The Damning headline ‘Design and technology GCSE axed from nearly half of schools, survey finds’ – left the DT community disheartened and personally made me quite sad!
Yes, there is pressure to succeed in the core subjects but every report published in the last 5 to 10 years also speaks of the lack of skills, creativity and innovation in students also. The Engineering UK report last year predicated there being a quarter of a million vacancies in the Engineering sector alone by 2025! What does that tell us?
So ‘if ‘hundreds of school are axing Design and Technology , are other issues influencing these decisions? It is easy to fall into a blame culture and I don’t really want to ponder over the reasons to why, as I am sure if your read the article you can pick up the underlying notes and I have seen some debates in the Facebook groups also.
I want to focus on a positive note by sharing my views and those of others. Over the last two months I have been in many schools that are still doing Design Technology and they love it!! The students love it and so do the teachers – in fact I have been in these schools speaking about assessment and Kapture 8. So not only are they enjoying Design Technology but they are constantly looking for innovative ways to work!
I have been sent responses to the article that I would like to share one with you! So here we are:
Mark Pattinson – St Albans Schools Ipswich
Do Teenagers Really No Longer Like to Make Things? -A response to Camilla Turner
One third of our current year 9s have chosen to study Design and Technology at GCSE level and such is their enthusiasm for the subject that I hope many will opt for it at A Level too. We are, apparently, bucking the national trend as reported by Camilla Turner.
Teenagers do, in fact, make things… all the time, creating videos and vines, making minecraft terrains, playing World of Warcraft, designing and flying drones, rapping, song writing, music, video, poetry, customising their clothes and accessories, building hybrid bikes, robotics, 3-D printing…need I go on?
So what is the real reason for the demise of this and other creative subjects? The fault must surely lie with the two-pronged attack from lack of investment and the relentless push towards 100% uptake in Ebacc subjects. The government denies the damaging effect that these policies are having despite repeated pleas from the experts – teachers, head teachers, engineers and leaders from creative and digital industries, because they know that without investment there will be no future.
Camilla Turner’s article seems to applaud the axing of Design and Technology from hundreds of schools as if this is a good thing. Fake news, poor journalism and lazy thinking from the Torygraph.
Many of may agree and many may disagree but having an opinion is important! I urge you to read the report by VEX Robotics that speaks about their Girls into STEM programme which will be published later this month to see the how real the claims in the Telegraph articles are!
‘Learning by doing’ is documented to be one of the powerful ways of learning. I believe strongly, not only can you improve performance in core subjects through Design and Technology but it is the only subject that lends itself to developing high order skills such as creativity, problem solving and innovation. We as a community need to make sure we are showcasing good practice on a national level, which I do think is lacking! I meet so many people in the world of business and their perception of Design Technology shocks me! Yes we share in our safe spaces with our community but is that enough?
Well it got me thinking – No ! its not!! Here is my challenge to you – if you want to create an enhanced awareness and you want to share it with the world not just the DT community – get in touch with us at Kapture 8 !! We will create the exposure for you!! [email protected]