Exploring low ability and disaffected pupils' perception of relevance of design and technology: a case study with a group of pupils aged 14-16
journal contributionposted on 06.07.2006, 12:17 authored by Howard G. Denton, Michael Gary Thomas
This paper describes a case study carried out to establish a group of low ability and disaffected pupils’ perception of the term “relevance” with particular reference to design and technology. Discussion of the relationship between pupils’ perceived relevance of an activity and their levels of engagement has appeared on the UK educational agenda, (Ofsted 2005:51-52, Davies et al, 2004:147, Daniels et al 1998:5.5, Denton, 1992), but not with the frequency which might be expected. Initial research suggested that pupils at this school had a very positive perception of the ‘relevance’ of design and technology. In contrast the literature reviewed suggested that pupils in their samples had a low perception of the ‘relevance‘ of design and technology. The findings suggest a dual understanding of “relevance”: in terms of present / situational and in terms of preparation for a particular purpose. The group of pupils in this research perceived ‘relevance’ more in terms of present / situational, and the implications of this finding for educational practitioners and other stakeholders is discussed.