How is the curriculum organised?
Let’s have a basic look at some of the important organizing elements of the AC: Design and Technology subject. Like many other Australian curriculum subjects, Design and Technology comprises of two interrelated strands. These are: Design and Technologies Knowledge and Understanding and Design and Technology Process and Production Skills. The accompanying table should help to develop your understanding of how they are related within the curriculum.
Take some time to explore the curriculum page yourself. However, as we have stated before, at the time this unit was written the technology subjects in the Australian Curriculum were in the final stage of being officially endorsed.
|Knowledge and Understanding||Processes and Production Skills|
|Technologies and society
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|Creating designed solutions by:
|Curriculum organisation (Australian Curriculum Design & Technologies n.d.)
Learning in Design and Technologies
In studying Design and Technology younger learners develop an awareness of the systematic process involved in the creation of products:
“Students learn about technologies and society through different technologies contexts (knowledge and understanding) as they create designed solutions (processes and production skills)” (ACARA, 2014).
It is important that students have and opportunity to engage in the design process:
“In Design and Technologies students are actively engaged in the processes of creating designed solutions for personal, domestic, commercial and global settings for sustainable and preferred futures” (ACARA, 2014).
There are two important components to teaching Design and Technology. These are Project Management and Design Thinking.
Project management develops student understanding of how to manage projects through to completion, this involves learning how to plan, organize, and monitor activities. Project management also includes considering constraints, assessing risks, and developing an understanding of the wider impact of the design solutions.
Explaining the design process
Let’s spend some time exploring design thinking. This is the systematic approach to design that sequentially works through a process to arrive at a solution to an existing problem. To help you teach Design and Technology it is a good idea to have a strong understanding of the design process. The key point we hope you have gained from the introductory video is that when we talk about design, we are talking about an active and sequential practice. Watch Jonathan Ive in the video Design – Apple Mac (Sambaza2, 2011), Apple’s head industrial Designer who created the iPod, iMac, and iPhone, describe the design process.
Design – Apple Mac (2011)
Let’s try and summarise the design process and its different component parts. The accompanying model sums up the design process into three stages. While more complex models exist, this conception of the design process will help you to teach design thinking to younger learners. The conceptual process of designing is succinctly summed up in this 3-stage model: