Re-building D&T: Recommendations in priority order

In this paper, we have made several recommendations which are gathered together here, ordered in what we consider to be their priority for action. However we do emphasise that we believe all of the recommendations to be of import and do not intend this ordering to suggest that lower priority recommendations are in some way less important.

The emphasis in these recommendations is on the leadership role of the Design & Technology Association; we are not suggesting in any way that the Association can undertake the role of re-building design & technology alone. In particular, we are aware that our recommendations all carry implied costs, in some cases relatively modest and in others significant. These costs are beyond the current budget of the Association. It is important that the whole D&T community works with the Association to help the realisation of these recommendations with both practical and financial support.

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 stakeholders in rebuilding design & technology as a key part of the school curriculum. All need to work with and in support of the Association in this endeavour.

Recommendations

Priority Recommendation
1 Recommendation concerning achieving good practice

That key stakeholders in the d&t community, including those from the design and engineering industries and academia, work with the Design & Technology Association to establish funding for research in response to key questions concerning the effective teaching of design & technology and the benefits of such teaching.

Commentary

It is essential that the work of the Association and others attempting to re-build the subject is informed by robust, up-to-date data so that the subject and its ambition can be seen to be research-informed.

2 Recommendation concerning achieving sound epistemology

That the Design & Technology Association, along with key stakeholders in the d&t community, including those from the design and engineering industries, work together, including identifying the necessary funding, to establish and promote an agreed orthodoxy regarding the core of knowledge, understanding, skills and values that underpin school design & technology.

Commentary

It is important that there is support for the development of a wide agreement on subject knowledge to underpin other recommendations

3 Recommendation concerning achieving clarity of purpose

That the Design & Technology Association, along with key stakeholders in the d&t community, including those from the design and engineering industries, work together, including identifying the necessary funding, to marshal support for a broad view of the purposes of school design & technology to include personal, social and cultural as well as economic aims.

Commentary

It is important that there is support for the development of a wide agreement on the purpose of d&t to underpin other recommendations

4 Recommendation concerning achieving informed stakeholder perception with particular regard to SLT, governors, teachers, parents and pupils

That the Design & Technology Association provide information materials, aimed at SLT, governors, teachers, parents and pupils that subject leaders can adapt and use.

Commentary

It is important to enable d&t departments to influence the views of local stakeholders

5 Recommendation concerning achieving informed stakeholder perception with particular regard to SLT, governors, teachers, parents and pupils 

That the Design & Technology Association provide a mechanism by which subject leaders can feed the responses of these stakeholders back to the Association.

Commentary

It is important that the D&T Association is informed about the views of local stakeholders and their responses to the information materials supplied.

6 Recommendation concerning achieving informed stakeholder perception with particular regard to Teacher trainers and CPD providers 

That the Design & Technology Association work with key stakeholders in the d&t community to establish funding for the development of training materials for design & technology ITE and CPD providers covering the key messages in this paper.

Commentary

It is important to provide well-funded CPD that supports the development of an agreed orthodoxy amongst those who provide ITE and CPD

7 Recommendation concerning achieving informed stakeholder perception with particular regard to Teacher trainers and CPD providers

That the Design & Technology Association work with key stakeholders from the design and engineering industries and academia to sponsor and organise an invitation conference for ITE and CPD providers to discuss and disseminate the materials.

Commentary

It is important to support the development of an agreed orthodoxy amongst those who provide ITE and CPD

8 Recommendation concerning achieving good practice 

That key stakeholders from the design and engineering industries and professions support the Design & Technology Association in promoting and providing CPD that meets the research criteria for effectiveness.

Commentary

It is important that CPD for D&T is seen to have support from a wide range of stakeholders

9 Recommendation concerning achieving good practice

That key stakeholders from the design and engineering industries and professions work with the Design & Technology Association to establish financial support for effective CPD.

Commentary

It is important that there is funding to support high-quality CPD

10 Recommendation concerning achieving informed stakeholder perception with particular regard to Industry, employers and professional bodies 

That key partners from industry and the professions work with the Design & Technology Association as critical friends to develop a statement of support for design & technology that clearly defines both the epistemological underpinnings and the broad purposes of design & technology education.

Commentary

It is important that key stakeholders are enabled to promote the subject with a unified voice

11 Recommendation concerning achieving informed stakeholder perception with particular regard to Industry, employers and professional bodies 

That these key partners and the Design & Technology Association use this rationale as a platform to persuade others to be active in support of design & technology as a school subject.

Commentary

It is important that key stakeholders are enabled to promote the subject with a clear view of its content and its purposes

12 Recommendation concerning achieving informed stakeholder perception with particular regard to Government departments and the awarding and assessment organisations 

That key stakeholders from the design and engineering industries and academia work with the Design & Technology Association to encourage the design & technology community and its supporters to develop suggestions for action or change which are likely to gain a positive reception from Government.

Commentary

It is important that Government has a clear understanding of the subject’s content and purposes and recognises that these have a wide base of support.

13 Recommendation concerning harnessing the insights of influential thinkers both inside and outside the design & technology education community 

That the Design & Technology Association convene an advisory body to explore and examine the issues affecting design & technology in schools from a wide perspective and to report annually in the form of strategic advice.

Commentary

It is essential that the Association has high quality advice and guidance on how to proceed in its use of the research at its disposal

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