Design and Technology

From DT Online

Design and Technology education in schools (D&T) prepares children for life in a technological society by providing them with opportunities to combine practical and technological skills with creative thinking to design and make quality products that meet human needs.

Design and Technology education also provides children with opportunities to learn from the achievements of the past, to understand the processes which currently shape the designed and made world, and to acquire the skills to become active participants in building its future.

What is Design and Technology?

Design and Technology education is characterised by:

  • the requirement to design and make real products which can be tested in use;
  • the need to use a variety of materials and processes;
  • the use of information technology to enhance designing and making particularly in terms of modelling, manufacturing and control;
  • the application of other subject areas especially mathematics, science, art and design;
  • the study of commercial products and applications;
  • an understanding of designing an making from other times and other cultures;
  • working in partnership with industry and commerce.

Why is it important?
  • It is important because it is there : it is what makes the made world. Understanding the processes that shape the technological environment we live in is part of our democratic entitlement so that we may be more informed decision makers and critical consumers.
  • D&T provides the context and test of reality for many other aspects of the curriculum : for example, it enhances the learning of maths and science for all and is the key to understanding these matters for some.
  • D&T is essentially a creative and problem-solving process backed up by the need to acquire technical knowledge, practical skills and understanding of materials, components and manufacturing processes to realise quality solutions which are capable of being tested in use.
  • D&T builds upon the great traditions of our past and recognises the achievements of great engineers, designers, artists and craftsmen whilst at the same time drawing upon the work of other cultures.
  • D&T provides the necessary motivation for students to acquire the knowledge skills and understanding we need for a sustainable and prosperous future as a nation.
  • At the heart of D&T is making and it is this that defines us as human beings - or homo faber. A sign of true maturity is the ability to use all one's skills wisely and well - it must be plausible to consider that "makers" are less likely to be "breakers" and socially disruptive?

Design and Technology is characterised by its readiness to accept and embrace new materials and processes. In doing so, the range of contexts within which we might explore problems to solve is expanded and often the quality of outcome is improved and made more relevant to a modern technological society.