HMI: Curriculum Matters

Notes on the text

1 English
2 The Curriculum
3 Mathematics
4 Music
5 Home economics
6 Health education
7 Geography
8 Modern foreign languages
9 Craft, design and technology
10 Careers education and guidance
11 History
12 Classics
13 Environmental education
14 Personal and social education
15 Information Technology
16 Physical education
17 Drama


Craft, design and technology from 5 to 16
HMI Series: Curriculum Matters No. 9

London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office 1987
Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen's Printer for Scotland.


The complete document is presented in this single web page. You can scroll through it or use the following links to go straight to the various sections:

Craft, design and technology from 5 to 16

What is craft, design and technology (CDT)?
The aims and objectives of CDT
Teaching and learning through CDT
Planning for progression
Assessment


[title page]

Department of Education and Science


Craft, design and
technology
from 5 to 16



Curriculum Matters 9
AN HMI SERIES


LONDON - HER MAJESTY'S STATIONERY OFFICE


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Crown copyright 1987
First published 1987

ISBN 0 11 270642 8





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Contents
Page

What is craft, design and technology (CDT)?
1

The aims and objectives of CDT
2

Teaching and learning through CDT
9

Planning for progression
15

Assessment
18






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Preface

Since 1984 HM Inspectorate has published a number of Curriculum Matters papers designed to stimulate discussion about the curriculum as a whole and its component parts.

Craft, design and technology from 5 to 16 is the ninth in the series and sets out a framework in which schools might develop a programme for the teaching and learning in craft, design and technology appropriate to their pupils. Like other earlier publications in the Curriculum Matters series, it is a discussion paper intended to stimulate a professional debate and to contribute to reaching national agreement about the objectives and content of the school curriculum. That debate has now moved on with the announcement of the Government's intention to legislate to establish a national curriculum. The Government intends to set up a National Curriculum Council supported by individual subject working groups to identify and consult on essential features of the national curriculum and to identify a range of attainment targets at the ages of 7, 11, 14 and 16 and, with the help of a task group on assessment and testing, to propose ways of assessing performance at these ages.

The present paper is intended to contribute to national deliberations by drawing together professional and lay opinion and feeding into the work of the National Curriculum Council and its working groups. It is also intended to contribute to an on-going professional debate about the nature of education in craft, design and technology.

The Inspectorate would welcome your comments and suggestions on the paper and the issues it raises. If you have any comments, please send them to the Staff Inspector (CDT), Department of Education and Science, Elizabeth House, York Road, London SE1 7PH by 31 March 1988.

EJ BOLTON
Senior Chief Inspector


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It is essential that this document should be read as a whole, since all sections are interrelated. For example, the lists of objectives must be seen in relation to the defined aims and to what is said about the principles of teaching and assessment.





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What is craft, design and technology (CDT)?

1. The purpose of CDT is to enable pupils to be inventive in designing practical solutions to problems and so bring about change and improvements in existing situations. In CDT ideas are conceived, developed, modified and given shape in artefacts through which the original ideas can then be evaluated. When very young children play at home, they are frequently employing at a basic level skills and thinking processes which are central to later work in CDT. They manipulate toy bricks into patterns or structures, press into service all kinds of containers and pieces of material, use objects made for one purpose as substitutes for others with completely different uses and constantly revise what they have made as new ideas strike them; as better materials come to hand; and as they learn from their own experience. Through an area such as CDT school offers the opportunity for planning such activity and for bringing to bear on problems the knowledge and skills gained in many other parts of the curriculum, some of which may themselves provide possibilities for the practical solving of problems.

2. In CDT design involves defining a task, deciding on how the task is to be done and responding to the consequences of thoughts and actions both as they happen and later when the result is judged. It is directed towards products or systems which are made or effected to meet specified requirements. A young child trying to prop up a tottering pile of building bricks will use the first suitable thing which comes to hand - a box for example. At a later stage the pupil may not be satisfied unless the support becomes both functionally and aesthetically an integral part of the structure. With greater maturity, more and more of the designing precedes the making, so that pupils are predicting problems which will or may arise as a result of the decisions they are contemplating. Even then, during the course of carrying through a plan there will be times when it is necessary to revise and change decisions. Many of the decisions made when developing a design, or plan of action, will depend upon the pupils' own knowledge and experience of what is possible. Gradually they acquire more of the accumulated knowledge and experience gained over the centuries as people have sought to change and improve their lives and build it into their own decision-making process.

