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Design Thinking for School Leaders: Five Roles and Mindsets That Ignite Positive Change


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"Design is the rendering of intent." What if education leaders approached their work with the perspective of a designer? This new perspective of seeing the world differently is desperately needed in schools and begins with school leadership.

Table of contents

Empathy Is King

Opportunity Seeker

Experience Architect

Rule Breaker


About the authors

Alyssa Gallagher is an educational consultant, author, leader, and speaker. She is the head of education, North America at BTS Spark, where she focuses on developing the next generation of educational leaders.

Gallagher has led school leadership teams through the process of using design thinking to solve wicked problems and launch strategic plans. She enjoys coaching leaders to help them leverage the capability, creativity, and intelligence of everyone on their team.

Having worked in a variety of roles from school principal to assistant superintendent, Gallagher understands the complexity of education leadership and is passionate about improving the learning experiences created in schools. She is constantly exploring "What if …?" and works to support radical change in education.

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