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  • Art_Johnstone

    In 1982 I began my teacher training at King Alfreds College in Winchester (UK). I teach Design Technology or CDT (Craft Design Technology as it was then). At the heart of the subject was a design process that was (and remains) all about students identifying a problem, seeking information through research, analysing the information gathered, formulating a solution, maunfacturing that solution and then testing the solution against the original design criteria.


    Why is this being presented as 'a new idea' a 'revolution' in the classroom? Many of my colleagues use this approach not as an add-on to their teaching. It is their teaching style! I think the real danger exists when we as teachers fail to use control to manage the learning environment i.e. ensure opportunities exist for students to progress. By that I mean we need to be careful that 'a project approach' is not used at all times and for all situations (there is no implication that you use this method all the time). There is nothing wrong with using a variety of approaches. This builds knowledge base, skills, experience and confidence. The skilled teacher can move between approaches with ease and can quickly identify the most profitable way of ensure the best learning opportunities are available.

    What irritates the hell out of me is this (inquiry learning) seems to be a 'band-wagon'. This approach has been alive and kicking for years and years and years.

    I see it used in Geography lessons, History, English, Music, Science, Maths.....the only shame is that its origins (Design Technology) seems to have missed out on being the real driver of this approach.

    But then we are not an academic subject! Now there's a whole new kettle of fish!


    Art Johnstone.

    Waihi College

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