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This assignment shall debate the value of out-of-school sites, and provide lesson plans derived from a potential farm visit. It shall explain the rationale behind linked sessions

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Introduction

This assignment shall debate the value of out-of-school sites, and provide lesson plans derived from a potential farm visit. It shall explain the rationale behind linked sessions and include supporting resources in the appendix. Children develop when actively involved in their own evolution by means of exploration, and inspiration gained from their innate curiosity. Real-life scenarios increase productivity of imagination 'bringing education to life', which stimulates creativity. From this we can ascertain children should be taught in a manner that provides opportunities for concrete observations and occurrences, enabling them to explore ideas and thoughts first hand. This constructivist view is acknowledged by theorists: "Piaget recognised the extent to which children's interactions with the world around them contributes to their learning." (Oates, 2000, p27) Undoubtedly not all experiences that children can gain from education are physically possible within school, and for this reason it is important they have opportunities to visit places away from their establishment. Excursions if well planned can facilitate children's academic understanding and personal and social development. Equilibrium within programmes of study and the hidden curriculum provides students with reinforcement, amplifying constructive attitudes complementing work done within school. ...read more.

Middle

Children become conscious of contrasting colours, textures, and shapes which endow future learning and artistic progression, encouraging individuals to take an active role in their own development. Producing collages derived from a school visit strengthens observation, memory, harmonizing, and analytical skills, an opinion adopted by theorists: "Children should be taught to make drawings and studies of familiar natural forms and of ideas and experiences from memory and imagination, in order to develop the skills of recording ideas and observations". (Clement & Piotrowski, 1998, p66) Teachers must not provide children with only one form of collage, but produce paper, mixed, and fabric collages. Frequently children are given a selection of paper and little else, the determining factor being cost and availability. Using a variety of materials provides children with opportunities to choose pieces for their properties rather than function (Fisher, 1999). D&T provides children with chances to place their knowledge, understanding, and learning into a 'real-life' perspective, supplying intrinsic reinforcement across the spectrum of abilities. Pupils gain a sense of achievement and motivation being able to relate to subjects, rather than the lesson being purely theoretical. ...read more.

Conclusion

This hands-on experience engages children in active learning and action enquiries. The lesson objective of designing and creating a suitable structure for a cow, would involve children identifying opportunities to improve structures seen on the farm, in-turn improving the cows comfort and well being. This is an example of D&T improving a situation rather than solving a problem, and provides meaningful context to a class-based activity. By brainstorming ideas and providing photos of the structures on the visit at the beginning of the lesson, children will be able to discuss, reflect, and develop ideas, as well as assisting less confident students. Preceding this, children would be given time to develop ideas on paper which will inform their end product. It is important for children to understand that the design process is not straight forward, where an idea is chosen and then made exactly as thought, but actually a progression of ideas and alterations to determine a suitable outcome (Fisher, 1999). The importance of external visits has already been proven and supported by the DfES as above, as is the importance of 'hands on' experience for Art and Design Technology as stated below: 'Pupils understanding and enjoyment of art, craft, and design, should be developed through activities that bring together requirements from both investigating and making, and knowledge and understanding, wherever possible'. ...read more.

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