Cultivating a Design Thinking Mindset in Educationally Disadvantaged Students Using a Design-based Activity


  • Luecha Ladachart University of Phayao
  • Sirinapa Khamlarsai University of Phayao
  • Wilawan Phothong University of Phayao



Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, as an educational policy, provides opportunities for students to learn these disciplines in more integrated ways than traditional methods. This can be pedagogically accomplished via a design-based approach where students engage collaboratively in solving engineering problems using various domains of knowledge and skills. In this pedagogical process, design thinking is vital. However, little is known about whether students develop this kind of thinking and its mindset when engaging in design-based activities. The purpose of this study is to examine the influence of a design-based activity on design thinking. Participants included 18 ninth-grade students in a small rural school. The data were collected using a Likert-scale questionnaire before and after the design-based activity, in combination with classroom observations and focus group interviews with the students. The Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used to analyse the quantitative data and a thematic analysis method was utilised for the qualitative data. The results indicate that the students were significantly more comfortable with solving engineering problems, even though other aspects of design thinking mindset (e.g., user empathy, collaboratively working with diversity, orientation toward learning, and creative confidence) were not significantly different. These results are discussed based on the enacted nature of the activity.

Author Biographies

Luecha Ladachart, University of Phayao

Department of Curriculum and Instruction, School of Education

Sirinapa Khamlarsai, University of Phayao

School of Education

Wilawan Phothong, University of Phayao

School of Education






Research Articles