The courses share similar aims; for example:
- to help teachers develop their view of the nature of design and technology in the world;
- to help teachers develop their personal rationale for including design and technology in their children’s learning experiences;
-to give teachers personal practical experience of a technological design task; and to allow them to reflect on their own children’s experience of such activities;
- to provide teachers with the basis for developing learning experiences in design and technology with their own children; through reflecting on their own classroom practice and the work of others.
Although both courses could be studied by a teacher in isolation; in practice the materials are used in schools in conjunction with teacher colleagues. For example; E626 is a so called ’designated course’. Groups of primary teachers are funded to study the open learning material as part of a longer course offered by a Local Education Authority (LEA) which includes face-to-face and handson sessions. The University appoints the LEA tutor and is responsible for overall quality assurance procedures. In this way the benefits of supported self-study can be merged with the need for communal practical work in a mode of teacher education that ensures the school is the locus for action; reflection and assessment.