Developing design and technology capability - rhetoric or reality?

2006-05-05T09:28:32Z (GMT) by Matthew Hopper Martin Downie
This paper examines teachers' perceptions of technological capability and the factors which influence and constrain the effective planning and delivery of learning programmes in secondary schools. The predisposing issue central to the research has been the apparent mismatch between the stated intentions of teachers and their practice. The research, which is described, employs a range of methodologies allowing a measure of triangulation, validation and reliability. Focused activities with groups of teachers, structured interviews and the analysis of curriculum planning materials provide three modes of response. By employing this complementary sequence of investigative strategies it has been possible to gather qualitative data which provides an insight into the curriculum planning processes employed by teachers. The methodology has enabled the pre-defined learning outcomes of teachers to be tested against an examination and analysis of the teaching, learning and assessment strategies which they employ to bring about their stated objectives. Finally the paper proposes conclusions about the factors which motivate and influence teachers in the curriculum planning process. This paper argues that factors other than the learning needs of pupils unduly influence the selection and prioritisation of content, teaching methodologies and assessment strategies.