Our subject is in the doldrums. The KS3 Programme of Study introduced in 2013, coupled with the new GCSE, offers the possibility of modernisation but the challenges to the subject are much more deep-rooted.
We have identified four core challenges:
- A lack of agreed epistemology
- Confusion about purpose
- Uncertainty about the nature of good practice
- Erroneous stakeholder perceptions
These have contributed over several decades to a situation where less than 30% of young people now study the subject to 16+.
What can be done to restore design & technology to the grand intentions of the 1989 Parkes Report that heralded its introduction into the National Curriculum?
That’s what this post is all about. David and Torben, working with Nick Givens, have written a paper, Re-building Design & Technology, that explores these four challenges and how they might be tackled.
The paper contains 12 recommendations for the Design & Technology Association to consider, that we believe build on its existing aims and activities.
The emphasis in these recommendations is on the leadership role of the Association; we are not suggesting in any way that the Association can undertake the role of re-building design & technology alone.
All members of the community of practice along with those who support the subject of design & technology and those in positions of influence over the subject need to understand the key roles of Epistemology, Clarity of purpose, Good practice and Informed stakeholder perception in re-building design & technology as a key part of the school curriculum. All need to work with and in support of the Association in this endeavour.
As always we hope this post will stimulate discussion and we look forward to your comments.
Various versions of the paper, including a print-friendly one (with the large blocks of colour removed) and a version as web pages can be found through our Re-Building D&T page.