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Teaching all areas of D&T

Discussion in 'Design and technology' started by Lohman, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. Hi,
    Just a quick question - do any of you teach all areas of D&T? My school want to introduce a KS3 where all the D&T teachers have 1 group for the whole of the year and instead of the pupils rotating around the teachers - the teachers are to move classrooms and teach all of the areas. This would mean delivering Graphics, RM, Textiles and Food (and presumably electronics although HOD seems to have missed the point that this area should be included!). I think this is for timetabling issues - they want to make it easier for them to do the timetable as this would mean that any of the D&T staff could take any group. The idea came up a couple of years back and was rejected on the basis that we have specialist teachers for each area so we teach to our strengths. Anyway looks like this is definitely going ahead. The argument last time was that teachers would need training up on the machines in RM and teachers not trained properly in food should not be teaching the subject as they are not insured.
    Can anyone thnk of any others reasons for not doing this - or any positive stories for those of you that may do something similar?
    Thanks
     
  2. I have desp. wanted to do this in my dept.for years. From my understanding....as a D & T Teacher you should be able to cover all areas in KS3 - that was part of your training?!? (although I never did food during my training- our food teacher produced a project booklet that everyone followed)
    We have done it in yr 7 this year and it has worked really well. The first time we have been able to properly monitor and track pupil progress. We are able to take longer with some groups, add extentions with others, Deviate if wanted etc. (although this would only work if you stayed mainly in one room). Although slightly reluctant at first...all my staff have really enjoyed teaching a greater variety.
    We did an audit of what we felt needed to be covered across the year, the best projects and then bought all the resources together in one folder. Staff could then add items as they went along. There is far more sharing of ideas and teaching aids than we have ever had.
    Our only problem now is due to timetable restrictions we are unable to bring it to Yr 8 and 9.
    Problems with it: Moving around rooms is a hassle, Staff that are not confident/not interested in learning a new area (or weak).
    Not sure what specific training is needed for food - Hygiene (?) we havnt done it and was never mentioned by the food HOD. Machine training is only needed if that staff member is going to use the machines - could the technician not prepare the materials in advance? Otherwise organise a one day train all staff together session with someone from the DATA website.
    Hope this is of use....DATA have been trying to encourage this for years.

     
  3. Don't get me started...
    jack of all trades masters of none However:
    Any old teacher can teach food can't they?
    staggered you have not got food hygiene certificates
    contact data- all staff need to do all the training for all material areas for any of you to be 'insured'
     
  4. I trained as an RM and Textiles teacher. However, I only ever did one placement of textiles (a single half term), and have never taught it again. I regularly now teach Graphics, Systems/Electronics, and have taught Food too.

    Same as any project, you just have to make sure you understand it before you teach it - it takes some prep time, but it's well worth it in the long run :)
     
  5. The whole 'I'm not trained in it' argument is silly. Is this real life? A solution can be from any material not just what you're specialised in. We're asking kids to use all materials, why can't the teacher?! It's just a safety net. I've made teachers in my dept do it - good for CPD also. As HOD, I give myself the 'tricky' groups and the other staff pick the others. I want to be seen as being a teacher of Design & Technology, not just a guy who makes stuff from wood. If a solution requires fabrics, I can do it. If it needs a circuit, so be it.... The students - from questionnaires, preferred it and wanted it. DATA also proves it to be true. Most kids don't like the carousel. It shouldn't be 'what are we making in textiles' but just, 'what skills/knowledge are we learning in DT'
    We now only do a DT option called 'DT' and run Product Design - students use whatever materials they deem fit and we have classes of 20 odd at KS4. Loads better, but yes, harder work.
     
  6. Having experienced and witnessed a vast array of arrangements in the delivery of KS3 D and T, this is by far the worst scenario and least succesful for all. Far better to deliver one's specialism(s) where students get the most benefit from our own experience/skill/enthusiasm/joy/love of our subject. In fact, no different to KS4 D and T subjects. Timetables should be tailored to fit students' needs and not the other way round. This was one of the first things I changed on becoming a HoD some years ago to the continued benefit of all.
     
  7. Oh dear this is not a positive approach!!!!!!!!! As a food Tech student teacher I have come across many student teachers unable to make a fruit salad let alone a Lasagna explaining all the functions of the ingredients and the methods used!!!!!!!!
     
  8. Quite... People don't seem to realise the importance of evolving. Personally I hate teaching food tech but as a H.O.D. I force myself and my dept to teach it even though it's not their 'specialism'. If we can't have a range of skills and be role models, how can we expect the students to be? silly....
     
  9. This is ridiculous. Why don't you teach the full curriculum? You can monitor and track to your hearts content, learn what to do during your planning and prep 10% time and run around the school into all the specialist rooms as and when.
    There is a reason you trained as a specialist, just as others did in their subject. At the root of this is are we teaching the DT process or material knowledge and skills? I would suggest that by the time pupils are in Y8 and 9 it is both. The teacher needs to be an expert, it is what pupils deserve to have facilitate learning, ensure safety and inspire.
    I have had too much equipment not used and cared for properly because of lack of knowledge and extended skills in teachers, too many classrooms left a tip for the next class, stressed out staff and disgraceful work passing itself off as textiles, metalwork, food, wood creations etc. to sanction ever going back to jack of all trades.
     
