Investigating Values in Secondary Design and Technology Education

Ian Holdsworth, Brian Conway
1999, Vol. 4, No. 3,


This article will first set the context of the values debate by briefly tracing the history of writing on the subject in design and technology. It will then examine the results of two questionnaires: one to academics, the other to teachers in secondary schools. The research is designed to answer four basic questions:

To what extent do design and technology teachers place importance on the teaching of values issues?

How much values-related teaching actually takes place at present?

What are the methods used to deliver values related teaching in design and technology?

Are certain values more commonly included in design and technology teaching rather than others?

This article addresses the sometimes contentious issue of values which has been much discussed recently in the field of design and technology. It has been the experience of the authors that values in design and technology have been an important, but at times misunderstood, part of the subject. From the time of the abortive first attempt at a National Curriculum (DES 1990), values have been a difficult and confused part of design and technology. At times, organisations such as the Design and Technology Association (DATA) and the Intermediate Technology Development Group (ITDG) have supported attempts to improve the profile and esteem of this part of design and technology teaching, such as a s

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