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EMT445: Curriculum method 1: Design and technology

Planning to teach the design process


The previous images show students working in a range of materials and contexts. They show a high level
of technical skills and varying degrees of creativity and innovation in response to a range of wants and
needs.

Williams, Cowdroy & Wallis et al in the chapter on design then start to look at the DESIGN PROCESS.
There are many versions of this, usually written and/or displayed as linear or cyclical approaches as
below:

We know however that when people are designing, the process is anything but a lock step process. The
following representation of the design process probably shows in a much better way a non-linear way to
think about the design process as a process that is iterative, interactive and moving between thinking and
various forms of representation through sketching, drawing, modelling, prototyping and onto final
product.
Williams et al then finish with an exploration of some big idea approaches to teaching the design process
and its associated creation of products. Key ideas such as constructivism, student centred learning,
experiential learning, problem-based learning and project-based learning are each briefly outlined.
If you go back and examine the National Technology documents and the syllabus documents you have
already read, you will see these ideas shining through the introductions/rationales and suggested
approaches in them.
The next port of call in our journey is for you to find your second text: Killen R. (2005). Programming and
Assessment for Quality Teaching and Learning.

Read
Killen textbook: Chapter 1: Quality Teaching and Learning
Killen R. (2005). Programming and Assessment for Quality Teaching and Learning.

This chapter is designed for teachers in all disciplines. It outlines an approach that is now embedded
across most states of Australia, even if the language used is sometimes a little different. At the end of the
chapter are a number of Review and Reflect questions. Now to move again into the Williams text:

Read
Williams textbook: Chapter 3: Spendlove D: Teaching Technology, pp. 35-54.

This chapter now hones in a little more significantly on some of the issues beyond the general that
confront technology teachers. Ideas like how we respond emotionally in a risk taking environment, the
process/content debate, problem solving and the design process. For me, two of the most important
statements in the whole chapter are the following:
..how does a teacher view teaching and learning, not from the viewpoint of their own particular
experiences, which has led to their success, but from a broader perspective which values the diversity of
all learners?

AND Deweys statement: if we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow

You all need to think carefully about these statements. You will have a minds eye view of what you think
your technology classes should look like. Think about where this image comes from is it a past
classroom, does it represent something about what you like about working in a technology environment,
is it about your own learning comfort zone? Take a hard think about the Dewey statement. My own idea
here, is that if we teach one way all the time, we disadvantage some of our students all the time.