A-Level design and technology– the view engineers and designers in higher education have of the subject

2006-05-03T15:33:54Z (GMT) by Tim Lewis
The 'Lucas' report (1980) recommended that A-level design courses conform to a number of set criteria and that a pass should be acceptable as an entry qualification for all design-based undergraduate courses. Since the report there has been considerable growth in A-level D&T. Preliminary indications are that, with the start of AS/A2 examinations, growth will continue. Discussions with Heads of Department in schools revealed that A-level D&T students are gaining places on both design and engineering degree courses but there are still uncertainties. In year 2000 a new range of AS/A2 D&T examinations started in schools. At this point of change it seemed important to establish the key elements of acceptability for the subject. The research focused on design and engineering degree programmes selected at random from university undergraduate courses. The aims were to establish the acceptability of A-level D&T for entry to undergraduate courses and tutors views of D&T. The results produced surprising information with engineering tutors expressing different views about A-level D&T to design tutors. The educational value of project work is one of the differences. Also there are differences of opinion about subject knowledge. Many designers have concerns with certain aspects of D&T in schools while engineers embrace the subject.