- Arthur C. Clarke
Human society has for millennia been shaped by the technological advances we have achieved, and modern society is now dominated by rapid technological change. The Technologies learning area prepares students to thrive in this ever changing world, as confident users and innovators of technologies.
While Digital Technologies have come to dominate modern perceptions of technology, from the stone axe and fire, to genetically engineered crops and nano technologies, technology is all around us and it is the role of teachers to develop student understanding and appreciation of technologies in all their forms.
This text unpacks the Australian Curriculum, Technologies learning area subject of Design and Technology. Together with Digital Technologies, these two subjects guide student understanding and skill development in their exploration of technology during their schooling, and provide a curriculum foundation upon which more detailed exploration of Design Thinking, and the activities teachers can do with their students at each year grouping,
Dr Jason Zagami
D&T1 Design and Technology examines the Australian Curriculum learning area of Technologies, and the subject Design and Technology within this learning area. Curriculum documents are written for teachers in a specific genre that can take some time to understand. Just as with other genres in the legal, medical or scientific professions, curriculum documents are written specifically for educators and assume familiarity with the genres style and structure. The following summary highlight some important aspects of the curriculum document (after the summary) but is only a summary and many aspects will only be understood when delving into the curriculum in detail.
Many teachers find it much easier to read curriculum documents in reverse, starting with the detailed expectations and elaboration of what students should be able to demonstrate at various years levels to make more concrete the abstract rationale, aims and structure descriptions. It is important though that teachers have an understanding and feel for where these specific activities and capabilities fit within the overall developmental curriculum from Foundation to Year 10 in order to set the expectations for Year Band activities at the right level, incorporating what students should already be able to do, and preparing students for what they will be expected to be able to do in subsequent years.
Summary to be read in conjunction with Design and Technology (below) or the PDF version.
The rationale explains why all Australian students from Foundation to Year 10 are taught about technology and the influence this learning will have on their lives.
Key points include:
The aims set out what teachers are to develop in students.
Key points include:
The Technologies learning area is organised into two subjects of Design and Technology, and Digital Technologies; and within these there are strands of: Knowledge and Understanding, and Process and Production Skills; with the curriculum detailed in year level bands of F-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8 and 9-10 with a spiral curriculum of concept development. Both subjects will develop in students 1. an understanding that we can see the world as complex systems that we can influence through our understanding of these systems to create the future that we prefer, and 2. such influence often involves complex projects that require management to be successful. Achievement standards describe what students should be able to demonstrate at the end of each band and will eventually include samples of annotated student work to assist teachers in making these judgements. Teachers will also need to consider student diversity, general capability development, cross-curriculum priorities, and how the technologies link to other learning areas when planning and teaching about technologies.
Key points include:
The Design and Technology (D&T) subject rationale explains why all Australian students from Foundation to Year 10 are taught about Design and Technology and the influence this learning will have on their lives. Key points include:
Key points include:
The aims set out what teachers are to develop in students.
Key points include:
The Design and Technology (D&T) subject is organised into two strands: 1. knowledge and understanding of the use, development and impact of technologies in people’s lives; and the available design concepts they can draw upon from a range of contexts, and 2. Processes and production skills of critiquing, exploring and investigating needs and opportunities; generating, developing and evaluating design ideas for designed solutions;; and planning, producing (making) and evaluating designed solutions.
Key points include:
The Australian Curriculum has guidelines provided for the minimum amount of time that schools and teachers should allocate to teaching each learning area to achieve the outcomes described in the curriculum. Schools and teachers however have between 21% and 51% (depending on year) of the total available teaching time unallocated, and this can be used to increase the minimum (allocated) time that students are entitled to be taught. For example, schools could decide to focus additional time on the teaching of Digital Technologies, adding some of the unallocated time to the required (allocated) time. Such decisions will be made at various levels from states, schools and teachers, as determined by curriculum priorities, staffing, and timetabling requirements. Unallocated time will also include other activities such as public holidays (six days), student-free days (five days), NAPLAN testing in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 (three days), and sports carnivals.
Time Allocation percentages of available teaching time
From Foundation to Year 2 students investigate and play with materials and tools, designing, producing and evaluating a range of solutions in the different contexts.
Specific examples and approaches are presented in Design and Technology: Foundation to Year 2.
By the end of Year 2 students should be able to describe the purpose of familiar products, services and environments; identify who designs and produces them, and how they meet the needs of users and affect others; and identify the properties of some materials, systems and technologies in a range of contexts.
Key points include:
From Year 3 to Year 4 students should build upon their previous learning to design, produce and evaluate designed solutions of increasing complexity in the different contexts.
