Capability Lost and Found? The Maurice Brown Memorial Lecture

Prof Robert McCormick
1999, Vol. 4, No. 1,


The title of my lecture parodies Milton in his search for paradise. Technology education in its many guises in the UK has the idea of 'capability' embedded within it. Like Milton's search, there has been a search for capability's identity. The nature of capability has varied over time and among different advocates. Although capability has been central to the debate about technology education for the last 10 years or so, we have vacillated in what we understand by the term. However, in the final version of the National Curriculum, we find capability expressed as a tripartite relationship of designing, making and knowledge. The Programmes of Study for each key stage start with the statement:

Pupils should be taught to develop their design and technology capability through combining their Designing and Making skills ..

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