Design thinking, an innovative methodology, is used to guide the instruction of traditional subjects to cultivate students’ 21 st century skills. However, little research has clearly explained whether incorporating design thinking into the instruction of traditional subjects affects the achievement of curriculum goals. Therefore, this study aimed to explore the effects of design thinking during the instruction, in terms of reaching curriculum goals. We modified the existing design thinking framework and applied it to the information technology course. Through the experimental design and case study, we investigated how design thinking facilitated achieving the different levels of curriculum goals. Two seventh-grade classes with different instructional designs of informational technology curriculum were observed: i) one studied using the design thinking approach, and ii) another using traditional teaching methods. The results suggested that design thinking can promote the achievement of both low-level curriculum goals (i.e. mastery of the basic information knowledge and skills) and high-level curriculum goals (i.e. production of valuable, diverse, and original digital works).