Factors contributing towards low ability and disaffected pupils having a positive perception of the relevance of design and technology : a case study in a Welsh secondary school

Mike Thomas, Howard Denton
2007, Vol. 12, No. 1,


Discussion of the relationship between pupils’
perceived relevance of an activity and their levels of
engagement has appeared on the UK educational
agenda, (Ofsted 2005:51-52, Davies et al, 2004:147,
Daniels et al 1998:5.5, Denton, 1992), but not with
the frequency which might be expected.
Initial research in the primary author’s school found
that a group of low ability and disaffected pupils had
a very positive perception of the “relevance” of design
and technology. In contrast the literature reviewed
suggested that pupils in their samples had a low
perception of the “relevance” of design and
Pupil understanding of the term relevant / relevance
has previously been explored by the authors (Thomas
and Denton, 2006). Developing on this the findings
from this paper suggest that there are a range of
strategies employed to promote the relevance of the
subject in classroom practice, departmental
documentation, policies, development plans and
schemes of work. The implications of these strategies
for educational practitioners and other stakeholders
are discussed.


Design and technology ; Relevance ; Low ability ; Disaffected ; Special Educational Needs ; Engagement in learning

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