CRAFT, DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY IN ESSEX COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOLS: research into selected aspects of the structuring of the subject

Roerig, L.R (1984). CRAFT, DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY IN ESSEX COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOLS: research into selected aspects of the structuring of the subject. The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000f7dd

Abstract

This research firstly locates the structuring of a subject in an historical perceptions. In its historical definition, the subject appears as Manual Training in the emerging systems of mass education in the nineteenth century. During the earlier part of the twentieth century it appears as Handicraft in the secondary schools and at the present times as Craft, Design and Technology in the comprehensive schools.

The main body of the thesis then concerns itself with the ways in which the subject is distributed to pupils by the internal mechanisms of comprehensive schools. The sample of schools used is the ninety co-educational comprehensive schools of Essex. The research was carried out by visitation, interviews and questionnaires.

The classification of pupils on intake directs them towards curricula which can be biased towards academic of practical subjects which include Craft, Design and Technology. Further separation of pupils during the second and third years, and the variable allocation of curriculum time contributes to the low status accorded to the subject.

Attempts to include Craft, Design and Technology in a balanced curriculum in the Upper School are undermined by options systems. Procedures which remove the academically able pupils from the influence of Craft, Design and Technology also direct non-academic pupils to it. The subject has almost disappeared from the Sixth Form curriculum.

This structuring of a school subject is placed against perceptions by Craft teachers of their situation inside the schools in relation to their assumptions about their subject, their earlier training, their control over redefinitions of the subject and the resources at their disposal.

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