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Design and Technology Education, v14 n1 p56-67 2009

This paper explores the potential of "blurring the boundaries" between art and design and design and technology with specific reference to "improving creativity" in design and technology, as recommended in an inspection report of secondary and primary schools in England by Ofsted (2008: 7). The paper explores the evolution of the English National Curriculum in art and design and design and technology. It discusses the impact of the 2007 programmes of study for Key Stage 3 (pupils aged 11-14 years) in the context of commonalities across the two subjects with specific reference to designing and creativity. It looks at the increased interest in creativity in the curriculum and presents the findings of a small-scale research project exploring creativity in art and design and design and technology. The development of a three feature model that can be used for analysing creativity in an educational context is described together with a model for helping pupils make design decisions. The paper continues with a brief review of units of work in art and design and design and technology and identifies similarities and differences of approach and outcome. It concludes that designing is a creative activity used by professional designers; however, there are issues of whether pupils, as novice designers, can rely solely on learning the process of "designing" to ensure their creativity potential in the context of a school classroom. As a complex concept creativity, depends on the convergence of a number of features. These include sound domain or subject knowledge and skills, process-relevant features that control the direction and progress of the creative process and social, environmental features that ensure a supportive, conducive environment that enables pupils to be confident, motivated and able to take risk. The role of the teacher in ensuring pupils' creativity is crucial in that they need to plan interesting open-ended units of work, give pupils opportunities to make design decisions, "dwell time" for reflection and plan the effective use of resources and space. It suggests that collaboration between teachers of art and design and design and technology would be beneficial in the quest for creativity within the context of appreciating the similarities and differences of the subjects. (Contains 1 table and 3 figures.)

Descriptors: Foreign Countries, National Curriculum, Art, Design, Technology, Elementary Secondary Education, Creativity, Creative Activities, Teacher Role

Design and Technology Education Association. 16 Wellesbourne House, Walton Road, Wellesbourne, Warwickshire, CV35 9JB, UK. Tel: +44-1789-470007; Fax: +44-1789-841995; e-mail: info[at]; Web site:

Autor: Rutland, Marion


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