An Investigation into the Relationship Between Intended and Actual Learning in Key Stage 3 Design and Technology Lessons

  • Mary Southall

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    This thesis investigates the planning processes involved in transforming intended learning into actual learning. It focuses on the nature of, and influences on, the planning process and in particular, the extent to which the relationship between intended and actual learning upports the teaching-learning process in Design and Technology. The planning processes and procedures used by teachers are an essential pre-requisite to ensuring students’ progress their learning and consequently a vital aspect of teaching. Unfortunately however, it is an area of teaching often only considered in the context of ‘novice’ teachers. With the recent increasing focuses on the production of measurable learning ‘outputs’ in education, understanding the mechanisms behind effective planning processes that provide appropriate learning experiences, producing a range of learning outcomes is challenging for teachers and schools.

    This empirical research study adopts an interpretivist framework, utlising multiple data sources to collect both qualitative and quantitative data. Three distinct, yet inter-connected studies provide the structure for the main study: Study 1 analyses 47 lesson plans and identifies the key operational requirements of, and themes within, current planning processes, Study 2 involves seven lesson observations, identifying and examining the intended learning and the actual learning, and Study 3 asks participants to identify the learning that is demonstrated in the learning outcome and then compares this to the intended learning statement.

    The findings from this study reveal that the dominant, systematic planning model used by many teachers, provides only to a limited extent the relational framework for the intended and actual learning that supports the teaching-learning process. The prevailing focus on learning outcomes identified during this research is, it is argued, unable to fully support the multidimensionality and multimodality integral to Design and Technology learning. Instead it is restrictive and promotes a
    limited approach to the subject in relation to both teaching and learning.

    The study concludes that the planning processes and procedures in Design and Technology need to be developed with the clear intention of strengthening their role within the teaching-learning process. This would encourage the development of the underlying important principles inherent within the subject and support teachers’ and students’ achievement, creativity and enjoyment in teaching and learning in the classroom.
    Date of Award2015
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Roehampton

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