Nuffield Design & Technology
Nuffield's Design & Technology curricula covers the entire range of
students, from primary through secondary levels (Key Stages 1-4). Its
materials provide a series of design-related activities,
including short, skill-oriented Resource Tasks, case studies, product evaluations, and
longer, more open-ended Capability Tasks that help assess student learning and understanding. Students work to ensure they will know enough
to successfully encounter the design tasks and produce viable products.
How can a teacher support students with widely different
knowledge and skills to do a design activity? In this
movie, you will hear Dr. David Barlex, Executive Director
of the Nuffield Design & Technology project, talk
about some of the key pedagogical features built into
the Nuffield materials.
Of special note is David Barlex's description of the
working back-and-forth that students do between well-structured
Resource Tasks (e.g., doing experiments with different
types of switches) and Nuffield's more open-ended Capability
Tasks (e.g., designing an electronic device that uses
switches to advertise the opening of a new store in
a nearby mall). Nuffield D&T has provided useful
models for technology education teachers and textbook
authors here in the US and the world over.