PAVLOVA and PITT, 2000. A design-based approach to technology education - is it acceptable practice in Russia? IDATER 2000 Conference, Loughborough: Loughborough University
This paper discusses the results of an evaluation of a curriculum development project, aimed at introducing a design-based or 'project' approach to Technology education in one of the central regions in Russia. The work was started four years ago and in October 1999 it was evaluated for the first time. Qualitative methodology has been used for this evaluation, including interviews with students and teachers, project leaders and regional administrators, as well as questionnaires to students and teachers, and analysis of documents.
The findings demonstrate that there is a very positive move in the 'right' direction and that the project has been successful. However, there are some deep, culturally rooted misinterpretations of the approach. Two main areas of concern have been discussed: understanding of the nature of projects in technology education and humanisation as a new epistemological basis for technology education. In the paper the interpretations of the findings are presented within the context of educational reform in Russia. Comparisons are drawn with trends in the practice of English teachers of Design and Technology.