Specific examples and approaches are presented in Design and Technology: Year 3 to Year 4.
By the end of Year 4 students should be developing a sense of self and ownership of their ideas and thinking. They will increasingly clarify their ideas with annotated diagrams, 3D models, and flow diagrams; and learn to manage their time and focus during projects.
Key points include:
From Year 5 to Year 6 students should continue to build upon their previous learning to design, produce and evaluate designed solutions of increasing complexity in the different contexts.
Specific examples and approaches are presented in Design and Technology: Year 5 to Year 6.
By the end of Year 6 students should be critically examining and developing technologies with increasing consideration of community and global impact. They should now be exploring unfamiliar ideas and contexts, creating solutions to problems that exist beyond their immediate needs and experiences, and balancing competing design considerations.
Key points include:
From Year 7 to Year 8 students should continue to build upon their previous learning to design, produce and evaluate designed solutions of increasing complexity in the different contexts.
Specific examples and approaches are presented in Design and Technology: Year 7 to Year 8.
By the end of Year 8 students should be testing their solutions and responding to feedback from others on their designs and solutions, and making changes to their designs and solutions based on this feedback.
Key points include:
From Year 9 to Year 10 students will specialise their studies in particular contexts.
Specific examples and approaches are presented in Design and Technology: Year 9 to Year 10.
By the end of Year 10 students should be developing detailed project management plans to develop creative and enterprising solutions that are increasingly innovative.
Key points include:
Technologies enrich and impact on the lives of people and societies globally. Australia needs enterprising individuals who can make discerning decisions about the development and use of technologies. It needs people who can independently and collaboratively develop innovative solutions to complex problems and contribute to sustainable patterns of living. Technologies, in their development and use, are influenced by – and can play an important role in transforming, restoring and sustaining – our societies and our natural, managed, constructed and digital environments.
The Technologies learning area draws together the distinct but related subjects of Design and Technologies and Digital Technologies. The Australian Curriculum: Technologies will ensure that all students benefit from learning about and working with traditional, contemporary and emerging technologies that shape the world in which we live. The ubiquity of digital technologies provides new ways of thinking, collaborating and communicating for people of all ages and abilities. A comprehensive education in Technologies provides opportunities for students to progress from creative and directed play through to the consolidation of knowledge, understanding and skills. This learning area provides opportunities for students to apply practical skills and processes when using technologies and resources to create innovative solutions that meet current and future needs.
All young Australians should develop capacity for action and a critical appreciation of the processes through which technologies are developed and how technologies can contribute to societies. They need opportunities to shape and challenge attitudes to the use and impact of technologies. They will do this by evaluating how their own solutions and those of others affect users, equity, sustainability, ethics, and personal and social values. In creating solutions, as well as responding to the designed world, they will contribute to sustainable patterns of living for themselves and others.
The Australian Curriculum: Technologies aims to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills to ensure that, individually and collaboratively, students:
The Australian Curriculum: Technologies Foundation to Year 10 is written on the assumption that all students from Foundation to Year 8 will study two subjects: Design and Technologies and Digital Technologies.
At Years 9 to 10, the Australian Curriculum: Technologies is written on the assumption that school authorities will decide whether students can choose to continue in one or both subjects and/or if technologies specialisations that do not duplicate these subjects will be offered.
The curriculum for each of Design and Technologies and Digital Technologies describes the distinct knowledge, understanding and skills of the subject and, where appropriate, highlights their similarities and complementary learning. This approach allows students to develop a comprehensive understanding of the nature of traditional, contemporary and emerging technologies. It also provides the flexibility – especially in the primary years of schooling – for developing integrated teaching programs that focus on both Technologies subjects and other learning areas.
Knowledge, understanding and skills in each subject is presented through two related strands:
Within each strand, key concepts and processes as outlined in Table 1.2.1 provide the focus for presentation of expected knowledge, understanding and skills across F–10.
It is intended that when implementing the curriculum, teachers will select technologies-specific content from the Knowledge and understanding strand and ask students to apply the skills in the Processes and production skills strand to that content.
The common strand structure provides an opportunity to highlight similarities across the two subjects that will facilitate integrated approaches to teaching. While the content descriptions are different for each subject there are clear relationships between the two strands in each subject. For example, ‘the use, development and impact of technologies/information systems in people’s lives’.
The Technologies curriculum focuses on systems thinking to develop the technologies knowledge, understanding and skills to provide a method for identifying and moving towards ethical, socially responsible and sustainable patterns of living. Systems thinking is a holistic approach where parts of a system are analysed individually to see the whole, the interactions and interrelationships between the parts and how these parts or components influence the system as a whole.
