Questioning the design and technology paradigm

The pace of technological change means that the school subject of design and technology must be in the process of constantly reinventing itself. Yet the way that we are teaching has changed little since the beginnings of the subject. We are still delivering and assessing in the same ways we were 30 years ago. Why? The industries and philosophies which power our thinking have, and are, changing drastically. We would seem to be concerned to give citizens of tomorrow the new tools without the new ways of using them. Much vaunted issues like collaboration, creativity, sustainability and the reasons why we do what we do, are little questioned. The subject of design and technology would seem to be in a unique position to influence designers, consumers and citizens of the future. Ideas of learning and designing styles, choice and collaboration would seem to be the watchwords for the future. So how do we do it? As a group will share ideas and plans for ways of rethinking what we are about, therefore how we should enable the learners of the future and then how we should assess it. This will be a collaborative experiential session, which challenges the traditional perceptions of the keynote presentation and will be more theatrical than is conventionally done. The attatched paper is therefore a commentary to the presentations but will not be the text of the presentation. Those presentations will be members of the team giving the situation in role. There should be time within the questions session for idividuals in the audience who feel that we have polarised and misrepresented their positions to speak to the rest of the conference. In our abstract we hignlighted the areas of collaboration, creativity, sustainability and the philosophy of design and technology. The issues surrounding these missing links in our views were collaboration, creativity, sustainability, and philosophy.