3. The application of this knowledge and experience may be taken as a convenient definition of technology. It is concerned with


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controlling things or making things work better. Children's early attempts at using or re-arranging materials to make things are within that tradition; as is their increasing ability to succeed in putting their ideas into practice.

4. Craft is the means through which designs are transformed into artefacts. Through a proper concern for craftsmanship, people make things which not only work well but which also look and feel attractive. Craft skills need to be acquired because, without them, pupils can become frustrated by their inability to produce that which, in their imagination, works perfectly and looks and feels pleasing. Yet in striving to give pupils a mastery of craft skills, schools have sometimes deadened pupils' interest by concentrating on a narrow range of materials, a number of traditional techniques and a great many repetitive and circumscribed processes. In CDT pupils still need to develop good craft standards but craft skills should be set more firmly within the context of designing.

5. Although the title Craft, design and technology may suggest three separate activities, all are constantly interwoven; so that, for example, craft skills are learnt and practised in response to the demands of a particular design or to the choice of a certain technology. A pupil's design may be developed or modified to suit his/her level of craftsmanship or a different technology may be substituted which removes the need for very advanced technical skills.

6. In addition, CDT makes use of skills and knowledge acquired in other subject contexts particularly art, mathematics and science. Work in art, for example, provides experience in the use of colour, line, form, shape, texture and spacial arrangement. From mathematics comes increasing facility in simple computation; experience of a variety of graphical representations; an awareness of the use of space through geometry, trigonometry and the making of three-dimensional models. Science lessons develop growing understanding of the nature of energy and the effect of forces acting on natural and man-made materials through, for example, the use of levers. CDT provides a context for such learning by fostering motivation; by drawing on subject knowledge and skills; and by making other subjects more meaningful through demonstrating how they may be applied.


The aims and objectives of CDT

7. The major aims of CDT, to be achieved over the years of compulsory schooling, are:


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i. to give girls and boys the confidence and competence to identify, examine and solve practical problems involving the production of artefacts or systems using a variety of approaches, materials and methods;

ii. to encourage pupils to make judgements of the aesthetic, economic, social and technological quality of their own work and that of others;

iii. to give pupils a sense of enjoyment and pride in their ability to design and make;

iv. to encourage respect for the ways in which people of different cultural backgrounds, past and present, have shown their ability to enrich their environment;

v. to develop pupils' understanding of the ways in which products or systems might be controlled and how they might be made to work more effectively;

vi. to make pupils aware of the essential similarities and differences between designing and making in school and in industry and commerce;

vii. to encourage the flexibility and openness of mind necessary to meet challenges;

viii. to put to use elements of pupils' previous learning and experience, which will assist in the satisfactory solution of the problem;

ix. to develop pupils' ability to communicate in practical contexts;

x. to help pupils develop the social skills required to work as a member of a team as well as the ability to work independently when the situation demands it.

8. These aims support to a marked extent those suggested in The curriculum from 5 to 16 HMI Curriculum Matters 2. HMSO, 1985. Whether or not they are achieved depends on how they are given expression in the design studio, classroom or workshop.

Objectives for CDT

9. Pupils' development across the whole range of CDT activity will not be even. It is possible, however, to make statements about the kinds of activity in which all pupils should engage for the purpose of developing certain competencies. It is also possible


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to indicate the kind of progression in understanding and skills which should be built into work in CDT.

10. The statements below propose a range of objectives at which pupils at ages 11 and 16 might aim. Progress towards these objectives depends upon opportunities for pupils to engage in activities which will facilitate the development of the necessary competencies. The selection of the particular activities is a matter for the teacher to decide, since it will depend to some extent on his or her own experience and the facilities and materials available.

11. By the age of 11 pupils should have taken part in activities which help them to:

i. recognise similarities and differences in materials with respect to colour, pattern, texture, hardness, toughness and pliability;

ii. use effectively and safely a variety of simple hand tools to fashion materials;

iii. cut, join and re-arrange pliable materials;

iv. make temporary models as a stage leading to the making of more permanent artefacts;

v. make working models;

vi. share ideas about ways of carrying out a task;

vii. seek out and record information from a variety of sources; viii. synthesise ideas and formulate a plan or procedure which seems likely to work;

ix. measure distances and forces in contexts where accuracy is important to the final outcome;

x. explain to each other what they are doing as the work proceeds, giving and accepting advice as required;

xi. judge the relative merits of various solutions to a problem;

xii. recognise how a finished product may be improved.

