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Collaboration in design and technology: the first years of school

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posted on 24.06.2008, 15:16 by Cy Roden
Design and technology in school, as in the workplace, is a social practice which takes place within a network of social relationships and often requires collaborative teamwork. This paper describes the emergence of children’s collaborative problem solving during their first years of school and the implications of this for teaching. In the design and technology classroom the way a group of five year-olds use strategies to collaborate during problem solving is very different from the way a group of seven yearolds use them. This research demonstrates broadly that children use two types of strategies: those that are personally and interpersonally determined, and those that are subject specific. It shows that many of the personal and interpersonal strategies that children devise and use in general group situations are enhanced and extended in design and technology activities. These personal and interpersonal strategies change qualitatively as children grow older, but beyond this each strategy changes in a different way because some decline or seem to disappear while others are used more extensively. The factors involved in that change are reported here within a discussion of how teachers can encourage children’s collaborative strategies during their early years in school.



  • Design

Research Unit

  • D&T Association Conference Series


RODEN, C., 2000. Collaboration in design and technology: the first years of school. IN: Kimbell, R. (ed.). Design and Technology International Millennium Conference. Wellesbourne : The D&T Association, pp. 154-159



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This is a conference paper