Off to a Good Start - Or How to put the 'T' in C.D.T

  • Paul D. Burton Heathland School


The pungent smell of machine oil mingled with disinfectant prevails the workshop air. Lathes stand gleaming, a little worse for wear but devoid of swarf and bits of metal. Floors and benches swept clean, tool cupboards, racks full, vacant places replenished with sharpened dividers and scribers. Files, try squares, calipers, all recolour coded with a fresh coat of paint.

Another school year and the beginning of a new term. The noise of Third Years lining-up in the corridor cracks the atmosphere, eager, expectant, demanding bodies rush and jostle. Mixed ability, mixed emotions, mixed sexes, all mixed up in groups of twenty-ones.

Finding a project, topic, problem, need, situation, design brief, whatever we call it that involves a total Craft, Design and Technology concept and experience is difficult. No, you may say, it's easy - just set a design problem such as design and make a small hammer, box, egg-holder, toothbrush rack and so on. Good old standbys, never fails, grabs their interest, teaches skills, functional end product - 'Something to show Mum and Dad'. But ask yourself is it CDT?

Producing a design problem that is stimulating, demanding and relevant to that age group and combines the following:

(a) that encourages the development of each pupils' potential both in cognitive and manipulative skills.

(b) encompasses the whole essence of what CDT is about.

I would suggest that points (a) and (b) are a challenge for many new and even established teachers.

Probably one of the main reasons for this situation occurring is what I call 'The Great Technological Syndrome'.

How to Cite
BURTON, Paul D.. Off to a Good Start - Or How to put the 'T' in C.D.T. Studies in Design Education Craft & Technology, [S.l.], v. 15, n. 2, sep. 2009. ISSN 0305 766. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 22 mar. 2023.