12. At the primary stage, pupils should take part in activities which develop their knowledge and understanding of
i. different sources of energy such as wind, water, sun, batteries, springs, rubber bands;

ii. practical ways in which energy can be put to use;


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iii. different rates of energy transfer and how these may be measured;

iv. how movement of different kinds may be generated;

v. the physical properties of a range of common materials;

vi. the visual and tactile properties of materials finished in different ways;

vii. the ways in which structures may be established, strengthened, made more rigid or otherwise modified;

viii. simple mechanisms for example, levers, linkages, cranks and cams;

ix. how energy, materials and mechanisms may be combined to produce a desired result.

This knowledge and understanding can be acquired in a variety of contexts as children work on problem-solving activities involving the designing and production of artefacts, as they engage in project work related directly or indirectly to technological topics, or as they learn about the nature of materials and sources of energy as part of scientific investigations.

13. Many of these objectives as stated will be common to courses associated with more advanced levels of study. For example knowledge and understanding of the properties of a range of common materials in this context refers to the fact that some are pliable and others rigid, some hard, others soft, some are easily cut and joined, others are not, some may be stretched, others are brittle. At another level it would be the physical structure giving rise to these properties which would be inferred by such an objective. It is important therefore when planning teaching programmes to associate each objective with criteria for appropriate assessment so that the depth of study as well as the experience can be identified.

14. In secondary schools pupils' progress towards the objectives listed in paragraphs 16/17 is affected by curricular arrangements. For example, in most schools pupils are allowed to choose whether or not to continue with CDT beyond the third year and in some schools the choice may be made earlier; many of the most able boys and most girls choose not to continue with CDT at that point. In schools which insist on all pupils taking a practical subject to the age of 16 that subject may not be CDT. Girls in single sex schools are much less likely to experience CDT than


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boys in single sex or co-educational schools or even than girls in mixed schools largely because of the absence of suitable facilities and staffing, but also because historically these activities have not been considered to be appropriate or suitable for girls.

15. While the objectives below attempt to describe what might be expected of 16 year olds it is unlikely that they will be achieved by most pupils by the end of the third year except by the very talented since a significant factor influencing the degree to which pupils achieve, go beyond or fall short of the objectives listed is the uneven pattern of their earlier experience of CDT.

16. By the age of 16 pupils should have engaged in activities which have helped them to:

i. contribute ideas and data - presented through discussion and other forms of communication such as drawings, graphs, notes, calculations and 3-D models;

ii. undertake enquiries, sift information, gather it into general categories, and apply the findings to the solution of practical/technological problems;

iii. recognise problems to which a practical/technological solution may be appropriate;

iv. produce and record suggestions which may lead to such a solution;

v. draw up a design brief, based on the available information and taking into account the constraints, as a preliminary to designing a solution to the problem;

vi. suggest realistic criteria against which the effectiveness of the designed product may be judged;

vii. assess the resources to be expended, including time, materials, effort and cost;

viii. Design a satisfactory solution;

ix. plan the procedures to be followed and predict difficulties likely to be met;

x. implement the design using appropriate materials and techniques;

xi. rectify weaknesses and faults and suggest how the product may be improved both during the process of manufacture and after it is completed;

xii. demonstrate an ability to use a range of hand and machine


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tools to work a variety of materials, and a range of technological components;

xiii. check the performance of the product against the original specification;

xiv. work safely and ensure that the product is itself safe.

These processes should be experienced a number of times so that pupils meet a range of such problems within different contexts.

17. Pupils should take part in activities which by the age of 16 have developed their knowledge and understanding of:

i. sources of energy and their efficient use;

ii. control systems needed to harness and direct energy; the relevance of control systems to the use of materials and construction techniques, (for example solar energy powering a solar cell to drive an electro/mechanical device for use in a specific application);

iii. methods of transforming energy, and how these may be quantified so that design can lead to efficiency and cost effectiveness;

iv. mechanical, electro/mechanical, electro/chemical, pneumatic and hydraulic systems for generating movement; including the regulation of such movement and uses of computers;

v. the identification and application of control concepts such as input, output, feedback and lag to a system, including control applications, taking into account the role of a human being in the functioning of the system;

vi. the structure of materials - how these are changed or adapted to meet specific requirements including lamination, reinforcement, heat treatment, chemical hardening, alloying;

vii. a range of processes used for the finishing of materials in order to change their visual and tactile qualities, including machining, abrading, oxidising, colouring, plating;

viii. aspects relating to load-bearing structures such as compression, tension, torsion, buckle and shear;

ix. mechanical devices used to change the direction and speed of movement, for example compound gearing, clutches, couplings and cams.

