- REINFORCEMENT OF DESIGN EDUCATION IN COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOL ON THE EXAMPLE OF RAKVERE DESIGN WEEK
- Tutor: MA Helen Arov; MA Merike Rehepapp
- Master Thesis
The aim of the current master’s thesis is to investigate how to reinforce design education in general education schools in Rakvere with the help of the activities of the Design Week. In order to achieve the aim, the author of the thesis created the project of the Design Week which is targeted to school students and once a year in November gives the teachers of art, technology and other subjects an opportunity to integrate design into their classes by taking their
students on a field trip to a lesson given by a designer. The Design Week has taken place in 2016, 2017 and 2020 and based on the experience it is investigated how the opportunities offered suit the students as well as the teachers. With the help of the sub-questions, it is intended to find out what kind of support is needed by the teachers who would like to incorporate the topic of design into their lessons with the help of the Design Week; which different angles could the topic be approached from as well as which methods could be used for unfolding the essence of design.
Using design-based research methodology, the present thesis investigates the above-mentioned questions from the perspective of the development process of the Design Week. In 2020 a questionnaire among the participating teachers as well as the observations of the activities were carried out. With the help of the observation data, photo and video
materials, questionnaire results, the summary of the final meeting of the organisers and SWOT analysis, it was analysed which aspects of the Design Week 2020 were successful; which activities were appropriate to the age of the audience; which aspects did not turn out well enough and need to be improved; how the Design Week could become more compatible with the lessons and syllabuses as well as how to enhance the cooperation with the teachers. Participant observations were carried out as part of the Design Week in 2020. The questionnaire consisted of
multiple-choice questions and was created in Google Drive. The sample consisted of 20 teachers who had
participated with their students in Rakvere Design Week 2020. Photos and videos complement the observations. The text of the meeting between the partners and the organisers and the SWOT analysis give a broader picture of the event.
The results revealed that the Design Week serves nicely as a method for reinforcing design education, but the information aimed at the teachers should focus more thoroughly on the benefits of design education when integrated with other subjects.
Development opportunities include offering pre- and post-visit activities, designing longer learning models, a more thorough description of integrative learning opportunities, and setting more explicit goals to the designers giving the lessons.
The developing process also included recommendations for organizing next year’s Design Week 2021.