Subject knowledge content in primary initial teacher education courses in design and technology - a discussion paper

John Garvey
1996, Vol. 1, No. 3,


A rationale for the development of appropriate subject knowledge content of the design and technology component of new Initial Teacher Education courses is presented, indicating that substantive, syntactic and pedagogic content knowledge, knowledge about the management of learning and distinctive aspects of the subject are key elements which should be investigated. Given the tight time constraints on the delivery of courses, priority should be given to areas which

  • illustrate the range of syntactic or process knowledge of the subject
  • ensure a knowledge of the concepts underpinning the National Curriculum  
  • are known to be frequently deficient in students' own knowledge are known to present particular challenges in teaching and learning. Preliminary findings from a pilot study into teacher's perceptions about aspects of subject knowledge highlight areas of design and technology that are perceived as conceptually difficult to understand and/or manage.

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