In both Design and Technologies and Digital Technologies this provides opportunities for students to engage in predicting outcomes and impacts of technological decisions for current and future generations and their environments. Students creatively and actively design solutions to meet present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Both subjects acknowledge the strong connection with the Australian Curriculum: Sustainability cross-curriculum priority.
The Technologies curriculum ensures that students are explicitly taught how to manage projects. This includes planning; evaluating processes; considering constraints; risk assessment and management; decision-making strategies; quality control; developing resource, finance, work and time plans; and collaborating and communicating with others at different stages of the process. Every technologies project involves the use of resources and it is critical that there is planning for sustainable use of resources when managing projects.
Technologies projects involve ethical, health and safety considerations. They are designed for the different needs (including consideration of personal and social beliefs and values) of consumers and clients, and for commercial realities. Students learn that when they and others engage in design thinking and technologies processes, they are responsible and accountable for their designs and solutions.
Project management is an essential element in building students’ capacity to successfully innovate in both Technologies subjects. Project work and project management occur as a part of everyday life and are critical to many fields of technologies employment. Technologies education allows students to develop skills to manage projects from identification of need or opportunity through conception to realisation. Project management is addressed in all years of schooling as individuals and groups of students plan how they will work to bring a design idea to fruition.
Assessing and managing risk in Technologies learning addresses the safe use of technologies and the risks that can impact on project timelines. It covers all necessary aspects of health, safety and injury prevention at any year level and in any technologies context when using potentially dangerous materials, tools and equipment. It includes ergonomics, safety including cyber safety, data security, and ethical and legal considerations when communicating and collaborating online.
The curriculum for each Technologies subject is written in bands of year levels:
Band level descriptions provide an overview of the content at each level. They also emphasise the interrelated nature of the two strands and the expectation that planning will involve integration of content from across the strands.
The Australian Curriculum: Technologies includes content descriptions at each band level. These describe the knowledge, understanding and skills that teachers are expected to teach and students are expected to learn. Content descriptions do not prescribe approaches to teaching in the Technologies subjects. The content descriptions have been written to ensure that learning is ordered appropriately and that unnecessary repetition is avoided. However, a concept or skill introduced in one band level may be revisited, strengthened and extended in later band levels.
Content descriptions are grouped to illustrate the clarity and sequence of development of concepts through and across the band levels. They support the ability to see the connections across strands and the sequential development of concepts from Foundation to Year 10.
Content elaborations are provided for Foundation to Year 10 as support material to illustrate and exemplify what is to be taught and to assist teachers in developing a shared understanding of the content descriptions. They are not intended to be comprehensive content points that all students need to be taught nor do they encompass every aspect of a content description.
Across Foundation to Year 10, achievement standards indicate the quality of learning that students should typically demonstrate by a particular point in their schooling.
The sequence of achievement standards in each Technologies subject describes progress in the learning area, demonstrating a broad sequence of expected learning. This sequence provides teachers with a framework of growth and development in each Technologies subject.
An achievement standard describes the quality of learning (the depth of conceptual understanding and the sophistication of skills) that would indicate the student is well-placed to commence the learning required at the next level of achievement.
The achievement standards for Technologies reflect the distinctive practices of each subject along with aspects of learning that are common to all Technologies subjects. Subject-specific terminology and organisation reflect the essential characteristics of learning in each subject.
The achievement standards also reflect differences in the nature and scope of the learning in each Technologies subject, as well as the relationship between the interrelated strands: Knowledge and understanding and Processes and production skills.
Achievement standards will be accompanied by portfolios of annotated student work samples that illustrate the expected learning and help teachers to make judgments about whether students have achieved the standard.
The Australian Curriculum: Technologies is based on the principle that all young Australians are entitled to engage fully in a range of technologies and to be given a balanced and substantial foundation in the special knowledge and skills base of each.
Complementing the band level descriptions of the curriculum, this advice describes the nature of learners and the curriculum across the following year-groupings:
Students bring to school diverse backgrounds and a range of experiences in Technologies. The Technologies curriculum builds on these as rich resources for further learning about each of the technologies subjects.
In Foundation to Year 2, the Technologies curriculum builds on the Early Years Learning Framework and its key learning outcomes: children have a strong sense of identity; children are connected with, and contribute to, their world; children have a strong sense of wellbeing; children are confident and involved learners; and children are effective communicators.
In the early years play is important in how students learn; it provides a form of engagement and a sense of purpose to their activities. In Technologies, students have opportunities to learn through purposeful and directed play to develop attitudes of care in relation to the places and resources they use. Through these processes they identify relationships between imagined and virtual worlds and the real world, between people and products, and between resources and environments. They explore materials and technologies and use drawing and modelling to communicate their design ideas. Students will learn about and experience connections between technologies and the designed world. They will begin to learn the importance of preparing precise instructions when solving problems using digital systems, creating ideas and information and sharing them online with known people.
