The Nuffield approach to the teaching of mechanisms at key stage 3

2006-05-08T09:46:09Z (GMT) by David Barlex N.P. Givens
Mechanical control has been a significant and popular aspect of technology education throughout it's recent history in England and Wales. It has had a clear place in the latest national curriculum programme of study for design and technology. The Nuffield Design and Technology Project takes a systematic approach to giving pupils the resources to design and make, together with opportunities to develop design and technology capabilities through applying these resources. In establishing the "what" of learning about mechanisms, the project has sought to identify knowledge and understanding which pupils are likely to need, and be able to apply, in the course of their designing and making. In addressing the "how", the project has developed teaching and learning approaches which engage pupils in identifying, selecting, designing, modelling and making mechanisms to fulfil a specification. This paper gives a detailed account of these approaches, and the rationale behind them.