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An examination of the contribution of the ‘starting point approach’ (SPA) to primary design and technology

An examination of the contribution of the ‘starting point approach’ (SPA) to primary design and technology

Good, Keith William (2009) An examination of the contribution of the ‘starting point approach’ (SPA) to primary design and technology. EdD thesis, University of Greenwich.

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The starting point approach (spa) to design and technology education presented in this thesis, is intended to stimulate children’s ideas and to allow projects with different purposes to be designed and made in one class. The projects all originate from a common starting point. The approach is intended to promote creativity and individual choice whilst being manageable for the teacher.

Data were collected during a spa session taught to a group of 10-11 year old children in London. They were introduced to the pressure pad switch that was to be the starting point for their designing. The activity was initiated by the group brainstorming existing uses for pressure pads and ways to operate the switch prior to making their own. Each child went on to develop a project with a purpose selected by them. A transcript derived from the video of the above was subjected to analysis by means of coding and a specially devised grid. Children were also observed working and data were gathered using questionnaires, video recording, Dictaphone, field notes, interviews and digital pictures of the final artefacts.

The study was qualitative in nature and based on an interpretative paradigm. The data were considered in two phases. Phase 1 of the study examined whether the children could do what the spa required. Phase 2 concentrated on examining in more detail what occurred when the spa was used.

The research showed that children following the spa were able to design and make products with different purposes within a single class. It is argued that an advantage of the spa is that it reconciles the often conflicting demands of teaching skills and knowledge with encouraging individual creativity. The starting point approach is a pedagogical tool and process that can be used to motivate children through allowing them to decide the purpose of their individual project as well as its design.

Item Type: Thesis (EdD)
Additional Information:
Uncontrolled Keywords: primary education, starting point approach, design technology, pedagogical tools,
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1501 Primary Education
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Education
School of Education > Department of Professional Learning & Development
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:14

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