Such knowledge and understanding are acquired in a variety of contexts in addition to lessons specifically devoted to CDT. Science, for example, can make an important contribution, especially when


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there is a course for all pupils based on studies related to their own lives and to modern industrial applications. Pupils' understanding of both science and technology can be extended and enriched by the recognition of these common links; co-operation between leaders of science and CDT teams can do much to facilitate this.

Attitudes and personal qualities

18. The objectives and those later parts of this paper concerned with teaching and learning approaches and with planning for progression are presented in the belief that certain personal qualities and attitudes are important and need to be fostered across the age range 5 to 16.

19. Perhaps the most important attitude to be fostered in pupils is the pleasure and excitement to be gained from coming to grips with practical problems and applying themselves to their solution. In CDT, pupils have opportunities to use knowledge, skills and capabilities which they have gained from a wide range of their experience. Because contributions can be made in a wide variety of ways, pupils, of whatever ability, are more likely to keep and develop their self-confidence than if only one approach is acceptable. Thus they should become more prepared to offer an idea, to experiment, to show enterprise and to be adaptable.

20. For most pupils, achievement through a theoretical or abstract engagement with a problem is incomplete without activity which puts their thinking into a framework that is real to them. Many need to start from the practical problem, without which a secure grasp of theory and abstraction is exceedingly difficult. They need to feel competent and productive and to derive satisfaction from 'getting things done', whether they are working from theory or through pragmatic, practical experimentation. These concerns are central to the best practice in CDT.

21. In CDT pupils can develop and exercise many of the qualities which are necessary for successful membership of a group or team and which are characteristic of genuine working practices. In particular they should learn the value of co-operation, whereby each person makes a contribution - sometimes unique - to the achievement of a goal. This may be a contribution to the analysis of a problem, to the design and planning of how it might be tackled, to the processes of making an artefact or system or to the critical appraisal of the result. Such activity calls upon


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pupils to have a sense of responsibility towards other members of the group, a readiness to listen to other points of view in an openminded way, a willingness to support the view which seems to carry the best hope of a solution, to lead and follow as appropriate and to persevere, whether working alone or with others. At its best CDT offers excellent opportunities for generating high quality group work at both the primary and secondary stages.


Teaching and learning through CDT

The general approach

22. In CDT, the teacher has to reconcile two conflicting demands: giving the maximum freedom to the pupils to develop their own ideas and to pursue any approach which seems to them to offer a reasonable outcome: and providing experiences structured so that pupils feel secure, act in a safe and responsible way and achieve the intended learning objectives. In striking a productive balance between these, teachers need to keep sight of certain essential guiding principles.

23. If pupils are to develop inventive and lively minds they must be provided with appropriate stimuli. CDT needs to be presented in an exciting, interesting and challenging way. An insistence that the pupils always work to a prescribed pattern within very narrow limits is unlikely to be appropriate. Although it may develop craft skills, it makes impossible the achievement of results which utilise the skills, flair, individuality and commitment of which pupils are capable. It is also desirable to involve the pupils in the identification of the area in which they will work and the specific tasks which need to be completed. They should be encouraged to make decisions about how they will organise their work, and which techniques and materials they will use. They will need to assess the demands of the task and decide on the kind of working arrangements most likely to achieve a good and satisfactory result.

The process of designing and making

24. Designing seldom proceeds by way of a series of clearly recognisable stages to a neat solution. There is always the possibility of refinement, of coming at a solution by a better route, or revising the original intention in favour of a simpler or more effective technique. Nevertheless it may be helpful to consider a series of steps illustrating the activities which play a part in


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Figure 1 The design loop


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moving from the recognition of an area offering scope for activity to the completion of an end product. Figure 1 suggests such a series. It claims to do no more than to illustrate a logical progression in carrying through a design proposal. Certainly it should not be regarded as a rigid framework to be applied in all cases, but rather as a set of reminders of what might be involved. Within the framework, there is provision to work analytically and methodically, or empirically and intuitively, or with a combination of all of these. Many pupils, both in primary and secondary schools, are able, perhaps because of particular experiences or abilities, to move more rapidly through some stages or to leave them out altogether. In most cases pupils will need to refer back frequently to earlier stages, even when they have arrived at the making stage or when their system is being put into effect. The loop therefore provides a notional framework which needs to be used with the utmost flexibility. By and large, the greater the flair a pupil has in CDT, the more he or she will exploit that flexibility.

