Great Expectations: The Design Thinking Cycle and Story | Harbord & Khan | 5 Min Read

July 7, 2022

The alphabet has been described as a technology, but what about storytelling? We often hear about storytelling’s importance as a tool to engage students with their learning, but it usually doesn’t fall under next year’s orders, as software does. In his book Wonderworks: The 25 Most Powerful Inventions in the History of Literature, Angus Fletcher proposes that literature was “a narrative-emotional technology that helped our ancestors cope with the psychological challenges posed by human biology” and that it can help us with “the problem of simply being human.” The author describes literary devices, such as the stretch (“the taking of a regular pattern of plot, character, narrative style or any other core component of the story and extending the pattern further”) and plot twist, and the neuroscience behind how they impact us. Whether we agree or not with his ideas, most of us are likely to have experienced the power of storytelling in some way, for example, through films, graphic novels, songs, games, books, or cartoons.

As George Saunders writes, “A story (any story, every story) makes its meaning at speed, a small structural pulse at a time. We read a bit of text and…

Register Now
You may use your member school or partner discount code !!!

Harbord and Khan

Meredith Harbord EdD and Sara Riaz Khan are global educators who use ethical dilemmas to enrich and transform curriculum. Their student centric approach is driven by an ethical model and innovative tools that support critical thinking and creativity. Meredith and Sara’s collaboration as Design teachers at ABA Oman International School in Muscat, focused on sustainability, ethical design and global mindedness and inspired them to establish Harbord & Khan Educational Consultants. They develop units of work based on real world issues to engage and challenge students for diverse curriculums (IB, PBL, Common Core and Australian) and are available for professional development and to create programs to meet the specific needs of your school. Meredith and Sara have authored two teacher curriculum books ‘Interdisciplinary Thinking for Schools: Ethical Dilemmas MYP 1, 2 & 3’ and ‘Interdisciplinary Thinking for Schools: Ethical Dilemmas MYP 4 & 5’ (2020). Website: