Together we work towards being skilled, informed thinkers and actively engaged citizens in a world where as my mentor Mary Catherine Bateson writes, “we now recognize that no microcosm is completely separate, no tide pool, no forest, no family, no nation.”

 Bateson, Mary Catherine. (1994). With a Daughter’s Eye: A memoir of Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson. New York: HarperPerennial

Thinking, Learning & Making

Krina Patel|Pattern made from candy wrappers|Digital Photo Graphic

Pattern Making. That’s how I see the process of teaching and learning. When we make a pattern we bring together different elements to form a composite whole.  Similarly teaching for me is the process of supporting students in connecting the different elements of their life experiences as well as immediate classroom experiences and doing the same myself. I attempt to understand and support them in understanding how our experiences shape our life, our ways of being in the classroom community and the larger social, cultural world.   Seen this way teaching and learning is an ongoing everyday life process that allows us to re-freame our experiences, make meaning and come to new understandings. This way we learn to move in harmony with the world.


   Krina Patel is a researcher and educator whose work bridges theory and practice. Dr. Patel’s research completed at Harvard University looked into the pattern of thinking and learning in skilled manual work. The theoretical work draws from the literature on embodiment, creativity and cognition. The practical implications are on the design of skills training programs, maker spaces and the use of tools, both traditional and digital.

Dr. Patel focuses on learning and making with empathy. She begins with the understanding that the development of creative and critical thinking skills are key to all learning.  Her work includes setting up maker spaces*, supporting educators in designing curriculum that incorporate design thinking and STEAM** projects in classrooms and maker spaces.

Krina works collaboratively with makers and artists and maintains a studio practice in USA and India.

* Thinking in Action Co-Labs
** Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Mathematics


Teaching & Making for Empathy

My research shows that work that involves bodily, sensory engagement demands thinking in real time. This process that I term embodied thinking requires individuals to gather information, reflect and act simultaneously.  In other words, contrary to the conventional, general belief that thinking is a linear, ‘in-the-head’ process, research shows that the sense-think-act cycle is a …