January 2020 update

It has been a busy few months and I finally have space to let you know what’s been happening with some of my D&T projects.


Before Christmas I relaunched the Talking D&T podcast. Plans for the podcast began before I finished my PhD in 2017, so you can imagine how excited I was when the first episodes came out in May 2019. I had wanted to create a podcast that gave me and others space to talk about D&T, sharing news, views, ideas and opinions.With over 20 episodes now released I feel it is beginning to occupy this space.

You can listen to the episodes on the podcast’s website and subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and other sites.

If you’ve not yet listened to any, I recommend you start with these:

  1. Introducing the Talking D&T podcast
  2. D&T iconswhere I talk about why Henry Maudslay is on of my icons
  3. Talking art, drawing and design and technology with Paul Carney

Let me know what you think and if you like them please leave a review on Apple Podcasts, this helps others find the show.


I have also been editing the 4th edition of Learning to Teach Design and Technology in the Secondary School. Dr Gwyneth Owen-Jackson edited the first 3 editions, I wrote two chapters with Sarah Davies for the 3rd edition so was familiar with the book. (If you are or have been a student teacher in D&T then you are probably familiar with the book too.) It has been a privilege to take on Gwyneth’s editing mantle and I hope I have done it justice.

It has been an exciting process, I have enjoyed working with over 15 different contributors and whilst I am sad it is nearing the end, I am so looking forward to seeing it in print. The plan is for it to be published later this year ready for a new intake of student teachers.


Back in 2016, I wrote a chapter for Eddie Norman and Ken Bayne’s book Design Epistemology and Curriculum Planning. More recently I have been working with Eddie on project, which builds on this book, exploring what is meant by knowledge in design and technology.

If you are in England, then you will know that the government’s agenda for a knowledge-led curriculum is driving the debate about curriculum design. We wanted to add to the debate with conversations about design knowledge and design thinking. 
We have started with an interview with David Spendlove, who shares his ideas about design thinking in this podcast: Talking design and/or technology 2.0. Later this month you can hear Eddie talking about what designers know, with other podcasts to follow from this project.

We are hoping that D&T teachers and others will get involved in the project, sharing ideas and thoughts about what design knowledge is, and how it is used in design education. Look out for meand Eddie tweeting information about how you can get involved.


Finally, an update on my research. Last month I received funding to develop ideas from my PhD study ‘The value of a school subject: investigating the values attributed to D&T by different stakeholders’ – a long title that can be reduced to ‘What do people say the point of D&T is?‘.

I am curious about whether pupils and their teachers value D&T differently and what this might mean for the curriculum and what teachers teach. To help me do this I need a research instrument, and so I am designing and testing a survey that can be used to explore how different people value D&T.

In January I had three focus group interviews with D&T experts, who gave me feedback on my PhD findings and added more ideas. I am currently analysing the interviews with my co-researcher and assistant, and next month the first version of the survey will be sent out to a larger group for feedback.

If you would like to be involved in my study, sign up via this form.


It has been a busy few month working on these projects. I am sure it has been a busy few months for you too!

Drop me a line and tell me about your D&T projects – I might even persuade you to talk about them in a future podcast episode!

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