Big Ideas for D&T: Conclusion and References


The above consideration of the ideas “of” and “about” design & technology is at a high level of summary and considerable detail will need to be added as teachers devise a curriculum that incorporates these ideas. And it is important that such detail is added in a way that embraces a wide range of approaches to design incorporating, for example, the practices of different cultures in different places and at different times. In this way, an over-emphasis on modern Eurocentric approaches can be avoided and the insights of indigenous peoples can be taken into account.


Arthur, W. B. (2009). The nature of technology. London: Allen Lane.

Buchanan, R. (1996). Wicked problems in design thinking. In V. Margolin, & R. Buchanan (Eds.), The idea of design (pp. 3—20). Cambridge, MA: MIT.

Department for Education and Employment. (1999). Design and technology: The National Curriculum for England. London: Department For Education and Employment

De Vries, M. (2007) Philosophical reflection on the nature of design & technology. In Barlex, D. (Ed) Design and technology for the next generation A collection of provocative pieces, written by experts in their field, to stimulate reflection and curriculum innovation (pp. 18-31). Shropshire, UK: CliffeCo.

Ellen McArthur Foundation (2012) Towards the Circular Economy Vol. 1: an economic and business rationale for an accelerated transition. Retrieved from

Ellen McArthur Foundation (2013) Towards the Circular Economy Volume 2: opportunities for the consumer goods sector. Retrieved from

Harlen, W. (2010). Principles and big ideas of science education. Hatfield, UK: Association for Science Education.

Kelly, K. (2010). What technology wants. New York: Viking,

Lawson. B. (2004). What designers know. Oxford, UK: Elsevier.

Naughton, J. (1994). What is ‘technology’? In F. Banks (Ed.), Teaching technology (pp 7 –12). London: Routledge

Nye, D. E. (2006). Technology matters. Cambridge, MA: MIT.

Ropohl, G. (1997). Knowledge types in technology. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 7(1), 65–72.

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