What are design and technology teachers doing in response to a subject change?

Davies, Sarah (2022) What are design and technology teachers doing in response to a subject change? EdD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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In 2014, the secondary subject, design and technology, went through a fundamental policy reform that impacted teachers and their work. Previous research into teachers and subject change in secondary design and technology highlighted the challenge of subject change to established ways of working and the problems associated with teachers’ perceptions of practice. However, these studies focused on a different iteration of the subject and teacher experience, exposing a gap in empirical research about the current iteration of the subject and teacher experience. Therefore, this research aimed to investigate the factors influencing design and technology teachers’ capacity to translate policy into practice.

A qualitative study explored 12 teachers’ day-to-day experiences of subject change through semi-structured interviews. Data were collected from the secondary design and technology teachers during the academic year 2018 - 2019. Interview transcripts were individually interpreted as visual teacher profiles and then coded for thematic analysis using NVivo. A set of themes described the different accounts of experience including: subject traditions, subject coherence, sharing expertise, teacher Identity, subject language, and subject teaching.

My research suggests that the key factor that influenced the translation of policy into practice for these teachers was the level of opportunity or risk associated with embedding new traditions within existing practice. My research also suggests that for these teachers, the opportunities related to ongoing professional development within a trusted community of teachers supported their capacity to make positive responses to change. Access to professional development opportunities, both formal and informal, created the space for these teachers to align their individual values with the collective aims of the policy development. Future research should investigate the barriers to subject team dialogue and develop initial teacher education (ITE) programs that emphasise the importance of developing theoretical and practical knowledge and skills associated with teaching both in and outside a specialism.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (EdD)
Supervisors: Costley, Debra
Youens, Bernadette
Keywords: design and technology, secondary teachers, high school teachers, policy reform, teacher agency, qualitative study
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1603 Secondary education. High schools
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Education
Related URLs:
Item ID: 71493
Depositing User: Davies, Sarah
Date Deposited: 31 Dec 2022 04:40
Last Modified: 31 Dec 2022 04:40
URI: https://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/71493

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