Taking a Social Perspective- Empathetic Design Process

Thinking Routine

Step In, Step Out, Step Back

Teaching Guide

This Thinking Routine was used in a Design Technology lesson for Year 9 students as part of their study,  Fusion 360 WASH Community Design Challenge, and learning the Empathetic Design Process.

I delivered this  Thinking Routine in a Culture of Thinking Teacher Lab held during a visit from Ron Ritchhart.

Water Aid

Image from Water Aid Global


Choose a person in this image.

Step In:  Given what you see and know at this time, what do you think this character might see, feel, believe, or experience?

Step Out: What else would you need to know or learn about to understand this character’s perspective better?

Step Back: Based on your exploration this perspective so far, what are you noticing about your own perspective and what it takes to take on someone else’s perspective?


Students added comments to a Padlet to open up discussion about their thinking. Scroll around to read what my students wrote in reply to the thinking prompts. Or open this link to see the entire Padlet.



Cultures of Thinking Teacher Lab


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