Initiation of verbal expression in young children in Design and Technology education: a case-study

A. Roël-Looijenga, R.M. Klapwijk, M.J. de Vries

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One of the core activities of Design and Technology Education is designing, which is a thinking activity that benefits greatly from expression. Verbal expression serves interaction. A teacher can induce verbal expression in pupils by inviting them to interact about familiar subjects. This interaction is a stepping stone towards an integration of exploring, creating and thinking, resulting in broad thinking, and to sharing ideas.
In order to establish interaction, ideas need to be verbalised into informative expressions that are recognisable as such by the whole class. Teachers can influence the quality of interaction by teaching the rules and means of verbal expression. This teaching needs the golden mean of non-authoritative guidance, oriented towards discovery of the rules and means, and a carefully prepared environment leading to insight in the concept of verbalisation. This kind of teaching will make pupil's feelings change from curious into smart and competent with regard to verbalisation.
The case study focused on enabling pupils to verbally express the features of a cuddly toy. The age of the pupils was of four to six years old and the thinking hats of De Bono were used as a structuring instrument to initiate the activity.

The results show that through this approach the teacher succeeded in teaching the rules and means of verbal expression, without hampering the expressiveness and autonomy of the pupils. As a result class and teacher together managed to create a starting point for further procedural growth about “how to express yourselfâ€. They also set a structure in which other subjects could be discussed in future.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalAustralasian Journal of Technology Education
Volume 4
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • verbal expression
  • De Bono thinkinghats
  • Interaction
  • reasoning
  • designing
  • pre-schoolers


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