The experiential domain: developing a model for enhancing practice in D&T education
Creativity and innovation are leading topics for the twenty-first century, not only in individual, cultural or social contexts but also within a wider perspective in business or economic development. For that reason, creative and innovative activities have started to feature in many design-based programs in second level education. Design and Technology (D&T) education has a special importance in promoting creativity and innovation, particularly when conceptual and material aspects of the design process reciprocally support one another. In the classroom, it is common for pupils to take part in creative and innovative activities in pairs or small groups. However, the complex and non-linear nature of these design-based activities calls for dynamic, collaborative problem solving. While collaborative settings and virtual learning environments in D&T education are receiving considerable attention in current research literature, we know very little about shared interactions in design-based activity. Accordingly, there is a need to examine both the collaborative and individual evidence of design-based activity by turning our attention to the interactions around that evidence as teachers and pupils engage in these activities. The purpose of this paper is to examine a pedagogical approach focusing on the social and cognitive interaction of teachers and pupils which is supported by technology and situated in the context of design-based activity. This research found that such interactions not only augmented the design process but led to a conceptual model which demonstrates evidence-based progress through the active configuration of knowledge and understanding.