25. The teacher needs to decide whether pupils are ready to tackle a particular step unaided or whether they need help and if so how much and of what kind. This is especially difficult in respect of the earliest points on the loop - those to do with recognising starting-points and defining an area in which to work.

26. Before work on any product can begin the people making it need some idea of what they are aiming to achieve. Some have only the sketchiest notion, preferring to allow ideas to develop as the work proceeds; others attempt to plan in great detail and work according to plan. Neither approach is superior to the other but at some point, at or near the beginning of a design activity, pupils should be encouraged to discuss their ideas and to summarise in written form their overall intentions, the limitations within which they have to work and the criteria which the final product needs to fulfil. Teachers should discuss such descriptions or 'design briefs' with pupils to check that they are likely to lead to the attainment of important educational objectives.

27. The discussion and any other preliminary work which leads to an extension of a 'design brief', as well as to the brief itself, should as far as possible avoid supplying specific answers either by direct statement or by implication. For example, to define a problem as the need to raise an object to a height of one metre from the floor is more likely to produce a variety of responses than to define the problem as the making of a crane which will


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do the job. The idea of the crane, once implanted, tends to blind pupils to other solutions. In the early stages of working to design briefs the problems to be tackled need to be closely defined by the teacher but such guidance should be reduced as pupils gain in experience and are able themselves to identify the next stage in the process of designing. Throughout, pupils need to feel confident of the support available to them and of the likelihood of success.

28. Discussion should be part of every stage of designing, modelling and making. Pupils should be encouraged to reflect on their own experience, to offer opinions and be prepared to defend or modify them, and to listen to and evaluate the opinions of others. Teachers hoping to develop these skills in pupils need to be good listeners and avoid dominating discussion in such a way as to take the initiative away from pupils. Most children quickly learn whether the purpose of discussion is genuinely to exchange opinion or to arrive at a conclusion which has already been established by the teacher and they are likely to respond accordingly.

29. Pupils need to be taught appropriate skills to enable them to develop and produce their solutions. They need to know the most efficient and economic ways of using materials as well as the safest ways of using tools; the teacher's own use of these may often be the best way of illustrating the principles involved. Imitation is most likely to occur if the skill or process is demonstrated slowly in easily assimilated steps. In planning demonstrations there is a need to be aware of the dangers of revealing too much at once, going too fast and continuing too long. The best way of learning a skill is by seeing and then doing. It is also important that demonstrations of particular skills and techniques do not prematurely provide answers to problems which will arise later and to which pupils may be better left to develop their own procedures or solutions.

30. As part of CDT pupils should be encouraged to practise drawing and sketching. Sometimes, however, drawings are less effective as a means of communication than folded card mock-ups or prototypes made from a range of prefabricated materials. Such techniques should be part of the pupils' experience and need to be included in 'designing and making' courses. A pupil making costumes for a puppet or working out the shape of a vehicle chassis is more likely to be successful by manipulating paper round the arm of the puppet or folding card experimentally than by trying to represent in two dimensions complex three-dimensional shapes. Such techniques help pupils to clarify their


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thinking to develop and communicate ideas and to test their ideas before attempting a final product.

31. Evaluation is an integral part of designing and making at every stage so as to ensure that work is progressing towards a satisfactory conclusion. Sometimes the evaluation of a later stage will bring to light a weakness in some earlier thinking which will require a pupil to go back and to reconsider; that is a necessary part of CDT, since the evaluation of any stage is provisional and is subject to adjustment in the light of experience.

32. As far as possible, teachers should encourage pupils to be their own judges; to set out suitable criteria according to the task; to develop a vocabulary which enables them to state their opinions succinctly; to consider fairly the views of others; and in general to recognise that evaluation is part of a creative process and essentially constructive. Small group or whole class discussion is often useful. By this means the criteria for evaluation can be devised by common agreement before the task is begun, so that those carrying the project through know the conditions they are hoping to fulfil. Similarly, whole class appraisal of the outcomes of a design task provides a most powerful teaching aid.

33. There are many opportunities in CDT for pupils to consider economic and social factors in arriving at decisions and making evaluations. For example, there can often be conflict when they are weighing in the balance matters to do with cost, the time a task will take, aesthetic appeal, utility, ease of manufacture, quality of craftsmanship, people's needs, people's wants, ideal solutions, practicable solutions and individual preferences. In some cases, pupils' own culture and traditions, as much as calculation and reason, will affect the solutions they favour.

