Design Thinking for The Philippine Schools

Habi Education Lab gave me the opportunity to facilitate mini design thinking exercises for K-12 teachers during ActivatED, a UP College of Education organised event, last July 5.

For majority of the teachers, this was their first time to encounter design thinking. But by the second phase of the activity, everyone was abuzz with excitement.

I accord this both to the design thinking method itself and how Habi founder, Gerson Abesamis introduced it. In establishing that there are no bad ideas and recognising that everyone is creative, the teachers had a safe environment to ideate in. Imagine teachers behaving like elementary students in an art class, it was liberating.

The challenge: Designing a New Wallet.

Common problems are losing wallets, risk of the wallet getting stolen, somebody at home lifting money off the wallet, and spending too much money.

Design solutions are biometric wallets, wallets that can be chained to clothing, wallet with a crocodile-design to bite your fingers off if you get money (haha, funny!) and etc.


My key takeaway has nothing to do with design thinking at all.

From what I’ve seen here and my time at the Ateneo Leong Center, any activity-based event always gets participants, in both cases, teachers, engaged.

Hope everyone has that same realisation and apply it in their respective classrooms: Forget the lectures, students pick up on lessons faster if they’re learning with their hands.

About HABI Education Lab

Habi Education Lab brings grassroots innovation to Philippine schools through design thinking and participatory action research. Their four-step cycle adapted for the Filipino framework is: Himayin ang problema, Ambagan ng mga idea, Bumuo ng prototype, Ipakita, ayusin at suriin, together, HABI.

Thanks Gerson for letting me participate!

For more information about Habi, visit their website or Like their Page.



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