Design-without-make: challenging the conventional approach to teaching and learning in a design and technology classroom

Barlex, David; Trebell, Donna
March 2008
International Journal of Technology & Design Education;Mar2008, Vol. 18 Issue 2, p119
Academic Journal
The purpose of the study reported here was to investigate the use of a design-without-make unit as part of the design and technology curriculum with pupils aged 14. Three research questions drove the study: (a) What sort of designing do pupils do when they work collaboratively to design without having to make what they have designed? (b) What is the teachers’ attitude to design-without-make? (c) What is the pupils’ attitude to design-without-make? The study is a small pilot and data were collected using semi-structured interviews with a class teacher and two pupils and detailed scrutiny of five pupils’ design ideas developed during 6 lessons towards the end of an 18 lessons teaching sequence. Findings indicate that the teacher and pupils in this study responded favourably to design-without-make. The pupils’ designing was highly iterative, creative, involved making a wide range of design decisions and revealed understanding of technological concepts.


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