Design Technology

Design in the PYP

In the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP), teaching and learning experiences challenge students to be curious, ask questions, explore and interact with the environment physically, socially and intellectually to construct meaning and refine their understanding. Even when there is no design component in the PYP, the use of structured inquiry is a precursor to the problem-solving and inquiry-based approach of MYP design.

Design in the MYP

Design technology is based on a model of learning that incorporates knowledge, skills and design principles in problem-solving contexts. The design cycle is at the core of the course, and it is expected that students will use this process in practical investigative work, as well as in theory. Each element in the design cycle represents an aspect of design technology, which constitutes a holistic approach when viewed together.

All assessment throughout the year is a combination of formative class work such as presentations, activities and group tasks, along with summative internal assessments (practical investigations) and, most importantly, topic tests/exams. Design is the link between innovation and creativity, taking students’ thoughts and exploring the possibilities and constraints associated with products or systems, allowing them to redefine and manage the generation of further thought through prototyping, experimentation and adaptation. The learning and application of well-established design principles and processes are the core of design in the MYP and is known as the design cycle.

The aims of MYP design are to encourage and enable students to:

  • enjoy the design process, and develop an appreciation of its elegance and power
  • develop knowledge, understanding and skills from different disciplines to design and create solutions to problems using the design cycle
  • use and apply technology effectively as a means to access, process and communicate information, model and create solutions, and solve problems
  • develop an appreciation of the impact of design innovations for life, global society and environments
  • appreciate past, present and emerging design within cultural, political, social, historical and environmental contexts
  • develop respect for others’ viewpoints and appreciate alternative solutions to problems
  • act with integrity and honesty, and take responsibility for their own actions, developing effective working practices
  • adapt their approach to different design situations, but develop a common understanding of the process necessary to form valid and suitable solutions
  • understand their responsibility to the community and the environment, and that because decisions can have a huge impact, their ethics and morals can and should be questioned regularly
  • maintain an unbiased view of a situation and evaluate it objectively, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of a common product or system

In Years 7-9 students rotate through units, including product deign, digital design and food design. In Years 10-11 students complete a range of skill-based units, working through open-ended problems with the use of the design cycle at the core, with focuses on computer technology and design technology.

Design Technology in the DP

IB Diploma Design Technology SL/HL (Group 4 Sciences)

The Diploma Programme design technology course aims to develop internationally minded people whose enhanced understanding of design and the technological world can facilitate shared guardianship of the planet and create a better world. The course aims to develop a high level of design literacy by enabling students to develop critical thinking and design skills, which they can apply in a practical context. There are six core topics: human factors and ergonomics, resource management and sustainable production, modeling, raw material to final production, innovation and design, and classic design.