Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 263171
Loughborough University

Loughborough Design School

Design Education Research Group


Key interests

Design and science teacher education

Research relating to teacher education is becoming an increasingly important aspect of the DERG's activities. The DERG has always supported research being carried out by practicing teachers, but this is becoming an ever more important aspect of our research.

For more information contact (Design) or (Science).

Teacher well-being

The Design and Science Teacher Education group are researching teacher well-being during the science and design and technology PGCE teacher training year which links to PGCE student retention, coping strategies and support for their early careers.

Questionnaires are completed following each teaching practice, together with voluntary participation in interviews and therapeutic training to support their development during their early years in school. This research is being extended to work with teachers in three schools during their first five years of teaching in science, design and technology and mathematics.

For more information about this research contact and .

Teachers' motivation and well-being can either develop or hinder their creativity in the classroom. Due to the difficulties in defining 'creativity', as a subject, science can sometimes be considered as 'uncreative' and also more of a prominent feature in primary education than secondary. However, the research explores creativity in science as a means of maintaining pupil interest, challenge and positive learning.

For more information contact .

Dataloggers in Schools Project

This project, jointly led by Nigel Zanker and Gren Ireson at Nottingham Trent Universities, is to develop a simple data-logger that can be used in schools, colleges, and universities. Currently, data-loggers are available and used in secondary schools throughout the UK.

These loggers are expensive and in their aim to be simple, often present an automated set-up and operation which allows for little learning, regarding the nature of data-acquisition, to take place.

The unit cost of the data-logger to be used is expected to be a fraction of the cost of those currently available and to enable learners to develop an understanding of the principles involved. This simple data-logger aims to start from a 'design and build' activity where learners firstly build their own data-logger prior to programming it for the task in hand and secondly use it for data acquisition.

The philosophy of the project aims to move design and science education from 'hands-on' to 'minds-on'. As a consequence, pupils will learn about data acquisition, transfer and storage, signal matching and sensor design. Commercial roll-out is anticipated in 2011.

Folklore and the Transmission of "Kimono" Culture

English and Japanese people wearing Kimonos

There is growing interest in Japanese culture and opportunities to transmit the culture of Japan to the world have increased. This leads to more and more mutual exchange between the different cultures. One approach is to show and explain the traditional culture of Japan to pupils through design lessons.

Nigel Zanker, PGCE Design and Technology trainees and teachers in ITE Partnership Schools are involved in a four-year research project to disseminate Kimono Culture as a stimulus for costume design. The project, in collaboration with four Japanese Universities, is being led by Yayoi Satsumoto at Yokohama National University.

For more information contact .

PGCE/MSc Action Research

The MSc in Design and Technology Education programme, requires students, in preparation for their final year Research project, to explore innovations at the cutting edge of research, and studying and applying research methodology. They are encouraged to present their work at The D&T Association Education and International Research Conference.

Three trainees presented their initial work at research seminars for the 2009 conference. They were Russell Bond, 'How Successfully Planning and Personal Learning and Thinking Skills are Taught in Design and Technology as Transferable Skills'; Christopher Cundall, 'Exploring Motivation, Independent Learning and Time Management of post-14 Pupils to Raise Academic Achievement within Design and Technology'; and Nilesh Visavadia, 'What Role can Product Design Play in being a Focal Subject for Cross-Disciplinary Activity in the School Curriculum?

The PowerPoint slides of these presentations can be accessed from the website of The D&T Association. Further seminars are planned for the 2010 conference.

For further information about the MSc in Design and Technology Education please contact . For the MSc in Science Education please contact .

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01509 222661 | Email