Understanding Design and Technology in Primary Schools: Cases from Teachers Research


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What is inclusive education?

These need to be cross-referenced in the text, in order that the way they are used to support arguments in the report can be seen easily. It may be helpful to carry out a self-review of the report. Were the methods adequately employed to provide trustworthy data? What have been the methods and effects of selection and organization of data for reporting? Is there any indication that you have relied on belief, assertion, or unsubstantiated claim in the report? Task Prepare a written report based on the work done so far, and guided by the notes on layout and organization and on the analysis of data.

Judgements are often based on a written report, particularly for advanced award bearing courses. In those circumstances the research needs simultaneously to meet academic criteria and to have practical relevance to work in the classroom and school. I believe those needs will both be met by the conduct of research which is rigorously conducted, relevant to the practices of the participants, and reflexive in terms of open self-criticism of the ideas behind it. Such research can be supported in group activities among colleagues in schools. Some criteria can be used as a guide to judging quality.

Distinguishing between quality during and within the research processes, and quality within a research report is difficult. It is important to be alert to this distinction. Going beyond the quality expected of a research report, and seeking to define quality in the whole of a research project, I invited some teacher researchers I worked with to suggest what credible and creditable teacher research would need to include to meet their quality approval. The contributors to this book were carrying out research as a basis for teaching quality.

The full extent of their work, for reasons of space, has been subject to editing. Some more than others have been refined to summaries of what they did, and how they did it. Behind all of them lies a lot more data, and a great deal of reflectiveness about the research methods and processes. Altrichter, H. Schratz ed. Bell, J. Carr, W. Clarke, J. Elliott, J. Hoyle and J. Developing teaching through research 29 Elliott, J. Nisbet ed. Hopkins, D. Kemmis, S. McKernan, J. Phillips, D. Rudduck, J. Schon, D. Schostack, J. Schratz, M.

Somekh, B. Stenhouse, L. Holly and C. Winter, R. Chapter 3 Combining design, technology and science?

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This was being reviewed because of loss of teaching staff. My responsibility was for coordinating the introduction of design and technology, which had never been on the timetable, and leading all the staff towards teaching it. A central resource was established, with access for all teachers. A positive response from staff seemed evident.

However, there was no detectable increase in the use of the resources, and little evidence of technology taking place. I decided to try to lead by example, reorganizing my art and craft sessions to include new making skills: Jinks frames, Lego technic, and graphic design, alongside the usual painting, collage, and fabric work. I attempted simple design and make activities with my class and displayed the results as an encouragement to other teachers.


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Two technology projects were developed with my class: a computer controlled bridge, and a novelty lighting tie. They both involved design and technological experiences which helped to develop knowledge and understanding, as well as introducing new and challenging making skills. The pupils were very enthusiastic and I judged their results to be of a high quality, both in what they learnt and what they produced. Both projects generated a lot of interest from within and beyond the school: the first particularly from the local Port Authority; the second from a marketing company. Combining design, technology and science?

A computer interface was bought by the school and I was asked to build a model to demonstrate its potential. The idea of building a lifting bridge was well received by my class. The Port Authority was very helpful, and supplied a set of plans and copy of the specification for one of the real bridges.

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The local library has a file of press cuttings of its construction. Our model took six weeks to build. Pupils were divided into work teams and set specific tasks. Two teams worked on the plans; they decided a scale of th and drew a plan and side view of the bridge.

Other teams made small sections of wood and card, carefully guided in this their first wood construction work. Lifting gear for the barriers and main bridge section were the biggest problem. Several attempted gearing design using Lego Technic, but there were problems with gears meshing under stress. A windscreen wiper motor, with its own gears, was eventually used to lift the carriageway. All the making and painting was done by the children, and every child in the class was involved.

Four worked on the control programme on our BBC computer and after some teething problems with loose wiring, the bridge actually worked. The children had experience of construction techniques, design decisions and computer control.

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Understanding Design and Technology in Primary Schools: Cases from Teachers' Research

They also had an insight into the workings of an important local landmark and its sophisticated modern technology. The finished model attracted a lot of interest from other classes, parents, and teachers from other schools. The local newspaper featured an article, and the Port Authority quarterly magazine included photographs and details of our work.

8. Teaching with Educational Technology

There was some speculation as to which of the bridges worked more efficiently — ours or the real one. As for ownership of the project, all children had contributed, so all shared in the success. I decided on a Christmas tie and sketched a range of designs, to squirt water, spin round, or light up. I consulted a costume hire shop, a professional clown, and an electronics engineer.

What’s the point of design and technology?

The chosen design was a clip-on tie with a felt Christmas tree, and two simple electronic circuits sewn in: one controlling a series of flashing light emitting diodes LEDs , the other playing seasonal tunes. I was very pleased with this first attempt at designing with electronics. The tie was great fun and the idea was shared with my class. Electrical components were bought and pupils spent lunchtimes soldering their circuits. The artefacts were worn in school at Christmas events and attracted a lot of interest.

There were suggestions that we should go into production to raise funds. An end-of-term school review of technology teaching revealed that I still had a lot to learn about promoting the subject across the school.

Perhaps the concern about time was justified. I had devoted a disproportionate amount of time to the two projects, maybe at the expense of other subjects. They had taken up lunchtimes and after school hours. They did not exemplify a cross-curricular approach within classroom time, but rather an extra-curricular option for the enthusiast.

My Year 5 class were soldering electrical circuits with transistors and resistors.

Understanding Design and Technology in Primary Schools: Cases from Teachers Research Understanding Design and Technology in Primary Schools: Cases from Teachers Research
Understanding Design and Technology in Primary Schools: Cases from Teachers Research Understanding Design and Technology in Primary Schools: Cases from Teachers Research
Understanding Design and Technology in Primary Schools: Cases from Teachers Research Understanding Design and Technology in Primary Schools: Cases from Teachers Research
Understanding Design and Technology in Primary Schools: Cases from Teachers Research Understanding Design and Technology in Primary Schools: Cases from Teachers Research
Understanding Design and Technology in Primary Schools: Cases from Teachers Research Understanding Design and Technology in Primary Schools: Cases from Teachers Research
Understanding Design and Technology in Primary Schools: Cases from Teachers Research Understanding Design and Technology in Primary Schools: Cases from Teachers Research
Understanding Design and Technology in Primary Schools: Cases from Teachers Research Understanding Design and Technology in Primary Schools: Cases from Teachers Research
Understanding Design and Technology in Primary Schools: Cases from Teachers Research Understanding Design and Technology in Primary Schools: Cases from Teachers Research

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