Thursday, June 11, 2009

Planning and designing

As educators I think we invest considerable time and energy in planning for the learning experiences of our students. And planning is enshrined as a key professional skill in training programmes for teachers working at every stage of compulsory education. Design, particularly in the sense of curriculum design, is often the work of official bodies, examination boards, government agencies and so on. In this use of the word, design is associated with the aims and ambitions of a curriculum within the overarching project of education. So, for example, design has been described as ‘ active, willed, human process in which we make and remake the conditions of our existence...’ (Cope& Kalantzis, 2000:203). And yet we still talk about designing games, designing activities, and designing environments, perhaps because the concept captures the sense of creative possibility that has been drained out of the act of planning by the discourses of learning objectives, learning outcomes and lists of skills and competences. So let's all get back to design!

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