Abstract

Due to its multidisciplinary aspects, the field of design is an open terrain in constant change. In this context the design education and the methods of teaching have to be constantly reviewed and updated. In order to complete this task, a research into the pedagogical practices has to be carried on, and to become almost as a “behind the curtains” activity for the teachers. A considerable extent of literature shows how design students work (Cross, Dorst, McDonnel, Stempfle); however most of the times the studies place the researcher/observer in a distanced position with respect to the working group. The following paper will consider several pedagogical situations, in which the active involvement of the teachers as designers was necessary. Furthermore analyzing the examples presented it will be shown how a series of research methods have to be used in order to insure the objectivity of the observation. For this reason it will be shown how the action research methodology can provide important insights for creating a methodological framework specific to the characteristic of the study. In the attempt to avoid any ambiguities about the notion of “action research” it will be underlined how the pedagogical action research refers to the studies and approach of Kemmis, Whitehead, and Nofke. In conclusion we suggest that instead of regarding the pedagogical content as a monolithic body of knowledge presented to the students, the richness of the pedagogical experience comes from the human interaction with the working group and can be seen as a work in progress puzzle that has to be solved with the active involvement of the students and teachers.

Keywords

teaching, design methods, action research, interactivity

COinS
 
Jul 1st, 12:00 AM

Learning by Teaching: An inquiry into the research methods of the active practice in design education

Due to its multidisciplinary aspects, the field of design is an open terrain in constant change. In this context the design education and the methods of teaching have to be constantly reviewed and updated. In order to complete this task, a research into the pedagogical practices has to be carried on, and to become almost as a “behind the curtains” activity for the teachers. A considerable extent of literature shows how design students work (Cross, Dorst, McDonnel, Stempfle); however most of the times the studies place the researcher/observer in a distanced position with respect to the working group. The following paper will consider several pedagogical situations, in which the active involvement of the teachers as designers was necessary. Furthermore analyzing the examples presented it will be shown how a series of research methods have to be used in order to insure the objectivity of the observation. For this reason it will be shown how the action research methodology can provide important insights for creating a methodological framework specific to the characteristic of the study. In the attempt to avoid any ambiguities about the notion of “action research” it will be underlined how the pedagogical action research refers to the studies and approach of Kemmis, Whitehead, and Nofke. In conclusion we suggest that instead of regarding the pedagogical content as a monolithic body of knowledge presented to the students, the richness of the pedagogical experience comes from the human interaction with the working group and can be seen as a work in progress puzzle that has to be solved with the active involvement of the students and teachers.

 

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