What’s D&T For? Gathering and Comparing the Values of Design and Technology Academics and Trainee Teachers

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Alison Hardy


Some who read and research about Design & Technology
(D&T) would say that the concept of value is key to
understanding and defining D&T. Closer inspection reveals
though that there are two ways in which values are defined
in D&T: how values are taught and learnt about in D&T to
use them to make judgments in D&T lessons, and also
how values are developed in pupils as a result of studying
D&T. Layton’s seminal keynote speech is the notable
exception to these two classifications. In 1992 he shared a
new perspective of values and D&T: how different
stakeholders value the school subject D&T (1992a).
The work presented here builds on Layton’s ‘new’
perspective and compares how two D&T stakeholder
groups value D&T. The opinions of trainee D&T teachers
and D&T academics, both directly affected by these
changes were analysed using a grounded theory coded
method. This resulted in a series of twenty-two values that
facilitated comparison of the two group’s values. Further
analysis revealed there were many similarities between the
two groups, and only a few differences. However these
differences showed the trainees did not believe D&T can
be about the process of designing or identifying the needs
of others, both values central to the original purpose of
D&T in England and recognised by the academics.
One implication for this, as schools take more ownership
of teacher training, is that the value of D&T is likely to
move further away from the D&T academics’ influence and
be based upon the ‘spontaneous’ (Dow 2014, p.151)
values developed through classroom practice with little
reference to external opinion.
Future work could widen the scope of the research,
incorporating the values of other stakeholder groups into
the values series and hence become a new tool to support
the development of design and technology education,
which hopefully will benefit others as they reflect on why
they teach, research or use D&T.

Article Details

How to Cite
HARDY, Alison. What’s D&T For? Gathering and Comparing the Values of Design and Technology Academics and Trainee Teachers. Design and Technology Education: an International Journal, [S.l.], v. 20, n. 2, june 2015. ISSN 1360-1431. Available at: <https://ojs.lboro.ac.uk/DATE/article/view/2026>. Date accessed: 02 june 2023.
value, design, technology, values, National Curriculum, stakeholders