Designs from abroad
British teachers who attend national conferences and exhibitions will frequently meet colleagues from overseas interested in how design and technology is progressing in the UK. Many other countries have now recognised the importance of the subject and have introduced it in one form or another into their statutory curricula. One such is the state of Victoria in Australia, where a technology education programme introduces pupils to designing and making products in a range of materials that includes wood, plastic, metal, food and textiles.
Although containing little which is not already available in the UK, the Australian Technology Studies series, of which Technology 1 is the first, would make a worthwhile read for teachers interested in seeing how other countries approach DT.
Technology is defined as the use of scientific and engineering skills and knowledge for the purpose of researching, developing and creating products to fulfil a given need or solve a particular problem, and it is this definition which permeates all four books in the series.
The books are designed to cover the age range nine to 13, with each chapter containing learning objectives, factual information and activities for pupils. The black and white photographs and drawings are clear, but the books lack the impact of full-colour publications.
Bob Welch is a senior adviser for Berkshire
Mary Evans Picture Library