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Shawn T. Loescher (Urban Discovery Schools)

May 8, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

ucsd design lab shawn t. loescher urban discoverey schools

Theory to practice: Design thinking for organizational and community development

Design thinking can be considered a method, approach, or disposition towards problem solving, organizational development, and community building. The traditions of DT date to the 1950’s and originate from a variety of design sciences. In this UC San Diego, Design@Large presentation, Dr. Loescher explores DT and how it can be utilized to transform organizations and communities. This includes an exploration of theory, situating DT within organizational philosophy, and how it is practically being used in the private and social sectors as a way of mobilizing transformational generative thinking.

About the Speaker

Shawn T. Loescher, Ed.D. has over 25 years of professional experience as a social scientist, activist, and educational leader. Currently, he serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Urban Discovery Schools, a state classified significantly expanding, public school system. Dr. Loescher began his career in education as a teacher’s aide at the age of 17—a path that led to teaching, adjunct professorship, administrative work, and cabinet level school district leadership in a diverse group of settings, domestically and abroad. Dr. Loescher has presented to the California Senate Education Committee, has served as a member of national think tanks, and is a sought-after consultant, speaker, and guest lecturer. Dr. Loescher specializes in the topics of organizational and community development, philosophy, educational redesign, systems theory, and design thinking. Recently, the internationally renowned TED (Technology, Entertainment & Design) organization named Dr. Loescher as one of their 16 worldwide awardees for the TED-Ed Innovative Educators for 2019. He will be presenting his TED Talk on aspects of design thinking at the TED Summit in Edinburgh Scotland in July. Earlier this year, Dr. Loescher was the keynote speaker for the Center for Secondary School Redesign 2019 conference on the topic of redesigning the educational experience. His research was featured at the 2018 American Educational Research Association’s annual meeting in New York City where he presented in a session titled “Action Research Ways of Knowing and Understanding: Alternative Praxis, Poetic Inquiry, Pedagogy of Hope, and Local Knowledge.” Dr. Loescher earned his Ed.D. in Leadership from the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University. His dissertation work was focused on the implementation of systems innovations to advance college and career readiness, fostering levels of student hope levels, and breaking down institutional structures that may limit student potential. Dr. Loescher also holds a Master’s in Education Administration, supervisory and teaching certifications, and a Bachelor’s degree. As the Chief Executive Officer of Urban Discovery Schools, Dr. Loescher is charged with the development of an inner-city K/12 school system based upon design thinking.


May 8, 2019
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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