February 2020 update

February has flown by and suddenly March is here – it has been packed with projects, lectures, writing and recording.

University projects

The month began with a lecture to our PGCE students about the value of different school subjects and how this can motivate their pupils. This work is an extension of an aspect of my PhD, where I only focussed on D&T, and now I am looking at how pupils and others value different subjects.
I gave the students a set of guided notes to follow and you can access them via Dropbox.

Talking D&T Podcast

I published four episodes this month:

You can listen to episodes on the podcast’s website and subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and other sites. If you like them please leave a review on Apple Podcasts, this helps others find the show.

Learning to Teach D&T in the Secondary School

This week I submitted the book manuscript. This was a huge milestone for me – my first book and taking the helm of an established book (this will be the 4th edition).
There are 20 chapters, 3 are new, the others have all been updated, 3 very significantly. For a sneak preview of the content, take a look at the chapters’ abstracts on my website.

The value of D&T (or ‘What do people say the point of D&T is?’)

(Quick reminder about the project: 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.)

This month has been about data analysis after last month’s data collection with three focus groups.
Our research team has met and we have edited the original list of 29 values to improve how they read and if they make sense. We have added 12 new values suggested by the focus group. These are a few of them:

  • Learning about the importance of health and safety
  • Learning  to be a critical thinker 
  • Applies knowledge from other subjects
  • Learning that trial and error is a normal part of design

What do you think? Do you agree with these?
Our next stage is to ask lots of people to evaluate all 41 values. If you want to be involved, you can sign up via this form.

Writing this newsletter is giving me space to reflect on last month’s progress before I dive back into March and carry on with these projects. This month I plan to:

  • edit interviews I have recorded with Mike Martin and Kurt Seemann about the power of making and epistemology;
  • publish podcasts with updates about the book and research project;
  • progress a journal article about the history of D&T.

I’ll update you on these and more next month!

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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