Best Mentoring Practices of Design Education at the Design High School Level and Instructional Resources

Hyun-Kyung Lee


This article examines education practices intended to maximize the effectiveness of education in a design high school. Consistent with the requirements of national curricula, design high schools seek to optimize formal education by developing programs that provide a framework for teaching students the skills and knowledge needed to become active participants in planning and shaping their world. Numerous studies have concluded that design-based learning and mentoring relationships are a significant factor in succession planning, career development, and skill development. To research the role and value of design-based learning and mentoring relationship, the author recorded observations of visiting speakers from various disciplines who presented design-based learning experiences and mentoring system to design education classes at The Design High School in Los Angeles. Because the purpose of this study was to investigate educational practices of a design high school, to explore the role and importance of design-based learning and mentoring relationship, and to generate theoretical concepts of the ways in which such a high school is structured, a grounded theory approach was used to guide and interpret the collection and analysis of the data. Three primary methods were used for data collection: document analysis, observation, and interviews. The finding shows that design education can enhance learning in K-12 students. The author concludes by suggesting educational strategies that could be incorporated into a design high school curriculum.

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Journal of Education and Learning   ISSN 1927-5250 (Print)   ISSN 1927-5269 (Online)


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