  10. Thanks for sharing all your thoughts/experiences. I must admit I can see it from both sides. I am worried that when this goes ahead, as many of you have said, there will be a decrease of knowledge/skills in the pupils. Some areas of D&T are already not doing well at my school and I think this would make it worse as it would impact on the areas that are doing well (ie. bring the standards down in those areas also). I did not train in all the areas and have a specialism and a second subject. I just do not have the knowledge to teach all areas. Although I would be willing and am sure that I could read up and 'get by', I do feel that it is unfair on the pupils. I would never be unenthusiastic with the pupils, but I know that my heart would not be in teaching all areas and this would lead to the teaching not being the best it could be. I think that schools that are lucky enough to have specialist teachers should use them for that subject rather than turning them into 'jack of all trades' as someone else has said. I can understand the point that we should all be able to teach a bit of all of it - but I still think this is unfair on pupils when the teacher does not have the depth of knowlege expected. I can already foresee untidy classrooms and broken/damaged/dirty equipment. To me it just doesn't make sense. If there wasn't a teacher to take a group, then yes, another D&T teacher should be able to step in. But to teach all areas for the sake of it just seems wrong. Also, the tracking may be better.....but what about when pupils clash with teachers? I find that changing groups gives the pupils a fresh start. Just on the point of tracking - I know this is not what I should be saying......but the staff in my dept all assess differently - we SHOULD standardise....but it doesn't happen and even if it did, some staff are weak and do things how they want to regardless. If the weak staff had a group all year the assess may be far too high or low. Whereas, when we change groups, I am reasonably confident that the assess is better because we don't just reply on 1 teacher to do it.
    My other concern would be that graphics, textiles, rm/product design all follow the design process but food is different. Especially as my school have changed to btec hospitality at ks4. Therefore, simply following the design process in all areas does not work. I think the food curriculum at ks3 is tailored for transition into the KS4 btec. This would mean that teachers would need a lot of knowledge and skills for the food/cooking side.
     
  11. PS MrReindeer - I would like to come and work at your school as you seem like the right kind of HOD.
    William95 - you are completely right also - how will a non specialist food teacher be able to teach functions of ingredients/methods of making and all the food science?
     
  12. Couldn't agree more. It smacks of being a little lazy really - sticking to the same old projects and in-keeping with the stereotypes about our subject - part-way to explaining the reason DT is in the problem it is in. Evolve! Training is essential but surely this is par for the course in DT due to the ever-changing nature. It's one of the things I ask in interviews for new staff.
     
  13. Been doing this since 2001 in my department. All teachers multiple-skilled in all materials at KS3/4. @TeacherToolkit
     
  14. I did have resistance to bring in something on these lines due to the reduction in specialist staff but training each other up did enable a similar and, I think better system to happen.
    By pairing up staff in twos it is possible to produce a scheme of work that links the specialisms so you work together on the project planning and support each other. You might work in parellel doing the same project sharing the rooms say over 2 lessons a week or do the project in tow halves so that one does one part first while the other starts at the second part first. Either way there is ownership of the project.You keep the group for half a year, so helping to improve continuity and recording. It means less training and people don't have to feel quite so resentful that they are being spead too thinly.
     
  15. sav5000

    sav5000 New commenter

    I am very much against non specialist teaching in DT,

    put quite simply....would you be happy with your hairdresser fitting your boiler?..........if so then go down the route of teach all DT.......... It is this very approach which has bought the subject to its knees!!!!!... and why the subject is in the dire mess it now finds itself in!

    We are expert specialists...in our chosen field of DT, our USP for DT is kids get to solve problems through doing, ie making! not designing, and they love that!

    In recent years, going down the design route was trendy, and cheap ..........fail.

    multi DT specialism teaching.........trendy and cheap..........fail.

    Time to get back to basics..........and save our subject...........! Teach the subject! Your specialism .........or our subject will go within a few years ................fact.

    Rant over.
     
  16. Maybe it will be easier to do that now that the Nat Curric is likely to be changing. Being less prescriptive might mean the staff aren't forced to teach all areas as they have been of late. Telling the powers that be 'NO' is not that easy. Good luck to all those brave enough to try.

     
  17. Totally agree with you. We have remained in our specialism and will continue to do so. Would they ask a PE teacher to teach science or a History teacher to teach PE - NO so why except it in our department. Where humanities has been lumped together (to save money on TLRs) do you have thoses teachers teaching all area?
    Really do not like the idea of "forcing" anyone to do what they are not comfortable with as we have heard from a couple of HOD.
     
  18. I so agree with you and think it is a disgrace. It totally devalues our expertise. I hate the fact that some teachers think teaching food tech/food science/food catering is just about cooking when it isn't at all. I have had D&T trainees on my course say well anyone can cook! it really annoys me. I wouldn't even think of saying well anyone can sew. Everyone has their own area of expertise so let them get on with it. I feel the students are not being taught as well as they could be.
    Rant over
     
  19. I think the problem here is mixing food with RM and textiles. A closer link would be between PD, RM, GP and electronics. I really don't see teaching across those areas in yrs 7 and maybe 8 should be that much of an ordeal. Of course we should stick to our specialist areas where possible in ks4. But if it's a case of teaching a different area to keep it in the options for timetable reasons then so be it. Rather that than loose it all together. As far as food goes forgive me but as a working mum that has cooked from scratch her entire life and makes sure I provide a healthy balanced meal for my family- surely this should qualify me to be able to cover a year seven rotation that has been written primarily by our food teacher and supported in the class by the food technician.... If you ran your own graphics and advertising company in your spare time would you not feel that maybe you could be qualified to teach graphics to 12 year olds?
    I find this whole thread really depressing and not very progressive. Apologies if I have upset anyone by it but my turn for my rant.
     
  20. I'm currently working on a research paper into this and would love for you all to voice your opinions of this in my survey. Both pro's and con's are welcome. you can access it at the link below. Click here to take survey
     

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