disaffected, low ability, pupils, relevance
This paper reviews an action research project at a South Wales comprehensive school. Specific consideration is given to interview methodology as it generated a significant amount of the data
Initial work at the researcher’s school found that a group of low ability and disaffected pupils had a very positive perception of the “relevance” of design and technology. The literature reviewed
suggested pupils had a low perception of the “relevance” of design and technology. The researcher sought to understand this apparent dichotomy using action research principles and methods. Central to this was the use of interviews. Gathering data from a target group with low self-esteem and levels of literacy generates unique methodological challenges.
This paper reviews the interview methodology used to generate a significant amount of data in a long-term action research project at a South Wales comprehensive school. Curriculum and staffing constraints conspired to create a distinctive group in design and technology for low ability and disaffected pupils: a “sink” group. The groups consisted of a maximum of 16 pupils: Year 11- 11 boys and 5 girls, Year 10 – 9 boys and 5 girls.
Analysis of GCSE1 results over a three-year period identified that this group were gaining their best results in design and technology. Ipsitive analysis, comparing the same pupils’ results in different subjects, showed an average of +2.0 for the period. The Head of Design and Technology sought to identify factors that contributed to this.