The working environment

34. An important way of stimulating pupils' imagination is through the preparation of the working environment. Interesting, regularly changed display is a common feature of primary and middle schools: secondary schools in general have been slower to recognise its potential for teaching and learning. In particular natural materials and structures and man-made artefacts can form a useful focus for observation and discussion.

35. As CDT places great emphasis on the processes of designing and making as well as on the end product, it is


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important that displayed material should illustrate the processes through which an artefact or system comes into existence. Working drawings, photographs of bridges or buildings at various stages of construction, pieces of machinery such as clock mechanisms, and children's own work as it takes shape are some examples. Reference to such display is an effective way in which pupils' vocabulary and evaluative skills can be developed at the same time as enhancing their awareness of the work of product designers, the world of technology and the nature of materials. It can also alert pupils to processes of change and technological development which are going on all around them.

36. The flexibility afforded by some primary school classrooms is an advantage in CDT, especially when a particular arrangement of furniture and resources can remain until a phase of work is complete. Secondary schools in general favour a more permanent arrangement with designated areas for specific kinds of work. (Such arrangements in both new and redesigned school buildings are discussed in DES Building Bulletin 63: Craft, design and technology accommodation in secondary schools HMSO, 1985.) Many secondary schools have workshop facilities intended to develop hand and machine tool skills only; there is a need to overcome the limitations of these spaces by creating areas which make possible the realisation of, and support, the broader aims and learning experiences of CDT.

37. It is desirable in CDT to have specific teaching areas for different kinds of learning activity within the same room. Facilities should include a large table around which pupils can gather for discussion and evaluation sessions; room to store materials for investigational work; benches or practical tables which permit the use of a range of tools and materials; and provision for display. The orderly storage of tools and materials whether in cupboards or on trolleys, helps the organisation of teaching and learning and sets good standards for emulation by the pupils.

Resources for investigation

38. Within each primary or secondary school there needs to be an area to house reference material related to this area of the curriculum. This should include a variety of printed material such as books, catalogues, brochures, magazines, materials produced within the school, and, in addition, posters, photographs, slides and, where possible, video tapes. Many school libraries and resource centres already play an important role and


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teachers with a special responsibility for CDT need to ensure that they contain suitable books and other printed materials to meet the needs of their pupils. In secondary schools, CDT departments should themselves build up their own stock of reference materials of all kinds.

39. When drawing, pupils need flat surfaces; pitted and messy desk or bench tops that adversely affect the work and lead to uncertain results discourage pupils. Many drawing aids are available which eliminate the need for knowledge of laborious and time-consuming drafting techniques. Computers are now used for drafting and this facility will soon be available for school use. There are already computer systems in some schools and in future computers are increasingly likely to be useful modelling aids.

Out of school visits

40. The greatest benefit is gained from out-of-school visits when they are carefully planned to set design problems in context. Pupils should have background information about what they are going to see, presented in a way which allows them to form their own impressions and reach their own conclusions during the visit itself. The organisation of the arrangements should be clearly worked out in advance, for reasons of safety and efficiency. The planning should consider whether pupils will work independently or in groups, how various aspects may be covered by different groups and shared later and how the information gathered may be put to practical use. Often visits which are organised to support work in other parts of the curriculum can provide a wealth of information which can be used in CDT. For example, the detail of old buildings, the workings of a watermill or windmill, the organisation of a factory, or artefacts in a museum can all enrich the experience of pupils and enable them to be more observant and inventive.


Planning for progression

41. Through the experiences offered in CDT, pupils can be introduced to, and have their competence developed in, knowledge, concepts and skills related particularly to the technological and to the aesthetic and creative areas of learning. At the primary stage CDT can be planned in relation to project work or to science or can be considered separately. In secondary schools it is likely to be present as a discrete subject or area of the curriculum but such provision needs to take account of the


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close links to be forged with other subjects, especially science. In their planning teachers should decide on the main concepts which pupils need to understand in order to make or control things; the skills needed; and the knowledge and experiences pupils need if they are to select appropriate procedures and materials for the work they intend doing. The elements of concepts, skills, knowledge and experiences are indispensable, inter-related aspects of the planning framework.

42. In the primary years, many of the concepts developed relate to the physical and aesthetic properties of natural and man-made materials. Such concepts as hardness, toughness, brittleness, pliability, elasticity, texture and the different finishes that can be applied to materials can be developed and fostered in the course of manipulating and re-arranging such materials. As pupils mature in secondary school they become increasingly aware of technological concepts such as energy and its possible interaction with materials, and forces and the ability of these forces to affect movement. Such concepts can be further developed through their application over a wider field; for example control techniques might be applied to more sophisticated sources of energy and include electrical or electronic as well as mechanical systems and progress to methods of remote control. This emphasis on concepts in no way diminishes the importance of other aspects of the subject, for concepts are best understood in the context of the skills and attitudes involved in designing. It may be counter productive to seek to develop one aspect of the work separately in advance of the others, for example to teach a set of skills before pupils have developed appropriate concepts.

