Design and technology in England and France - a comparative study
conference contributionposted on 10.05.2006, 13:47 by R.D. Webster
We, as teachers of Design and Technology in the UK should, more than any other subject teachers, feel tired, emotional and thoroughly 'picked on'. We are constantly reminded that, in comparison to our European neighbours, children issuing from English/Welsh secondary education are technologically illiterate. The spectre of a united Europe is upon us - our children will have to compete with chic foreign technocrats gliding effortlessly into every job worth having in the few British firms still operating in the face of european mega-efficiency etc! etc!. This is the nightmare - the reality is less extreme but there is no doubt that European children get, on balance, a signally better technological education than do ours. In this paper I propose to outline the similarities and, more significantly, the differences between our delivery of technology and that of French education. In practical terms this research is based upon experience of Design and Technology education in two very comparable sites - the twin towns of Bridgnorth, Shopshire and Thiers, Auvergne. Both rural communities close to larger connurbations, with similar populations and schools of similar size catering for pupils of similar social mix.
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