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

Loughborough Design School

Design Education Research Group


Project examples

European Commission: ICT For Innovative Science Teachers (Starting November 2009 and running for the next 2 years)

is working in partnership with 5 other European universities in order to develop and evaluate materials designed to enhance trainee, and practicing, teachers' use of information and communication technologies within their own classrooms. John's contributions to the project are in the fields of data logging and computer modeling of science concepts.

Back to top ↑

Social and Emotional Aspects of Teaching (SEAT Project) (2009-)

and . The project researches issues arising for trainee teachers from their experiences of settling into ateaching practice school and also early career teachers' experiences. The impact of the profession on their 'self' and well-being were of particular interest.

The research aims to clarify if therapeutic training (based on work by Rogers, 1961) will benefit teachers in their daily lives and professional role, and in the longer term, retention. Pilot Study results were presented at ATSE conference in August 2009 and a paper published in Science Teacher Education.

Back to top ↑

Teachers Internet Resources for the Understanding of Science (TIRUS) Website

Drawing upon findings from previous work on student teachers' use of the Internet in support of their teaching, is working in partnership with Ann Childs (Oxford University), Laurence Rogers (Leicester University) and Pete Sorensen (Nottingham University) in order to construct a website for trainee, and practicing, science teachers that offers advice on the pedagogy of the use of the Internet in science teaching.

Back to top ↑

Developing the research infrastructure for design and technology education (2008 -)

Eddie Norman and . In partnership with the Design and Technology Association a number of initiatives have been taken in order to support research by design and technology teachers.

These have included the creation of online archives (e.g. the Design and Technology Association International Research Conferences on Loughborough University's Institutional Repository), the creation of an online hub to search over 600 research online research resources, dater.org.uk, and an 'action research' poster which has been distributed to all teachers who are members of the D&T Association.

The effectiveness of these initiatives will be evaluated and consequential developments carried out.

Back to top ↑

Materials Technology in the Classroom

. In A Practical Guide to Teaching Design and Technology in the Secondary School (2007), Owen-Jackson G (ed), Routledge: This book is in a format aimed at helping those training to become secondary school teachers of design and technology, whether undergraduate, PGCE or GTP, and those in their induction year.

It covers design and technology in the school curriculum, lesson planning, classroom teaching, learning and assessment, and considers continuing professional development. It encourages reflection on practice, through the use of practical activities and materials that provide opportunities to analyse learning and performance within Design and Technology. This book includes case studies, examples of existing good practice and a range of tried-and-tested strategies.

Back to top ↑

Sustainable Design Awards (2002-2007)

, Tracy Bhamra, Rhoda Coles, Vicky Lofthouse, Eddie Norman, Peter Simmons, , . In partnership with Practical Action (formally ITDG, www.practicalaction.org) and the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT, www.cat.org.uk) members of the DERG have been developing this scheme for 16+ students.

This programme has been highly influential in curriculum development, and has included teacher training, consultations with the Awarding Bodies and the national development of teaching resources. The SDA website has been developed to a large extent by Peter Simmons and he is researching its effectiveness as a key aspect of his PhD programme.

The last stage in the project was the development of a Subject Leaders' (SL) pack, which the PGCE group helped to write and with which postgraduate design students helped with the graphic design. The SL pack was distributed to all schools in England and Wales early in 2007.

Back to top ↑

ESCalate: The development of expertise and resources to support mentors in training PGCE secondary science students to use the Internet within their teaching (2005 - 2007)

has been working in partnership with colleagues from other universities - Ann Childs (Oxford University), Janet Godwin (Nottingham Trent University), Pete Sorensen (Nottingham University) - on this extension of the original ESCalate project.

Previous research had identified a barrier to effective use of the Internet as a lack of sufficient role models within partnership schools who could provide student teachers with advice on how to deliver suitable Internet-supported lessons.

