Tuesday, September 29, 2009

PRO Design education change

I am currently sending off applications to teach next year, and so this came of massive interest to me, and should to us all in general really.

In a speech delivered at the Liberal Democrat Party conference fringe in Bournemouth yesterday, David Kester (Design council chief executive) called for design to be more closely linked within Stem (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects. Earlier this year, Professor Sir Christopher Frayling, former rector of the Royal College of Art, called for design to be included as a Stem subject, saying:

‘The dots aren’t being joined up. Engineering and technology are rated, but design isn’t. The big issue now is making design a Stem subject.’

Kester called for a sustainability element to be embedded across education, and for the nature and value of creativity to become an integral part of all learning. He said, ‘Our educators have a responsibility to bring hard business and technological skills together with creative problem-solving capabilities.

I think it is evident that the importance and position of the subject is still being debated, and in our modern society where so many in creative design positions are very successful, I think it's almost unacceptable that this battle goes on. I am in complete agreement that design should be considered a stem subject. Design has clearly and consistently communicated it's benefit to professional industries. Not only this, but Design is a language, and one that must be nurtured and encouraged within young people. I believe passionately that the subject goes a long way to meeting intellectual, cultural, moral, spiritual and aesthetic needs. Even if the subject is not pursued, it still allows for a well balanced individual. Design is unique in that it sharpens perceptual skills, promotes independence and develops concepts and skills for practical use.


  1. I've just sent off my application for a PGCE so completely relevant on my part and I agree with you wholeheartedly. I read recently (can't remember where) that schools are fizzling out graphic design as a taught subject, only those that hold the 'technology' status or what not will keep it on. Ridiculous as a large proportion of students, like ourselves, follow design based subjects in to higher education.

  2. I've applied for the PGCE and GTP schemes also Rosie, I wish you loads of luck. While I was on work experience this summer, I found out that my old grammar school is no longer continuing Graphics at A-level. They say they no longer have the funding for it, and no suitable members of staff for the job. They are considering reinstating it, but not for a number of years. I joked that once I am a teacher, I would love to come back and start it up again. I cannot believe that students will no longer have the option to follow this subject up. It would definitely have forced me to leave my sixth form and head for a college. This shouldn't be the case, the option should always be available. They need to consider the real reasons why they are breaking this area of the Curriculum down, as at the moment there seems no fair justification. From talking to the students, a number of them were very disappointed.