Design in Schools - Consensus or Confusion? Is work in design and in craft one and the same thing - or at least congruent? Or is it a distinct and seperate activity?
Any department of any school is subject to influences and pressures which have little to do with the nature of what is taught, but which affect it because they impose administrative and organisational constraints. A Design Department is no exception and hence its courses, organisation, equipment etc. may very easily be substantially affected by school policy decisions. For instance streaming or mixed ability groups, moving towards C.S.E. from G.C.E. '0' level, single sex or mixed, straight-through comprehensive or two-tier system, Grammar or Secondary Modern school, all will affect every department including the Design Dept. Over these the individual teacher, and even Heads of Departments, have little, often no influence, but this is not an excuse for planning departments and their activities at a shallower level than if one had a completely free hand. One must decide one's aims, objectives, priorities in theoretical terms before curtailing or modifying them in the light of practical difficulties. The article which follows deals mostly with principles for without clarifying any teacher must be working 'blind'. Since I do work in a school with the normal range of views I must also add that the views expressed in the article are not necessarily those of my Headmaster or of my colleagues.
It has struck me many times how many teachers in the design field fail t