Edging forward…….the tide turns for design in schools.

Forgive me for starting this post with an image of what is very much a post industrial landscape but in the last few years it has felt a bit like this if you are involved in or concerned about design in schools.  The persistence of the DfE in pushing forward the so called Ebacc with … Continue reading

The apprentice….too little, too late?

Surely I cannot be the only person who has noticed the bidding war between the parties on the number of apprenticeships that will be created during the next government ?   Sometimes the current level of debate reminds me more of a game of Toptrumps than a serious attempt to get policy across, ah well! … Continue reading

Teaching creativity

  An argument that I had thought long dead resurface recently, briefly stated it suggests that creativity is not something that can or should be taught in schools because in order to be creative an individual needs to have a wide range of knowledge and skills.  These things are what schools should be teaching so … Continue reading

“Not everything that counts can be counted….”

One of Zaha Hadid's Liquid Glacial tables.

  If you work in a school that invested heavily in delivering vocational courses then you will remember all too clearly the shock announcement by Mr Gove that all such courses were failing to make the grade and would be reduced in value at a stroke.  That, of course is not real value, just the … Continue reading

Teaching iterative design……….catching up with the curve.

Falmouth University students presenting their designs to Sir Kenneth Grange

  Things have changed in the design world.  I jumped at the invitation to join students at Falmouth University as they presented their ideas to to their visiting professor, Sir Kenneth Grange.  Now here’s the thing.  When I was growing up this man was shaping the world, indeed he was creating the design climate we … Continue reading

Less is more……….learning objectives or whatever you want to call them.

Stylish lighting. (Image courtesy of Camborne Science and International Academy)

As I write the news is arriving that Michael Gove has suggested that all schools start taking the Common Entrance exam, used by private schools to select entrants for their establishments.  He seems to be oblivious of the fact that not very long ago all schools were taking something similar called SATs and that for … Continue reading

The EBacc is back…..never mind the children.

Well it  has certainly been an interesting start to the new academic year.  What is becoming the most consistent thing in education is that there is no consistency.  In a far off time it was the case that teachers regarded the August exam results day as of concern for their pupils; had they got the … Continue reading

Measuring progress …………or shooting the goose?

A colleague and I were having a conversation.  One of those snatched moments in a corridor when something really happens and you find yourself getting excited about teaching as you share your thoughts, usually finished off with, “We really need to get together and have a proper talk.”  Which, of course, teaching being what it … Continue reading

The sum of all fears……..the Gove effect in action at DesignEd.

DesignEd is the name of an exhibition of the Design Technology work of students from across Cornwall, hosted by University College, Falmouth.  ( http://www.falmouth.ac.uk/  if you fancy a look at the place.)  Now in it’s fifth year the exhibition was initiated by Richard Scott, a teacher of design in a school and  John Millar, then on the staff … Continue reading

Just another lesson………the deeper truth about learning objectives.

High order design skills in evidence with a year 8 pupil working on a project.

It wasn’t a formal lesson observation, the kind where you agree what you will be looking at, look at it and then talk about what you looked at.  It was just one of those countless situations where I needed to be in a colleagues room using a piece of equipment while they got on with the lesson … Continue reading

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