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First published 2009
The aim of this is to help children develop the skills and attitudes needed for risk taking and innovation. It blends activities that help children design more effectively with a series of SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning) activities. All materials can be freely downloaded and customised for use with your class, printed out and copied for use in your school or educational establishment. The materials aim to promote innovation and risk-taking when children are designing. There are PowerPoint presentations and worksheets, detailed planning sheets for each designing activity and an explanation of each of the SEAL activities.
For most schools making is better taught than designing, through focused practical tasks, but there is little direct teaching of designing skills or opportunities for children to practise them before actually designing a product. In the worst cases, this can lead to a class making thirty five identical slippers. Children go through the motions of designing, but with limited designing skills at their disposal it is more difficult for them to personalise their design ideas and come up with something original.
The materials include a tutorial PowerPoint which shows how they fit together and links to SEAL approaches and designing activities. They can be used without any additional training, although feedback from Birmingham City University and teachers has highlighted the benefits of working through the strategies and approaches with colleagues before using them with your class.
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