET trainers seminars organized by CESIE (if you want to know more about the seminar, read here https://cesie.org/scuola/sviluppare-metodologia-design-thinking-addet/) and during the Transnational Partner Meeting in Berlin, which brought the partners together on the 23rd and 24th of June 2022.
Knowing the differences of the implementation in the partner countries was very useful: each country followed the Design Thinking path described in the Guide that led to always different results, while following the same steps of the methodology. And this is the real success of Design Thinking – which can be applied in hundreds of different contexts and always lead to results. It was also an important opportunity to reflect on the different uses of Design Thinking and on the needs and challenges of students. The response of the participants was more than positive and the consortium is more than satisfied with this.
Finally, we are also grateful to our German colleagues for hosting us in the beautiful city of Berlin, where we created new connections while savouring German delicacy!
Martina Romano, CESIE