Participant research in design and technology education

2006-05-03T15:12:51Z (GMT) by Gill Hope
IDATER 2000 began with Phil Roberts' address on the importance of Participant Research. Speaking from a Primary School perspective in which Design and Technology is being squeezed out by default through constant focus on improving SATs scores, and yet having been engaged in researching children's developing design skills for the past 5 years, this paper presents a personal view of Participant Research. There are two halves to the paper, examining my pursuit of a research paradigm under whose umbrella I could feel comfortable. The first half considers the options. The second discusses the problems, practical and philosophical, faced by would-be teacher researchers within the option most readily available. By sharing my perspectives and experiences as a participant researcher into children's design skills, I hope to be able to contribute to the debate on how to encourage more participants to do research and how their results can contribute to the shared knowledge base about design education.