The purpose of this project was to generate materials that could be used to support science trainees in their use of web-based materials within their own teaching.The project included the following activities:

Back to top ↑

Design for citizenship? Innovation, Technology and Social Responsibility

. In Developing Citizens: A Comprehensive Introduction to Effective Citizenship Education in the Secondary School (2006), Breslin T and Dufour B (eds), Hodder Murray: This book provides an authoritative collection of key papers from invited leading specialists.

Nigel Zanker was invited to submit a paper because of his reputation as an Ofsted Inspector for Citizenship and a Design and Technology Teacher Trainer who encourages social and environmental aspects in school-based design work. Endorsements for the book include Professor Sir Bernard Crick, whose report for the DfEE made the case for the introduction of Citizenship as a compulsory school subject.

The book is arranged in six sections, which address the need to establish Citizenship as an aspect of school culture and a means of engaging the school with the wider community. It considers the use of a range of curriculum models and assesses the contribution that practitioners from different subject areas can make to the delivery of Citizenship.

Back to top ↑

The creation and development of support materials for CAD/CAM

for BAE Systems. The support materials are based on research into open learning strategies, e-learning and CAD modelling strategies for designers. On-going developments have been characterised by the development of CD ROM based materials that embody appropriate pedagogy and places the learning in a specific, often designated, context.

These developments started with support material aimed at learners in International/Smart Schools (BAE SYSTEMS) and have since been employed to support the development of commercial products like CAD/CAM Achiever (Denford Ltd).

In-house developments have included generic CAD modelling support for undergraduate students, as a part of our commitment to the engCETL which aims to undertake pedagogic research and support educational collaboration with employers, particularly in the area of design engineering and design project work.

Back to top ↑

Developing the research materials for The Design and Technology Association's ITE Induction programme (2004-5)

Eddie Norman. DATA's online web pages concerning getting started on research were authored and three publications produced to support new researchers. The Keynote Address at the Induction Day organised by DATA was given by Eddie Norman relating to these contributions and later published in Design and Technology Education: an International Journal.

Back to top ↑

Exploring the Elements that Make an Effective Web-based Science Lesson (2003 - 2004)

has been working in partnership with colleagues from other universities (Ann Childs (Oxford University), Janet Godwin (Nottingham Trent University), Molly Dussart (University of Canterbury Christchurch, Pete Sorensen (Nottingham University)) on this Becta funded project.

The project sought to research the use of the Internet by trainee teachers in order to identify the elements of effective lessons and draw on these to develop models of effective use for dissemination across partnerships involved in initial teacher education.

In so doing, the researchers sought to clarify understanding of what effective use of the Internet might involve and attempted to separate any specific issues in relation to the Internet from more generic issues of teaching and learning.

The main elements of the report were:

Back to top ↑

The Use of Web-based Materials to Support Teaching by PGCE Secondary Science Students (2001 - 2002)

(Loughborough University), Ann Childs (Oxford University), Janet Godwin (Nottingham Trent University), Molly Dussart (University of Canterbury Christchurch, Pete Sorensen (Nottingham University). The project, supported by a grant from ESCalate, involved the Departments of Science Education in 5 higher education institutions.

The purpose of the project was to identify good practice in the use of web-based material in support of the teaching of science by PGCE trainee teachers in the secondary phase.

The project drew upon the experiences of PGCE trainee teachers facing the learning opportunities provided by the Internet and sought to identify issues which they reported as preventing them from using the resource as effectively as they might.

The project included the following activities:

Back to top ↑

Learning through making

Roberts P H, Baynes K, Tyers J, Zanker F O and Brochocka K, 1998, report published by the Crafts Council, 265pp. A 2 year inquiry, won via competitive tender, funded by the Crafts Council.

The research explored the values and validity of the crafts and craft-based activity in a range of contexts, including the personal, social development, cultural, economic, educational, and historical contexts, with some historical commentary. Outcomes included presentations at the House of Commons, the British Library and publications.

