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Cutting edge conference

Next month teachers can catch up on the lastest research, says Ann Lynn

Specialists from all over the world will join teachers at the Design and Technology Association's annual conference next month to explore new ways of taking the subject forward in schools. The conference, now in its sixth year, will take place at Sheffield Hallam University, from July 7 to 9.

Attending for the first time as DATA's chief executive, Richard Green says: "The conference is the ideal opportunity for all those involved in the field of design and technology to meet, share their experiences and network in an inspiring environment.

"In addition to keynote sessions, there are day-long workshops where teachers can develop specific design and technology skills, and 45-minute seminars which delegates are encouraged to dip into to keep up to date with all aspects of design technology."

The event is organised into two main sections, international research and UK education, with keynote addresses and workshops featuring internationally respected experts. Delegates can attend both sections.

The research conference will run over the first two days, with UK and international speakers, including Pat Hutchinson, of the College of New Jersey, US, who will give the Professor John Eggleston Memorial Lecture. A wide range of leading researchers will present papers on topics ranging from the promotion of creativity in the classroom to pedagogy, assessment and sustainability.

The education section overlaps on July 8-9, and will cover most aspects of DT in primary and secondary schools. In the full-day workshops, delegates will be able to develop skills and knowledge directly applicable to the classroom. A keynote session will be led by Professor Richard Kimbell of Goldsmiths College London, who will be looking at a major piece of research into assessing design innovation. His team will then conduct a practical workshop.

Professional development opportunities are provided, with seminars, workshops, and keynote addresses designed to encompass key topics in DT education, including: developing design, making and manufacturing skills in all focus areas; CADCAM and ICT, including effective use of interactive whiteboards; integrating electronics and communications technology; supporting pupils with special educational needs.

There will also be PowerPoint and poster presentations and displays of work by university students and local school pupils.

* Design and Technology Association: Tel: 01789 473906

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