Teaching the design process in the grade 9 technology class.
The design process undergirds technology education and therefore it is quintessential to the teaching, learning and assessment of technology education. Since the introduction of technology education into the South African curriculum, there has been a series of changes that teachers have had to contend with: C2005, RNCS and now the NCS-CAPS. In the CAPS technology policy there has been a (re)-presentation of the design process from a linear to nonlinear. This (re)presentation of the design process has led to uncertainties amongst teachers of technology in terms of how the teaching of the design process should unfold. This study therefore explores grade 9 technology teachers’ views of the design process and how these views influence their teaching of the design process. Shulman’s Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) model (1986), the Argyris and Schön (1974) notion of “espoused theory” and “theory in use”, and Singh-Pillay’s (2010) notion of interface have been used to frame the research. A qualitative case study approach was used. Purposive and convenience sampling were used to obtain the respondents for this study. An open ended questionnaire, semi-structured interviews, observation of lessons and post-observation interviews were used to collect data. The study occurs in the Chatsworth West ward in Durban, KwaZulu Natal. The findings indicate that grade 9 technology teachers hold two core views of the design process, namely: design process as problem-solving and design process as a step-by-step process that provides “comfort” to learners during problem-solving. The findings indicate that teachers’ views of the design process are an amalgam of their diverse qualification in technology education, their pedagogical content knowledge, their previous teaching experience, their training and (re)training and iv existing support in the school ecosystem. Thus, it is concluded that the PCK of the technology teacher influences how they teach the design process to their learners. It is recommended that if the non-linear approach of problem-solving in the design process is to be adhered to then there is the need for the retraining and reskilling of technology teachers and that teacher education should also focus more on the development of the PCK of future teachers.