Back to top ↑

Kites: flexible structures. Key Stage 3 Resourse Pack (1999)

Professor Eddie Norman and Joyce Cubitt. This resource pack was written in the late 1990s to support the 1995 version of the D&T National Curriculum in England and Wales.

Although some detailed aspects of the text were superseded by Curriculum 2000, much of the publication remains useful. It is made available for free download here with permission of the publishers Philip Allan Publishers Ltd. - see downloadable resources.

Back to top ↑

The design and development of interactive exhibitions: Animal Magic

Baynes K, Brochocka K, Patterson D and Meechan C. Clients: Edinburgh City Council and the National Museum of Wales. Budget £144,000 plus £35,000 for touring. 156,000 visitors. Opening venue: City Art Centre, Edinburgh October 1997 - January 1998.

Tour: Yorkshire Museums, York, June - September 1998; National Museums and Galleries of Wales, Cardiff, December 1998 - April 1999; Snibston Discovery Park, Coalville, Leicester, extended showing of separate sections during 1999; Clocktower Gallery, Croydon, February - June 2000.

The aim of this exhibition was to encourage children in family and school groups to look at animals both through the eyes of a scientist and an artist. It was a co-operation between the City Art Centre in Edinburgh and the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff with the design being developed in cooperation with specialists in both institutions.

The design work included a number of artists commissions, providing 'on-site' facilities for artists' workshop programmes and working with children in schools in Edinburgh.

The exhibition included a studio where children could study and draw bird and animal specimens including skeletons; a section of screen-based interactives; and an area for dressing up, acting and building with a variety of construction materials. The design task included adapting the exhibition for each site and the initial design had to make touring easy.

Back to top ↑

The design and development of interactive exhibitions: Design Works

Baynes K. Client: City of Birmingham. Initial Budget £138,000 plus £68,000 for the tour. 180,000 visitors. Opening venue: Gas Hall, City Art Gallery and Museum, Birmingham, June - August 1994.

Tour: City Art Centre, Edinburgh, October 1994 - January 1995; Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, May - August 1995; Clocktower Gallery, Croydon, March - June 1996. Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester, October - December 1996. Snibston Discovery Park, Coalville, Leicester, extended showing of separate sections during 1997; Baboro' Children's Festival, Galway, October 1997.

The interactive exhibition was designed to introduce children in family or school groups to some basic ideas about design. The design work included developing the concepts for the interactive elements and commissioning artists and designers to carry them out.

Three major artists' commissions formed focal points for the display. Professor Baynes worked with Topologikz to develop screen-based design activities and design games. The whole project was carefully linked to the National Curriculum in Design and Technology and Art and Design.

The Design task included adapting the exhibition for each site and the initial design had to make touring easy. The exhibition received very favorable reviews in the educational press and led on to two more exhibitions commissions: Artworks (1999) and Craftworks.

Back to top ↑

A bench-marking exercise on team working

Howard Denton. This project was commissioned by The Design Council and The Royal Academy of Engineering in 1995 to investigate the use of team-based design work in engineering design undergraduate courses in the UK. A bench marking exercise was conducted. Outcomes included the formal report and a number of papers including:

Back to top ↑

Education on the natural heritage for pre-school children (1995)

Baynes K and Brochocka K, report published by Scottish Natural Heritage, 148pp. The report was commissioned to assist Scottish National Heritage to shape and implement educational policy in relation to under 5's. This included provision for families at SNH sites, working with schools and nursery schools, interpretation work and relations with publishing and broadcast media.

The research provided SNH with a series of 'portraits' of young children and their ideas about the natural world, with recommendations for introducing them to basic concepts about conservation, biodiversity and habitats. The research included a series of seminars with 'key players' in Scotland and a wide ranging survey of practice abroad. The report has been adapted by SNH as the baseline for future development.

Back to top ↑

Search the School

Contact the School

Quick links

The Orange Series

IDATER online

Project examples

Contact us

Get in touch with the Design Education Research Group:

01509 222661 | Email