Discomforting the orthodox: using debates in the pedagogy of curriculum and critical thinking in design and technology teacher education

2008-04-30T13:43:46Z (GMT) by Steve Keirl
Given the breadth of the design and technology curriculum enterprise, designing a broad-ranging foundation course for design and technology teacher education students is problematic. Matters of content, process, pedagogy, educational theory and curriculum politics all have their needs to be met and understood. This paper describes how debates have been used to articulate these kinds of needs in meaningful ways for the students. The debates are not simply an ‘activity’ that fills the assessment menu. They are shown to be, at once, interweaver of multiple issues and questions, modeller of critiquing-designing-making activity, and developer of intricacy for holistic design and technology education. The paper explains the significance of the context in which the students and course operate and it presents the associated pedagogical rationale. In recognising that discomfort, as a component of critical thinking, is both valid and positive, it seeks to show how this use of debating contributes to a meaningful educational journey for the students.