My Truck Story continues!

Any Ideas Why the Bird sits on the front of the kettle? It does have a functional requirement that is to whistle when the water is boiled but from an aesthetical meaning point of view the students deduced that the whistleing bird was reminiscent of the 3D figures that adorn luxury cars like Bentley and Rolls Royce and therefore suggesting that this kettle is a status object. The handle developed discussions around the fun nature of colourful wire beads maze that we played with as children.  These and further finding were presented as a group to the rest of the class.

Following Weeks 02 and 03


Standing back from the activities of weeks 2 and 3 I feel the project has lost some of its pace. In a PBL scenario how do the staff members ensure that energy is consistant from week to week? In this scenario the teacher definetley becomes the facilitator. In weeks 2 and 3 the project began to ask the students to make a replica truck cab based on measurements from week 1. Photos and movie can be found above. This group task enabled them to construct their group area scenario as each group has the task to design different areas of the cab, for instance getting in, sleep area, driver space etc. This making activity created a vibrant, and fun learning space though certain students backed off completley and watched whilst others really embraced the challenge. This was down to some students being more confident with wood construction and the use of saws and other tools. As Facilitator I found that it was important to set mini tasks for group members participating less though feel that next year students need to do a full separate session on the importance of group working inspired by Moon’s studies on Making Groups Work.

The importance of making.

Making is an essential and pleasurable part of the subject of design and often a reason for studying the subject. ‘Making’ steps with the learner through their studies beginning with exploring the basics of materials  such as cardboard, foam, wood and metal. A designer’s ‘mind’s eye’ can work in 3-D, rotating, adding, subracting but limit’s are soon found with complex constructions. This is where making is the only way to realise the vision. So we could say that designers are good at making, and should form an essential part of their learning process, this must begin at a basic level and develop into something that gives designers appreciation from others. It becomes clear that making explores new learning channels for the learners mind. Press and Cusworth (1996) state ‘Craft education appears to impart new styles of thinking, acting and problem solving to its students, which may be more appropriate than traditional learning systems, in our changing culture’. Moving away from pedalogical benefits, Gauntlett (2011) suggests the importance of making as a tool for engaging and a networking the world, ‘making is connecting because through making things and sharing them in the world, we increase our engagement and connection with our social and physical environments’. So we can see that making is important to learning. Craft (2007) talks about creativity in education with children and a technique that uses ‘possibility thinking’, ‘At its most fundamental, it involves the posing, in multiple ways, of the question ‘What if?’ – and therefore involves the shift from ‘what is this and what does it do?’ to ‘What can I do with this?’ and thus has implicit within it, the engagement of learners with what the CLASP team call ‘engagement with problems’ (Jeffrey, 2005 cited in Craft 2007, 3).

Install more reflection in the student journey!

This should take place at the beginning of the year. Making is connecting

The project after week 03 is interupted by easter for 3 weeks before we pick up from week 4 after easter, so I now have time to plan for week 4 to ensure I help the students focus on the project. I plan to do this in three ways:

1. Focused project individual tutorials to ensure they understand where they are at and what there targets are.

2. Clear the studio wall  as to create an atmosphere that ‘work need to be done’ to fill the wall.

3. 3 Dimensional model making of design proposals


Alvarado, A.E. (2003) Inquiry-based learning using everday objects . Thousand Oaks: Corwin Press.

Race, P. (2009) The Lecturer’s Toolkit: A practical guide to assesment, learning and teaching. (3rd ed.). Oxon: Routledge.

Gauntlett, D. (2011) Making is Connecting. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Craft, A.; Cremin, T.; Burnard, P. and Chappell, K. (2007). Developing creative learning through possibility thinking with children aged 3-7. In: Craft, A.; Cremin, T. and Burnard, P. eds. Creative Learning 3-11 and How We Document It. London, UK: Trentham, available at [accessed 19 May 12]


About despard

Educator in Design.
This entry was posted in A1 Design and plan learning activities, A2 Teach and/or support learning, A4 Develop effective learning environments/support students, K1 The subject material, K2 Appropriate methods for teaching in subject area, K3 How students learn in subject area, K4 The use of learning technologies, K5 Methods of evaluating effectiveness of teaching, V1 Respect learners and communities, V2 Promote participation, V3 Evidence-based approaches and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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