Case Study in Collaborative Education
Martin S. Linder, IDSA | San Francisco State University
“High school students’ performance is dramatically affected when they are regarded as part of the
projects community, rather than a separate component of associated parts.”
John Dewey, Democracy and Education, 1916
Many American high school graduates lack the fundamental skills and knowledge to be effective in modern society and the workplace. There have been many reasons cited, including a lack of curriculum offerings that are relevant and engaging for contemporary students. Concurrently, programs promoting creative thinking such as the visual and performing arts, music, and industrial arts, have been cut throughout public education. My organization, the Industrial Design Outreach (iDo) organization, attempts to reintroduce creative thinking in the classroom and thereby positively affect students’ classroom experiences through a program that delivers engaging and relevant learning experiences for today’s youth. iDo’s organizational model relies on collaborative educational relationships.
An exemplary collaborative education model underpins iDo’s success. The Industrial Design Outreach organization brings together many partners including university professors, university students, design professionals, industry experts, high school principals, guidance counselors and teachers. Collaborations with funding organizations generate financial support allowing delivery of the iDo curriculum free-ofcharge to the high school system. The university mentor-to-high school student exchange is the foundation of the program, affording in some cases, a 1:1 relationship of university mentor-to-high school student instruction.