Design without make hits the spot!

The latest Osiris D&T professional development concerns Assessing without levels. Part of the day involves considering ways to teach D&T: Making without designing, Designing without making, Designing and Making and Exploring technology and society. There was some initial skepticism with regard to Designing without making. “Pupils come to D&T to make; if they’re not making they’re disappointed and become disaffected.” I quoted independent evaluation that disagreed and presented examples of pupils’ work that showed engagement and creativity. But I could tell there were still some doubters. Imagine how pleased I was to receive this email from Martin McKenna of Paignton Academy Got in this morning at 7 am, had year 9 periods 1 and 2, looked at my lesson plan and decided to throw it away…and do a Design without Making task, by 7.30 still not sure, but by 8am had nailed it! Found following clips about transport  Knocked out this worksheet  Fired them all up to design with completely open imagination…anything is possible by the time they retire When I was a kid I remember sitting in my dads new car and imagined that one day we would be able to control the radio without taking hands of the steering wheel….wouldn’t that be amazing! Students produced some fascinating ideas  It was a very useful lesson, and has put me on a new journey, a journey my students should have been on since year 7 I think. Still have no idea of model for assessment yet, but have some ideas…need to chat to SLT! The key of course is that Martin pre-empted the disappointment of not making by telling the pupils they would not be making in this particular lesson AND engaging them with the creative potential of designing ‘on its own’. This approach was developed through the Young Foresight initiative and you can find the project materials here including teacher guidance. The ideas produced by Martin’s pupils clearly indicate that they were thinking hard about transport ‘beyond the wheel’. The task was no soft option, it was academically challenging and they rose to the challenge. As you may imagine Martin’s response and that of his pupils made my day. I’m really looking forward to hearing more about his designing without making journey and how SLT support its assessment.

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