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Using exemplar material in D&T

Discussion in 'Design and technology' started by ITrunaway, Apr 4, 2011.

  1. ITrunaway

    ITrunaway New commenter

    Hi, When I was doing my PGCE (2008/09) they kept on about hampering kid's creativity by being too prescriptive etc. I have tried to followed that mantra and it doesn't work. I now firmly believe that creativity is more of a gift than a learned skill, some kids have it some don't. The learning for those that don't have it is in having a clear goal set out in front of them and achieving success in making it well. All too often if you give the kids an open ended task they
    a) can't think of anything,
    b) google stuff up and find something to copy
    c) copy what their best mate does
    d) think of something way too complicated that they then either fail at or have to be directed away from doing.
    Also the genuinely creative ones can't help being creative so if you set a well-defined task in front of them they will attempt to break out of the box anyway. I always welcome that and that is my way of not hampering creativity.
  2. Some students are more creative than others because they have been encouraged to make links that others maybe find harder to make. Creativity can be taught. You only have to go back 30 years to when we really taught students how to generate original ideas rather than accept the design fixations of Nike ticks, love hearts and the rest. Teaching design is hard work and I see little evidence to support the notion that this is well taught in schools at the moment.. Check out the work of Bill Nicholl at Cambridge Univesity or Francis Zanker (the original one) at Loughborough University. Formulaic designing is killing creativity!
    Cannot see it changing whilst we are so obsessed with assessment. Creativity is risk-taking and might mean a student fails at something (heaven forbid that this can ever happen). We continue to offer solutions to students at KS3 rather than opportunities so we can prove that they are learning and improving constantly.
    What really amazes me is how few teachers of this subject display real creativity!
  3. I don't think creativity is something that has to be imposed or learnt. We all naturally exhibit it to some extent when we are young but just have it knocked out of us by most schools and institutions as we get older! When I listened to Bill Nicholl at a recent DATA conference (following Cambridge Uni research programme into creativity and D and T) the most memorable part of his talk for me was that teachers are KEY to allowing creativity within the classroom.
    More restricting off-the-shelf projects and purchased kits at K.S.3 provide many teachers with focused activities to keep students busy and teach skills, however they are not great at allowing creative learner input. Many bought-in edu kits are now the solution themselves (even if they are wrapped up and presented to the class with a "design process" alongside). They are not usually employed as subsystem building blocks that can be called upon and interlinked when undertaking broader problem solving activities.
    I believe more open DMA's are crucial in all D and T areas (especially the diminishing area of Systems and Control where Ofsted's March 2011 report highlighted several concerns)... More open projects allow learners to engage, take better ownership of their work and it is under these circumstances that "teacher managed" creativity can flourish and a passion for the subject really develop.

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