A small-scale preliminary pilot to explore the use of Mode 2 research to develop a possible solution to the problem of introducing one-year PGCE design and technology trainees to design methods that are relevant to the teaching of designing in the secondary school

2007-05-23T10:21:14Z (GMT) by David Barlex
David Hargreaves (1998) noted that, in the world outside education, knowledge is not created in a university by researchers and then applied somewhere in the real world by practising professionals: it is developed where it will be used. It will be developed in order to get something done, a form of research called Mode 2 (Gibbons et al, 1994). He proposed that ‘knowledge creation and dissemination in education must now move into Mode 2: teacher-centred knowledge creation through partnerships’. In this paper we identify two problems by means of a literature survey and through a partnership between a curriculum developer and a university-based researcher, clarify its local manifestation and explore a possible solution that might be further informed by an extension of this research method. The problems identified by the literature survey are (a) the wide variation in designing experience within one-year postgraduate certificate of education (PGCE) design and technology students and (b) the poor development of designing skills in secondary school pupils within the subject design and technology. The partnership developed and implemented a piece of work new to the PGCE design and technology curriculum at a university in the south of England to give trainees experience relevant to their own development as a designer and to show how this might be related to developing design skills in school pupils. This was in addition to the design-based projects trainees had been required to develop and present in previous years. The trainees’ response to the work and its relevance to the Key Stage 3 work they undertook on teaching experience were then identified by a short interview with a selection of the students. The implications of this feedback for an extension of this work are discussed within the intention of improving the design teaching expertise of PGCE students at this particular university.