Investigating Indian Elementary and Middle School Students' Images of Designers

Farhat Ara, Sugra Chunawala, Chitra Natarajan
2013, Vol. 18, No. 2,


This paper presents an investigation into Indian
elementary and middle school students’ images of
designers. A ‘Draw a designer at work’ test was used with
511 students from Classes 5 to 9 from a school located in
Mumbai. Findings from the study indicate that Indian
elementary and middle school students, who had no
experience in design and technology education (D&T),
perceived designers mostly as fashion/ dress designers or
artists and designing was associated less with engineering
and technology. These results are consistent with an
earlier study on Indian middle school students’ ideas
about design and designers using written responses,
where students demonstrated an incomplete
understanding of design and what designers do and
associated design with art (Authors, 2011). In the present
study students, mostly older ones depicted gender and
professional stereotypes. Design as engineering, making or
building were mostly associated with male designers and
depicted more often by boys. Insights from the study have
implications for curriculum development at the school
level in India.


design and technology education, elementary and middle school students, images of design and designers, India

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