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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

Humanising the Design and Technology Curriculum: why technology education makes us human.

McLain, M, Irving-Bell, D, Wooff, David and Morrison-Love, D (2019) Humanising the Design and Technology Curriculum: why technology education makes us human. Design and Technology Education: An International Journal, 24 (2). pp. 8-19. ISSN 1360-1431

Item Type: Article


The aim of this paper is to reposition and reinvigorate how D&T is interpreted and enacted within the school curriculum. Not merely as an industrial imperative, with its focus on technical and economic matters, but on D&T as a cultural, creative and humanising endeavour. Our argument is that technological activity is fundamentally human and integral to our evolution and development as cognisant and social beings. Therefore, to measure a subject by it’s so called timeless knowledge in opposition to skill (Gibb, 2016) falls short of achieving a broad and balanced curriculum (Spielman, 2018); in particular a relatively new and evolving subject encompassing the complexity of technology and society, with their complex and changing natures. However, there may be light at the end of the tunnel, with inspection findings of “evidence of curriculum narrowing” in England and the negative impact of focusing on “few measurable outcomes” (Ofsted, 2019, p. 5); which may result in a resurgence of opportunities for pupils to study practical and creative subjects, such as D&T, in opposition to the perverse incentives that have led to said narrowing in school curricula.

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Additional Information: Unable to confirm DOI
Depositing User: David Wooff


Item ID: 10934
ISSN: 1360-1431
Official URL:

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for David Wooff: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2019 10:05
Last Modified: 30 Sep 2020 10:50


Author: David Wooff ORCID iD
Author: M McLain
Author: D Irving-Bell
Author: D Morrison-Love

University Divisions

Faculty of Education and Society
Faculty of Education and Society > School of Education


Education > Primary Education
Education > Secondary Education

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