Reviewing the Impact of the National Strategies Design and Technology Framework for Key Stage Three

Matt McLain, Dawne Bell, Justine Smith, Mike Martin

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Since the beginning of Design and Technology (D&T) in the English secondary school curriculum, the teaching of design has been identified as less effective than that of making. In 2004 as part of the National Strategies, the D&T framework was launched, aiming to support the teaching of design skills. This small-scale study begins to explore the experiences of pupils and teachers in four schools in the Northwest of England. The study uses a mixed methods approach, gathering quantitative and qualitative data in a questionnaire with a convenience sample of school pupils. Responses are analysed alongside qualitative interviews with D&T teachers from the schools. The findings indicate that many pupils had a clear understanding of the role and function of designing. However, some common assumptions of the nature of design activity centering on the act of sketching or drawing were evident. Whilst some progress has been made in the teaching of design, through the use of design activities introduced in the D&T Framework, the support experienced by teachers was limited and were not sustained beyond the initial training. There are implications for initial teacher educators in supporting beginning teachers and balancing the tensions trainees experience whilst on placements in school.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1355-1366
JournalThe European Journal of Social & Behavioural Sciences EJSBS
Issue number119
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Apr 2014


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