CAD and creativity: a new pedagogy

Winn, Deborah and Banks, Frank (2012). CAD and creativity: a new pedagogy. In: PATT 26 Conference, Technology Education in the 21st Century, 26-30 Jun 2012, Stockholm, Sweden.



In 2007, the Design and Technology (D&T) national curriculum for England suggested: ‘In design and technology pupils combine practical and technological skills with creative thinking to design and make products and systems that meet human needs. They learn to use current technologies and consider the impact of future technological developments’. Consequently in England, the use of Computer Aided Design (CAD) packages has become a significant part of the teaching of D&T to students from the ages of 11 to 16 years but often using a teaching strategy that concentrates on the functionality of the CAD package.
In contrast, this paper presents findings from a three-year intervention study. The programme investigated how 11-14 year old students can develop their creativity at the same time as learning complex 3D solid modelling computer aided design programmes through an improved pedagogy.
The study was broadly an ‘action research’ programme in five phases in which the researcher was also the teacher in the secondary school in which four of the five phases were conducted. This paper provides details of the construction of a new approach to the teaching of CAD, and evidence that the novel teaching methods have improved the students’ and teachers’ confidence to take risks when using the CAD software, therefore leading to more creative and complex outcomes.

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