43. In order to make artefacts pupils need to develop craft skills associated with a range of materials. The making process demands a high degree of physical coordination. Skills should be taught as the need arises for pupils to give expression to an idea or to prove the efficacy of a solution. In primary schools the skills are likely to be those relating to hand tools but in secondary schools the use of some machines and equipment for more advanced processes needs also to be included. Pupils need to recognise that many of the same skills, with some modification, are used in the working of different materials; for example those involved in marking out, cutting, forming, joining or re-arranging can be adapted to a wide variety of materials.

44. From an early age children enjoy opportunities to handle, squeeze, Cut, join, fold, shape and colour materials. This is


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reflected in the lively, imaginative way in which they approach the making of models. The experiences of early childhood lay the foundations for an awareness of materials which sensitive teaching throughout the primary phase can develop further. At the primary school children should be given opportunities to use materials to make constructions for specific purposes. Their freshness of ideas and excitement can often outpace their ability to control materials and for this reason it is important to provide easily worked materials such as paper, card, fabric, balsa wood, rubber bands, clay, plaster and resin along with components such as batteries, switches and construction kits. In secondary schools the range of materials available for pupils' use need to be widened to include metal and plastics. Courses should further develop pupils' abilities to discriminate among materials in respect of a range of qualities such as colour, texture, hardness, toughness, and pliability. Pupils also need to learn appropriate methods to join and finish a range of common materials. In designing a course teachers should ensure that opportunities are provided for pupils to select, from a range of materials, those of the type, size, and cost appropriate to the time and resources available and the functions to which they are to be put.

45. Progression lies in the acquisition of new concepts and the deepening understanding of those already encountered; in the learning of new skills; in the improvement of existing ones; and in the growing knowledge about materials and their properties. It also lies in the interplay of these developing aspects: thus, for example, enhancing the aesthetic appeal of a product, or exercising finer control of an intricate movement, may depend on the mastery of new skills as well as on increased knowledge of the materials being used. Progression also lies in the pupil's ability to overcome the limitations imposed by one or more of the factors involved, for example arriving at a skilful blend of the technological and the aesthetic, or when the best solution envisaged by the pupil proves impracticable because of the lack of particular equipment and another option is successfully developed.

46. There is little likelihood of pupils moving successfully from simple concepts or skills to those that are more difficult and challenging unless continuity of experience is provided. Teachers need to be familiar with the pupils' previous experience and knowledge if they are to be sure of building on what has gone before when presenting new work. In some schools a folio of selected items of pupils' work is compiled to provide this information. Such a folio has the additional advantage of


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demonstrating to the pupils their improving patterns of thought and expression when involved in designing.

47. The amount of time allocated to CDT and the way it is distributed throughout the year are crucial factors in achieving both continuity and progression. Regular lessons throughout the first three years of secondary schooling are preferable to the short rotational courses offered in many schools. Such courses may pressurise teachers, often forcing them to put at risk educational objectives to ensure completion, and pupils too can be frustrated because they are obliged to give up an activity at a time when their interest has been aroused. If staffing or other difficulties do not permit weekly lessons in the early years consideration might be given to providing fortnightly lessons rather than accepting the gaps of one term or more which are an inevitable consequence of rotational courses.

48. There is a need in both primary and secondary schools to have someone co-ordinating CDT. One important task of the co-ordinator is to create a climate where teachers in a team, regardless of their status or seniority in the school, can contribute to discussion about the place of CDT in the curriculum including its relationship to studies such as science and art or project and topic work. A second task is the joint production of a scheme of work in which agreed curricular objectives are set out. This should be detailed enough to serve as a guide for teachers' termly or weekly planning. Monitoring the operation of the scheme should also be a shared activity taking account of pupils' reactions, advice from interested groups and changes in provision in order to make any necessary modifications. The co-ordinator, or the head of department in secondary schools, also has the responsibility of making the best use of the time allocated to CDT (see paragraph 47). A further responsibility is to ensure the sensible distribution of funds, keeping in mind the need to allow new aspects of the curriculum to develop without unduly curtailing those that are worthwhile and well established.


