Early encounters with the Nuffield approach to design and technology

2006-05-05T11:44:45Z (GMT) by N.P. Givens
The Nuffield Design and Technology (D&T) Project (henceforth "the Project") recently published extensive curriculum materials. This paper presents a pilot investigation based on case studies of two teachers in separate schools, each using Nuffield publications with one class. It explores: how Nuffield materials were selected and adapted by teachers; the resulting balances between in-house and Nuffield influence; teachers' intuitive evaluations of the materials' impact. Both teachers "injected" similar Nuffield elements into existing schemes; they took ownership, exploiting the materials' flexibility. Both prescribed the mechanical / structural elements of the product, but allowed extensive pupil autonomy over aesthetic elements. Text books were initially underused. In describing the materials' impact, one teacher emphasised pupils' learning, theother the improved quality of his own experience. The paper suggests that even a little training may greatly enhance teachers' use of Nuffield resources.