Design audit to be applied in schools

A project aimed at giving pupils and staff a “design audit tool” is being piloted in schools as part of the Design Council’s Education & Training Foundation programme.

A project aimed at giving pupils and staff a “design audit tool” is being piloted in schools as part of the Design Council’s Education & Training Foundation programme.

The pilot, which is being carried out in six schools in London, is called Design Audit and will give pupils and teachers an opportunity to “use their own school environment as a basis for developing their critical thinking”, says a council spokeswoman.

The audit project was initiated by findings from the Design Council’s Design Focus in School’s research.

The programme was launched in March 1995 and looked at the role of design in schools as part of the National Curriculum and as part of the management process. It consisted of a series of nationwide discussions with educationalists, industrialists and students.

The exercise identified a need for developing cross-curricular applications of design so that problem-solving skills would facilitate learning in other subjects. The development of transferable skills through design teaching to equip future employees was also examined.

“We’ve started to address the clear themes which emerged from the Design in Focus project,” says Eileen Barlex, the council’s manager of secondary education.

Other activities initiated by the Design in Focus findings include an Open University project looking at the role design plays in making mathematical learning more accessible, and a study examining pupils’ attitudes to employment, which is being carried out by Industry in Education and Oxford University.

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