Assessment

49. Assessment takes a variety of forms. There is the day-today evaluation of pupils' work which gives information about progress and what is needed to make learning more effective. There is also the formal assessment of pupil performance through


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public examinations such as the General Certificate of Secondary Education.

50. One of the distinguishing features of CDT is its emphasis on the application of knowledge, skills and understanding to the solution of practical problems, so that pupils will need to use not only what they have learnt in CDT, but also what they have learnt or developed in other aspects of their school work and in other aspects of their experience. Their understanding of mathematics and science and their physical co-ordination are two obvious examples. Teachers of CDT, therefore, need to assess pupils in the light of what they bring to the activity and how well they apply it. At the same time, the degree to which they develop knowledge, skills and understanding as the result of their engagement in CDT itself needs to be appraised. To judge pupils solely by some form of absolute standard of attainment will not do them justice.

51. In addition, although much of the work is directed towards a finished product, the quality of the processes leading to that end is also of major importance. One reason is that the quality of each stage determines to a large extent the quality of the whole. Another is that deciding the approach to a problem or the sequence in which work should be carried out is often a much harder task than producing the finished article or system, and calls for different kinds of capability. Furthermore, different pupils work in different ways and exhibit different abilities and qualities. It is always important that the criteria for assessment should be made plain; for example, that finishing the task will outweigh any other consideration or that unfinished work will be judged on its potential, or that a clearly set out and viable design will be the most important requirement.

52. The nature of the tasks set and the ways in which teaching and learning are conducted affect the range of assessments which it is possible to make. There would be no point, for example, in trying to assess creativity in a task which was limited to following strict, step-by-step instructions, or in looking for skills in oral communication in a classroom or workshop in which talking was effectively discouraged. Equally, it would need to be decided how creativity could usefully be assessed and what kinds of oral communication might be looked for. It is therefore important that the setting of objectives, the teaching approaches used and the means of assessment should be considered together: assessment must be related to the task.


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53. Clear descriptions of, and agreement about, the tasks to be performed, clear understanding of what is to be assessed and clearly defined criteria for assessment all increase the objectivity of assessment. Yet objectivity is much easier to achieve in some areas than in others. It is easy to be objective, for example, when the simple recall of information or the performance of a simple skill is required. If that information needs to be interpreted or the skill needs to be carried out with attention to aesthetic or social considerations, the judgement may become more subjective because personal opinions and values become involved. For example, a pupil may produce an artefact which works as intended but its quality may also have to be judged in the context in which it is used. Its use in a family living room may require that it should be small and inconspicuous; in a workshop that it should be very conspicuous so as not to constitute a safety hazard; as a commodity for sale that it should have some aesthetic or psychological appeal to a customer and be within a particular price range; by infirm people that it should be easy to operate. It is immediately apparent that some of these requirements cannot be judged objectively without further refinement because there is room for individual interpretation of words such as 'small' or 'conspicuous' and for a wide variety of opinion as to what will appeal to a customer. In such cases it is necessary that opinions and values are openly considered by pupils, who should be given opportunities to develop their point of view so that a more general agreement about the criteria to be applied in assessing the work may be reached.

54. The need for assessment applies to all ages and is not necessarily a sophisticated process suitable only for older pupils. For example, infants can have their work assessed by adults who can appreciate their particular views of, for example, colour and form, and who can allow that these young children may have entirely legitimate preferences.

55. The assessment of personal attributes and qualities is more difficult and controversial. Yet it is undeniable that pupils demonstrate a range of personal attributes which affect the way they work and results they achieve. Teachers need to take note of these if only for the important reason that work can be planned which exploits those individual capacities beneficially. In reaching an assessment teachers need to take into account pupils' views both of what they are being asked to do and of their own performance as individuals and members of a team.


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56. CDT offers many opportunities for pupils to work in groups. It allows an individual to work at some special aspect of the task, as well as individuals to come together at times to perform a task (which could be as simple as moving a heavy object or as complicated as revising the whole plan of work), and the group as a whole to produce an end result. In reaching an assessment teachers should take into account pupils' performance as individuals and as members of a team.

57. Assessments need to be recorded in ways which produce actual benefits. First, they should include clear statements about what a pupil can do and to what degree. Second, they should not go into the kind of excessive detail which makes their maintenance more important than teaching. Third, they must be useful in helping teachers to plan work for individuals; for example a percentage mark representing overall achievement in CDT is of no practical significance; however, a statement that a pupil needs special help to develop further his ability to handle particular tools or has a flair for a specific aspect of design can be used as part of the teacher's planning.