The effect of teacher’s confidence on technology and engineering curriculum provision

Secondary school, age range 11 – 14, technology and engineering education in England has been delivered mainly within Design and Technology (D&T). This inadvertently makes D&T teachers responsible for pupils’ engineering education and motivation. This paper analyses D&T teachers’ (N = 33) technology subject knowledge through self-assessment competency questionnaires, before and after developing a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)-focused project of their choice for their classroom. Participants were least confident in teaching the areas of technology that required mathematics and scientific knowledge. The results analyse a suggested misalignment between teachers’ Creative Arts background subject knowledge compared to the technology subject knowledge required for engineering education. Suggested causes of this issue are Initial Teacher Training (ITT) standards and curriculum flexibility, not teacher capability. The paper concludes that teachers have been unaware of some elements of STEM education and that continuing professional development interventions are required to assist teachers and improve their engineering knowledge in order to better equip their pupils for engineering.