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The 4 Ps Of The Design & Technology Curriculum

Updated: Jun 10

The 4 Ps Of The Design & Technology Curriculum - Aidan Severs Consulting

D&T is perhaps one of the most difficult subjects to teach in primary schools. A lack of resources is often the cause of its downfall, along with the very foregiveable lack of subject knowledge - afterall, we are teachers, not designers!


However, there is one thing that we as teachers design, and that's lessons or learning opportunities.


Perhaps the way we design lessons can be illuminating for us with regards to how we view teaching, planning and curriculum development in design technology?


When we plan a lesson we think of three things (and they all handily begin with P):


Problem - there are important things the pupils don't know

Purpose - there is a reason why we want them to know it

Person - we've already mentioned them: the pupils - we plan for them specifically


The lesson you then create with these things in mind can be seen to be a fourth P:


Product - the outcome, the thing you've created


We can view the teaching, planning and curriculum development of design technology similarly:


D&T is all about creating a product whose purpose is to solve a particular problem for a particular person (or group of people).


Another way to think about this could be:


D&T is about creating something (what is the product?) for somebody (who is the product for? Person) for some reason (what is the product for? Purpose & Problem)



So long as you are teaching children to think about those 4 Ps, you can teach D&T with limited resources. You don't have to have all the woodworking tools - you can use construction toys as long as pupils are creating a product whose purpose is to solve a particular problem for a particular person (or group of people).


You don't have to have extensive knowledge of electronics to teach D&T in primary as long as pupils are creating a product whose purpose is to solve a particular problem for a particular person (or group of people).


Did you know I offer a remote curriculum review service? Curriculum development benefits from an outsider's perspective; my experience and expertise can give you the confidence you need to launch your new curriculum. Find out more and book your review day with me now:




The 4 Ps Of The Design & Technology Curriculum - Aidan Severs Consulting Education Consultant

A Caveat With Regards to Aesthetics


Designers don't just solve functional problems, they solve aesthetic problems too. If an exisiting product isn't beautiful, or if no product exists in a particular style of design, designers create it. Steampunk toilet roll holders not a thing? They create it for those who want it. Cubist knife block not available anywhere? Designers design it. Problem solved.


If you'd like to think more about the teaching of D&T in your classroom or school I've written more on the subject:



If you would like Aidan to work with you on developing D&T in your school, please get in touch via the details on this page or by making a booking at www.aidansevers.com/services.


"It was such a fantastic opportunity to get to work with Aidan; he is very knowledgeable about teaching and learning, and designing a curriculum. Aidan ensured that I was clear and confident about my vision for D&T, in turn helping me to develop a plan going forward for our curriculum. Aidan reassured me every step of the way and answered all questions honestly, even the ones I was worried were silly!

 

Going forward I feel confident to design the D&T curriculum for our school, I feel confident creating progression maps, and monitoring the subject, ensuring it is being championed in our school. Thank you so much for your help!"

- K. Whelehan, D&T lead, Saviour Primary School




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