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Design knowledge and teacher–student interactions in an inventive construction task

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Abstract

The teacher plays an important role in the Technology and Design (T&D) classroom in terms of guiding students in their design process. By using concepts developed within engineering philosophy along with a framework for teacher–student interactions the design process in a T&D classroom is classified. The material shows that four of six predefined categories of design knowledge and three of seven predefined classes of activity are present in the material. Findings suggest that two categories of design knowledge, fundamental design concepts and practical considerations, are particularly significant in the students’ work. The teacher’s influence with respect to particularly the first of these categories is crucial for the students’ design process. Direct trial is found as the students’ dominating activity for solving the technological challenges. The results indicate that it is beneficial for students to be introduced to an operational principle before they can be innovative and develop their own design configuration when they establish their fundamental design concept. Curriculum developers, designers of teaching materials as well as teachers should take into account the students’ need of sufficient time to explore their design configuration.

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Acknowledgments

This work has been supported by the Research Council of Norway.

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Correspondence to Bjørn-Tore Esjeholm.

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Esjeholm, BT., Bungum, B. Design knowledge and teacher–student interactions in an inventive construction task. Int J Technol Des Educ 23, 675–689 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10798-012-9209-5

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