Solution Fluency is something that mirrors many familiar learning procedures. These are the kinds of processes we have used in and out of classrooms for centuries, it seems. When teachers first see Solution Fluency, it can look complicated and daunting. Once compared with something familiar, that feeling evaporates quickly. One of the processes it parallels is design thinking.

There are many interpretations of design thinking out there. For the most part they are only slightly different. This is mostly in the way of terminology. They generally follow the same core concepts, though. For our purposes, we are comparing it to Solution Fluency using one of the more common 6-step interpretations.

Solution Fluency and Design Thinking: A Never-Ending Cycle

Something we state frequently about the 21st Century Fluencies is they are not linear processes. They are cyclical in nature. It’s good news for any learner wanting to explore, discover, and change. The Fluencies are processes that facilitate this.

During learning, revisiting each stage of Solution Fluency is strongly encouraged. Along any learning journey, a pupil discovers new things and then refers back to previously-found knowledge. They revise approaches, add new things, and discard what isn’t useful. Design thinking works the exact same way.

In any design approach, nothing is linear. There is always a never-ending cycle of revisitation and revision. When processes are kept linear, possibilities become limited. Possibilities are what both Solution Fluency and design thinking are intended to generate. With them, there are no limits.

This simple infographic creates a side-by-side comparison of the stages of both Solution Fluency and design thinking. It’s intended to display the striking similarities between the two. It’s hoped that this comparison will demonstrate a bit more of the remarkable versatility of Solution Fluency. It truly is a process for both living and learning.




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