Attention and Action during the Design and Technology lesson: by fine-tuning task characteristics

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Abstract

In this paper, pupils’ design behaviour is regarded as an expression of active knowledge acquisition. Four cases of building a task structure, which supports effective discovery learning, were investigated. We focus on simple characteristics in a model to explain the effects of the structure on task execution. It reconciles
the advantages of direct instruction and constructionism. The model offers an easy way to immediately denote pupils’ behaviour during the lesson. The idea is that the model can function as a heuristic and becomes manageable for use by the teacher during the lesson. In this way it strongly serves formative
evaluation.
In the first case we observed the following characteristics of the task underpinning attentive and active design behaviour:
Success criteria, formulated during task instruction, guided performance and evaluation.
The task was both challenging and doable.
A joint evaluation of performance results and methods that concluded the task led to shared knowledge and language.
In the second case, we researched the effect of enhancing skilfulness of focused observation on the quality of discovery and subsequent invention.
In the third case, we observed that a familiar situation benefitted the start of the performance. However, the absence of a joint evaluation led to limited shared knowledge and shared language regarding the task.
This hindered pupil’s rise of clear expectations about the expected results.
In the last case, we researched the effect of enhancing skilfulness of analysis on the quality of verbal expression of discovery and subsequent invention. The thinking hats of De Bono were used as instruments to express ideas about a cuddly toy.
The four cases together resulted in a simple model based on task characteristics that furthers active discovery and invention.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication Proceedings of the PATT36 international conference proceedings: Research and practice in technology education
Subtitle of host publicationPerspectives on human capacity and development.
EditorsN. Seery, J. Buckley, D. Canty, J. Phelan
Pages278-287
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-5272-2508-4
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventPATT36 : 36st International Pupils Attitudes Towards Technology Conference - Athlone Institute of Technology, Westmeath, Ireland
Duration: 18 Jun 201821 Jun 2018

Conference

ConferencePATT36 : 36st International Pupils Attitudes Towards Technology Conference
CountryIreland
CityWestmeath
Period18/06/1821/06/18

Keywords

  • D&T task
  • Montessori principles
  • pupil autonomy
  • class language
  • joint evaluation

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