Design and technology in the primary classroom - a way forward
conference contributionposted on 09.05.2006, 15:40 by Clare Benson
For the purpose of this paper, the term "Technology" refers to both Design and Technology capability and Information Technology capability, as outlined in the National Curriculum document. With the arrival of each new National Curriculum document, schools, in many cases, have used this as a starting point to review and revise existing schemes of work. For example, mapping exercises have taken place to consider coverage of the content of the documents, which has led to an increase in staff awareness, understanding and confidence of the content of the National Curriculum documents. However, with the arrival of the Technology document, the initial starting point may need to be different. Few schools have a policy statement which reflects the nature of Design and Technology capability, and it could be argued, therefore, that the staff will need to gain an understanding of its nature and an overview of the document before being able to identify opportunities for the development of Design and Technology within their school. While there is a range of topics and issues that needs to be introduced and discussed, there are certainly four that should be highlighted: the development of design and technology capability as a way of thinking rather than as a subject with a fixed content; the involvement of many curricular areas including English, Mathematics and Science while drawing on C.D.T., Home Economics, Information Technology, Art, Business studies and Humanities; the assessment through the four attainment targets relating to the holistic nature of Technology; and the unpredictability of the outcomes at the beginning of an activity. An example to illustrate the last point occurred when children involved in a project to improve their local environment decided to site a mosque or a sports centre on a derelict piece of ground. The student, who had been planning the topic, had thought that a playground would have been a very popular choice and had been prepared for ideas that included work on mechanisms and structures.
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