Lenny Dutton - Learner's Profile

Lenny Dutton - Learner

Lenny Dutton is the author of Design for the MYP, and works as an MYP Coordinator and Design teacher at the International School of Stuttgart.

She likes to bring global issues, empathy and play into the classroom and is very interested in the work of Harvard’s Project Zero, especially their Visible Thinking, Pedagogy of Play and Agency by Design

I have always been a curious person.

Growing up in London I spent a lot of my formative years in galleries and museums, learning about the wider world! I will always take joy in learning. I'm a naturally nosey person, and always want to hear people's stories and learn from their experiences.

I have taught MYP Design, been an ATL and Personal Project Coordinator, and even a librarian before becoming the MYP Coordinator at my school.

I have also been involved in a number of projects for the IB, and am an IB school visitor.  I'm basically a massive MYP nerd and love sharing my knowledge of the MYP on my blog and now through my books.

At a professional development event at the National Gallery in Washington DC, I was told that people spend on average only seven seconds looking at a painting.

This shocked me and really made me think about the importance of slowing down, so that I can observe, think and consider situations and stimuli more. Since this event I have been really interested in using Project Zero's Thinking Routines to help my students slow down their thinking and to approach ideas from many different sides.

I used to really hate speaking in public and sharing my thoughts with others.

I was worried that if something was not perfect or concrete, it was not worth sharing. I now like sharing my ideas with others, even if they are padded in 'ums' and even if my ideas change mid-flow! I also think we have so much we can learn from each other, so it's important to share!

Although all IB Learner Profile attributes are created equal, this to me is the most important one.

Being principled is what I think one of the main aims of the IB is, and is definitely something I strive to be and help my children to be. As a designer, we need to make sure we are positively contributing to the world and doing so in an ethical way!

I never want to be in an echo-chamber, so purposefully surround myself with people with different perspectives to me.

How boring would life be if you only hung out with people with the same views, values and interests as you? This attribute makes me think of my favourite part of the IB's mission: "These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right."

“Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.”

If someone is doing something which you don't understand, or which upsets or angers you, you should try to assume positive intent and consider that they might not realise the implications of their actions or they might have other things happening in their lives. As a designer, empathy is important for our process, but it is also important to me outside of the world of design.

If something isn't difficult or challenging, then you aren't learning!

Be happy when things are uncomfortable, it means you are able to grow.

Being balanced is the attribute students and teachers struggle with the most.

I try to have a good work-life balance. Outside of work I love good food, museums, galleries, football, seeing family and visiting theme parks! I am also interested in criminal justice, podcasts and art toys. I love spending time with my greyhound Ru, my husband and my baby son Benny.

As a designer being reflective is part of our bread and butter.

Life would be very boring if we had already reached perfection. Reflection allows us the opportunity to continue to get better and better.