Technology and design at Key Stage 3 : perceptions of challenge

Main Article Content

Ken S. Gibson


The Educational Reform (Northern Ireland) Order
(1989) created Technology and Design as a new and
compulsory component of the curriculum for all
pupils at Key Stage 3. This research investigates the
range of challenge that the teachers of Technology
and Design perceive to exist for them as they seek to
deliver this subject.
A questionnaire was constructed and forwarded to all
teachers (578) of Technology and Design in Northern
Ireland and analysis of the 220 responses received
revealed a number of significant factors. These factors
were further explored using semi-structured interviews
with 24 teachers.
Three main issues are identified and discussed. Firstly,
issues related to the Management of Technology and
Design and its implementation in the classroom are
considered. The challenges presented here relate to
the management of teaching and learning within the
subject; for example project work, health and safety,
resources and staff support, both technical and
financial. Other challenges focus upon class size,
subject time allocation, recruitment and subject
groupings, assessment and generally ‘keeping things
on track’. The second group of challenges relates to
Development within Technology and Design and
these are focussed upon the evolving nature of the
subject and the need to keep up-to-date with the
ever-changing subject content. Finally the actual
teaching of the subject and some of the challenges
involved are considered. Technology and Design is
perceived to be an important and indeed a very
valuable subject but it presents many challenges to
the teachers involved.

Article Details

How to Cite
GIBSON, Ken S.. Technology and design at Key Stage 3 : perceptions of challenge. Design and Technology Education: an International Journal, [S.l.], v. 12, n. 1, apr. 2008. ISSN 1360-1431. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 25 jan. 2022.
Education reform ; Challenge ; Subject implementation ; Professional development ; Technology and design