Developing a strong research base

Eddie Norman
2005, Vol. 10, No. 1,


This keynote address gives an overview of
some of the key factors in developing a strong
research base for design and technology
education. In particular, the deconstruction and
reconstruction of the conceptual basis of
design and technology as a subject, securing
and making accessible the records of the work
of past researchers, establishing a strong
framework for the on-going international
conversations that will generate progress, and
ensuring that new researchers are supported in
establishing their place within this framework.
These are illustrated through a discussion of
the ideas culture that has shaped design and
technology as a school subject in the UK, and
the weaknesses of current models of designing
and representations of technological
knowledge. Recent contributions are noted,
such as Doyle’s concept of ‘technicity’, which
might provide a stronger basis for future
developments. Recent research agendas are
restated and the key refereed research
publications are noted. Arguments are put
forward for the merits of looking back to the
1970s, when design and technology was
emerging, in order to cast new light on current
positions. Reference is made to three new
publications targeted at supporting this agenda
and, in particular, Designerly Activity and
Higher Degrees, which was based on a seminar
series given by Professor L Bruce Archer.


Design & technology education ; Research ; Ideas culture ; Designerly activity

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