The skills and qualities of students entering design and technology initial teacher education
conference contributionposted on 05.05.2006, 17:04 by Tim Lewis
Typically, until recently, Initial Teacher Education (ITE) providers have provided design and technology (D&T) courses for mature and post graduate certificate students based on an understanding that the students' previous qualifications provided a sound basis on which to build D&T subject expertise to enable them to teach in schools. This research was prompted by the perception that a change was taking place in the skills and knowledge students bring to their D&T ITE course from previous courses. To ascertain the nature of change this study involved 27 Higher Education institutions and over 600 mature trainee D&T teachers. Research instruments included questionnaires and structured interviews. Additionally, recent course documents of both HND and degree courses were scrutinised to gain insight into the course content and how this related to the knowledge and skills required by the D&T teacher. Analysis of the data indicates that many students lack practical skills and their designing expertise is variable. The majority do not have strong technological profiles. Students are concerned about their shortfall in D&T expertise. The research quantifies the extent of these difficulties related to the qualifications students have on entry to ITE. ITE lecturers have reservations about these qualifications and use additional indicators related to personal qualities to help determine suitability for entry to ITE courses.
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