Design and technology as revelation and ritual
conference contributionposted on 08.05.2006, 13:34 by Robert McCormick, Patricia Murphy, Marian Davidson
This paper reports one of several case studies of Key Stage 3 pupils involved in designing and making. It explores how a teacher structures tasks, and the impact that has on the pupils' experience of the design process. Although the teacher uses the usual steps in the design process (defining a context, and creating a design brief and specification etc.), this is done in a ritualistic way such that pupils are not made aware of it. Further, in order to control the complexity of the task, the teacher reveals constraints on, and features of, the design, which create problems for the pupils. The explanation for such an approach by the teacher is found in the teacher's view of the design process and in his aims for the particular activity. We would like to acknowledge the work of Sara Hennessy in collecting and analysising data for the research reported here.
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