Weaving the specialist material strands of design and technology together.



Policy change, Design and technology teachers, Established teaching methods, Teaching in and outside a specialism, D&T Programmes of Study


The design and technology curriculum in England has gone through various policy changes since its introduction in the Education Reform Act of 1988. The 2014 policy revised the content to make it slimmer and outlining the essential core knowledge for Key Stage 1 to 3. Schools need to consider wider aspects of design and technology not included in the National Curriculum which they would like to teach as part of their own school curriculum (DATA n.d.). Previous research into D&T explored the challenges of adapting established ways of working and the issues involved in sub-cultural retreat by teachers. This research paper sets out to understand how teachers coped with the 2014 curriculum change and the factors influencing teachers' capacity to implement assessment changes that impacted the need to teach more broadly. The larger investigation followed a qualitative methodology and collected interview data during the first round of teaching the new upper-secondary examination courses in English secondary schools. An interpretive approach to the analysis suggests two ways the teachers conceptualised the change as "coming off the circus of specialist rotations" and "teaching inside a specialism". Challenges for the teachers included the issue of specialist knowledge, traditions of curriculum organisation, opportunities to share expertise, and attitudes towards the policy shift. Teaching outside a specialism is a way to think about supporting pre-service and in-service teachers with the current policy change and ways to modernise the subject in school.

Author Biography

Sarah Davies, Nottingham Trent University

Sarah Davies is a Senior Lecturer in Nottingham Institute of Education. She is course leader for the Post Graduate Certificate in Higher Education within the Institute and leads the Fundamentals of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Module. Sarah also leads the design and technology subject strand within the Secondary Initial Teacher Education course. She also teaches on the MA Education within the Institute.




How to Cite

DAVIES, S. Weaving the specialist material strands of design and technology together. . Design and Technology Education: An International Journal, [S. l.], v. 28, n. 2, p. 38–49, 2023. Disponível em: https://openjournals.ljmu.ac.uk/DATE/article/view/1189. Acesso em: 29 may. 2024.