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ERIC Number: EJ868790
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 16
ISSN: ISSN-0046-2012
The Understated Value of Freehand Sketching in Technology Education
Lane, Diarmaid; Seery, Niall; Gordon, Seamus
Engineering Design Graphics Journal, v73 n3 p13-22 Aut 2009
As education plays such a vital role in economic competitiveness, it is no surprise that the focus for many governments is to invest in educational initiatives. Innovation in pedagogy, refined curriculum and much research into the science of teaching and learning is hoped to promote a knowledge economy. In recent years the Irish education systems have been particularly proactive in the area of technology education. Four new subjects were drafted at Senior Cycle level, all with a common philosophy grounded in design and technology. This clear shift in focus from the traditional craft based subjects to a more creative design-based suite of subjects has brought with it an unprecedented need for continuous professional development. This paper focuses on the shift in skill set from teaching in a predefined drawing mode to that of a conceptual mode that fosters creativity. As technical sketching is a fundamental building block of all design-based activities, it formed the core of this study. Focusing on the learning process under the descriptors of presage, process and product enabled a linear exploration of an otherwise complex dynamic learning experience. Although the perception of innate ability restricts the level of application of many teachers in terms of sketching, it proved a valuable attribute as a comparative criterion when selecting contributors. The study included participants that subjectively claimed an average standard of sketching capabilities and a polar group with a prerequisite mindset governed by the phrase "I cannot sketch". All participants completed a purpose designed five-week course of study. The course included much psychomotor skill development; however the significant value of the course content centred on the cognitive development that progressed from knowledge acquisition to synthesis. The paper concludes by highlighting the value of "Process" based education over the traditional "Product" approach and presents empirical evidence that illustrate enhanced cognitive capabilities of the participants. The use of pre and post intervention data and qualitative commentary validates the suggestion that there is a greater cognitive value to sketching than a completed composition. (Contains 10 figures.)
Engineering Design Graphics Division, American Society for Engineering Education. 1818 N Street NW Suite 600, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-331-3500; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ireland