Design Technology Falls Short of Effective Teaching for Modern Technology


As a Design Technology Teacher you might have found that you are feeling a little behind the times in the information you are teaching compared to the advances of technology. In fact England does seem to lag behind many countries in this area including China and France.

Many other countries focus on modern advances in areas of interest such as robotics, computer-aided design and different aspects of electronics. With an increasing number of design technology teachers the government hopes it will be able to keep better pace with other countries.

According to Ofsted achievement in D&T only reached a good or outstanding rating in three fifths of the primary schools in England. For secondary schools it was just under half. The good news is that none of the schools were found unsatisfactory. What set some of the schools apart was an approach to teach more challenging lessons with tasks that were interesting but more importantly relevant to today’s technological advances.

In over a quarter of the schools children were just not being given enough opportunity to gain real knowledge that would prove useful and that was relevant to modern information in the electronics, systems and control industry as well as the high demand area of and computer-aided design and even manufacturing. Ofsted found this to be a weakness especially considering the rapid rate at which technology advances.

Of course it can be a real challenge to remain on the leading edge of technology which changes at the blink of an eye. However Ofsted would like to see pupils learning about current technologies with materials that look into the practical how and why of product function and manufacturing.

The accurate description of how products function can help pupils learn to understand technology better and assist them in seeing how technology can solve problems for society. It will let them see how their own ideas could take shape in the technology industry and also let them understand the many opportunities available.

Having more specialists in design technology in the schools can help reduce the wide gap between the best and worst schools. The government would like to see an expanded budget that will allow them to offer a higher quality vocational education to complement the academic classes pupils are currently receiving.

Teachers would then require ongoing high-quality training in order to become more effective design technology teachers.


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