Exploiting popular culture : exploring pedagogical and motivational approaches for design and technology education

Susan V. McLaren
2007, Vol. 12, No. 1,


This paper describes a case study of pedagogical
developments carried out with teachers and
secondary school students in response to new
curriculum content in Product Design courses
presented in Scottish secondary schools. The
pedagogy attempts to challenge the anti-commercial
manufacturing attitude that prevails among teachers
and students and is based on motivational principles.
It makes explicit use of the language and tools of
popular media culture, specifically ‘ask the audience’
interaction and investigative forensic science. An
electronic voting system is incorporated as an
introduction to detailed product evaluation and
technical analysis collaborative activities. It examines
the educational potential of such ICT systems to help
students explore emotional response, product
semantics and value judgements and make
connections to commercial manufacturing detail


Curriculum development ; Design pedagogy ; Emotional response ; Forensic science ; Motivation ; Product evaluation ; Popular culture ; Electronic response systems ; Value judgments

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