Open Primary Technology: Teacher Education for Teachers of 5-11 year olds by Open and Distance Learning

Frank Banks
The Open University, England

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Ingår i: PATT 1996. Proceedings from the conference "Pupils Attitude Towards Technology"

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 5:1, s. 5-14

Linköping Electronic Articles in Computer and Information Science :1, s. 5-14

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Publicerad: 2001-01-19


ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


In this paper I describe two courses from the Open University: E880 Design and Technology Module; OU PGCE; and E626; Design and Technology in the Primary Curriculum. The former is a pre-service course; and the latter an INSET course for experienced primary teachers. Both courses are studied for some of the time by the teacher working on specially produced mixed-media materials in their own home.

The courses share similar aims; for example:

- to help teachers develop their view of the nature of design and technology in the world;

- to help teachers develop their personal rationale for including design and technology in their children’s learning experiences;

-to give teachers personal practical experience of a technological design task; and to allow them to reflect on their own children’s experience of such activities;

- to provide teachers with the basis for developing learning experiences in design and technology with their own children; through reflecting on their own classroom practice and the work of others.

Although both courses could be studied by a teacher in isolation; in practice the materials are used in schools in conjunction with teacher colleagues. For example; E626 is a so called ’designated course’. Groups of primary teachers are funded to study the open learning material as part of a longer course offered by a Local Education Authority (LEA) which includes face-to-face and handson sessions. The University appoints the LEA tutor and is responsible for overall quality assurance procedures. In this way the benefits of supported self-study can be merged with the need for communal practical work in a mode of teacher education that ensures the school is the locus for action; reflection and assessment.


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Department for Education (DFE) (1992). Circular 9/92: Initial Teacher Training (Secondary Phase); London: DFE.

Department for Education/Welsh Office (DfE/WO) (1995) Design and Technology in the National Curriculum; London: HMSO.

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Open University (1994) Teaching in Primary Schools: Primary Module 11 Technology; Milton Keynes: The Open University.

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