McLain, Matt (2019, in press). Developing perspectives on ‘the demonstration’ as a signature pedagogy in design and technology education. International Journal of Technology and Design Education. 24 pp. (ePub in advance of print) (Link: (Accessible:

Abstract: This paper builds on a previous study of the ‘demonstration’ as a signature pedagogy in design and technology (D&T). The demonstration is a fundamental pedagogical tool in practical subjects, for the development of learners’ procedural knowledge, from observation and imitation to autonomy and adaption of a technique. As such, it tends to align itself at the restrictive end of an expansive–restrictive pedagogical continuum. In the preceding study, a dialogue emerged around the role of the teacher as a “competent management of the learning experience”, including teachers’ competency and clarity of subject knowledge. The findings of this study highlight two similar, yet distinct, perspectives of the teacher as an expert and the teacher as a facilitator. This study continues a developing professional conversation around the nature of the demonstration, exploring a snapshot of teacher educators’ subjective beliefs and values. The responses of the participants to a set of 62 statements, representing a range of potential opinions and perspectives, were deployed and analysed using Q methodology. The sample is purposive and comprised of D&T teacher educators based in England. The study draws parallels with direct instruction and demonstration, and concludes that there different approaches to and ways of viewing demonstration. In addition, further consideration of the expansive–restrictive continuum as a framework for planning and evaluating learning in D&T may support theorisation of the subject, inculcation of theory and research informed practice.

Matt McLain <> is Head of Secondary Programmes, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK.

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