ABSTRACT

As I illustrate below, the take-up of those vocational courses which focus mainly on aspects of Design and Technology has been small, particularly in schools. However, some consideration of Design and Technology-related vocational courses is justified in this book because these courses emerged, in curricular terms, from vocational traditions and practices and, institutionally, from the National Council for Vocational Qualifications and the Department of Employment. They have thus embodied somewhat different aims and assumptions and had rather different content, structure and assessment patterns compared with GCSE and GCE A level courses. Therefore some knowledge of Design and Technology in vocational courses is useful because it enables us to get outside the dominant assumptions which have shaped the subject within the school tradition and thus engage more critically with those assumptions. In addition, the reform of advanced level qualifications in September 2000 was designed to make it easier for students to mix academic and vocational studies and it is possible that the take-up of vocational qualifications

courses will increase, thus involving more Design and Technology teachers, although this is uncertain at the time of writing.