Interesting Blog Post by Alison Hardy at http://hardyalison.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/all-publicity-is-good-right.html in which Alison questions whether being part of the EBacc will be good for D&T and in fact a betrayal of its true nature.
The letter from Michelle Donelan and 87 MPs to Theresa May and Justine Greening adopts an unashamedly utilitarian tone – D&T essential to bridge the STEM skills gap, see http://schoolsweek.co.uk/design-and-technology-87-mps-demand-inclusion-of-subject-in-ebacc/ . Alison believes that this may marginalise D&T from inclusion in a general education for ALL students. But that I think is the point of the English Baccalaureate (EBacc). It is not a qualification in its own right. It has been established to provide information to parents, and others, about the achievements of pupils in a core set of academic subjects which are shown to enhance the chances of progressing on to further study. Currently to meet EBacc criteria, a pupil must have obtained a grade A* to C in English, maths, two sciences, history or geography (referred to as humanities), and an ancient or modern foreign language. I’d argue that the addition of an academically rigorous creative practical subject, which would include D&T, would make the EBacc a more rounded and appropriate ‘core set of academic subjects’. As to the purpose of D&T I think there are two key elements as follows.
The unique contribution of design and technology education to the education of young people is to develop both technological capability and technological perspective.
Technological capability can be defined as designer maker capability, capturing the essence of technological activity which is intervention in the made and natural worlds.
Technological perspectiv ecan be defined as insight into ‘how technology works’ which informs a constructively critical view of technology, avoids alienation from our technologically based society and enables consideration of how technology might be used to provide products and systems that help create the sort of society in which pupils wish to live.
I think the above statement makes a good case for D&T being an essential element in the education of ALL pupils to the age of 16.
As always comments welcome.