Rhetoric and interpretation: the values students and special interest groups attribute to design & technology

Hardy, A. ORCID: 0000-0002-6970-1695, 2017. Rhetoric and interpretation: the values students and special interest groups attribute to design & technology. In: PATT34 - 2017: Technology and Engineering Education, Millersville University, Philadelphia, PA, USA, 10-14 July 2017.

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This research compares special interest groups’ and students’ rhetoric about the value of Design & Technology (D&T) in England, specifically in relation to learning about technology, employment and creative endeavors.

Drawing upon the Design and Technology Association (D&TA) campaigns and interviews with students, I identify the values these two ascribe to D&T. These values will be compared with the values implied in the English National Curriculum for D&T: the current version (Department of Education, 2013b) and previous iterations since its inception into the National Curriculum in 1990.

Analysis of the two groups’ values demonstrates a disparity between the two groups’ views of the value of D&T. Whilst D&TA and students concur on some values, there are noticeable differences. Generally, students place greater emphasis on D&T’s value to their everyday lives, future employment, and personal fulfillment, whereas the D&TA campaigns focus on how D&T engenders both personal and national economic benefits;; creativity is valued by both groups but in different ways. These findings imply a discord between them about the contribution D&T makes to an individual’s education and future life.

By comparing the values of these two stakeholder groups, who have no direct power to influence the enactment of government policy (Williams, 2007), this research provides an insight to some of the potential divergences that may occur as D&T teachers, who do have the power, interpret the National Curriculum using D&TA’s materials to advocate the value of D&T to their students. This research could help other special interest groups explore how D&T is valued and how they lobby government for future curriculum change.

The next stage to this study is to explore how the D&TA’s rhetoric about D&T, and the values discovered in this study, are enacted in classrooms.

Item Type: Conference contribution
Creators: Hardy, A.
Date: July 2017
Divisions: Schools > School of Education
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 26 Sep 2017 08:58
Last Modified: 31 May 2021 15:05
Related URLs:
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/31685

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