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ERIC Number: ED455174
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001
Pages: 10
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Problem of the Correct Answer.
Ziff, Matthew
When design teachers ask questions about design decisions, and about the works that result from those decisions, they are seeking an explanation and an evaluation of the process that led to the creation of the work. Additionally, they may seek an explication and evaluation of the work itself, apart from development and process issues. These kinds of questions are called "design questions," and students expect that answers to the questions exist. This paper proposes that this response is not unreasonable, yet it is inappropriate, and even counter-productive to the goal of learning how to design. The paper considers the different perceptions about design and design education of students and teachers, noting that the shift from high school to a college design program is a difficult one. It contends that making a successful transition to college can only occur if students are willing to embrace a transformation in their perception of what designing and design education are all about. First is the problem of "correct" and "incorrect" as the only possible, or most desirable, answers to questions that clearly do not have correct or incorrect answers. Second is the problematic notion that there is a "correct" answer to all questions. The paper concludes that most of the interesting issues in designing human environments are qualitative, defying meaningful quantitative analysis, and they change unexpectedly, demanding that students learn to search for solutions, not merely provide them. (BT)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A