Through the primary years, students draw on their growing experience of family, school and the wider community to develop their understanding of the world and their relationships with others. During these years of schooling, students’ thought processes become more complex and consistent, and they gradually become more independent. Students also develop their capacity to work in teams. They develop a sense of social, ethical and environmental responsibility and are interested in and concerned about the future. Students may talk about changes in their own thinking and making, giving reasons for their actions and explaining and demonstrating their organisation and sequence of ideas. They begin to recognise, appreciate and value the different ways in which others think and respond to problems and situations, including those with a regional perspective. They respond resourcefully to a range of design and computing problems and situations using creative and innovative ideas to realise solutions. They communicate and record their ideas in diagrams and drawings using manual and digital technologies. They explain the main functions of their solutions and the materials, systems and technologies which could be used.
In these years, learning in Technologies occurs both through integrated curriculum and Technologies subject-specific approaches. Students’ motivation to play in the early years develops into an interest in learning technologies thinking, processes and production. Students in these years increasingly recognise the connections between Technologies and other learning areas.
As students move into adolescence, they undergo a range of important physical, cognitive, emotional and social changes. Students often begin to question established community conventions, practices and values. Their interests extend well beyond their own communities and they develop their concerns about wider social, ethical and sustainability issues. Students in this age range increasingly look for and value learning they perceive as relevant, consistent with personal goals, and leading to important outcomes. Increasingly they are able to work with more abstract concepts and are keen to examine evidence and ideas.
In the Technologies learning area, students use technologies knowledge and understanding, technologies processes and production skills and design, systems and/or computational thinking to solve and produce creative solutions to problems, needs or opportunities. They communicate and record their ideas using a range of media and technologies. These specialised problem-solving activities will be sophisticated, acknowledge the complexities of contemporary life and may make connections to related specialised occupations and further study.
Increasingly, students develop a global perspective, with opportunities to understand the complex interdependencies involved in the development of technologies and between the developer and user in their technologies solutions, and how these can contribute to preferred futures. Students will develop an understanding of the interdependence of technologies development, values, beliefs and environment. Through undertaking technologies processes students develop design, computational and systems thinking; and organisational and project management skills.
ACARA is committed to the development of a high-quality curriculum for all Australian students that promotes excellence and equity in education.
All students are entitled to rigorous, relevant and engaging learning programs drawn from the Australian Curriculum: Technologies. Teachers take account of the range of their students’ current levels of learning, strengths, goals and interests and make adjustments where necessary. The three-dimensional design of the Australian Curriculum, comprising learning areas, general capabilities and cross-curriculum priorities, provides teachers with flexibility to cater for the diverse needs of students across Australia and to personalise their learning.
More detailed advice has been developed for schools and teachers on using the Australian Curriculum to meet diverse learning needs. It is available under Student Diversity on the Australian Curriculum website.
The Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and the Disability Standards for Education 2005 require education and training service providers to support the rights of students with disability to access the curriculum on the same basis as students without disability.
Many students with disability are able to achieve educational standards commensurate with their peers, as long as the necessary adjustments are made to the way in which they are taught and to the means through which they demonstrate their learning.
In some cases curriculum adjustments are necessary to provide equitable opportunities for students to access age-equivalent content in the Australian Curriculum: Technologies. Teachers can draw from content at different levels along the Foundation to Year 10 sequence. Teachers can also use the extended general capabilities learning continua in Literacy, Numeracy and Personal and social capability to adjust the focus of learning according to individual student need.
Students for whom English is an additional language or dialect (EAL/D) enter Australian schools at different ages and at different stages of English language learning and have various educational backgrounds in their first languages. While many EAL/D students bring already highly developed literacy (and numeracy) skills in their own language to their learning of Standard Australian English, there are a significant number of students who are not literate in their first language, and have had little or no formal schooling.
While the aims of the Australian Curriculum: Technologies are the same for all students, EAL/D students must achieve these aims while simultaneously learning a new language and learning content and skills through that new language. These students may require additional time and support, along with teaching that explicitly addresses their language needs. Students who have had no formal schooling will need additional time and support in order to acquire skills for effective learning in formal settings.
A national English as an Additional Language or Dialect: Teacher Resource has been developed to support teachers in making the Australian Curriculum: Foundation to Year 10 in each learning area accessible to EAL/D students.
Teachers can use the Australian Curriculum: Technologies flexibly to meet the individual learning needs of gifted and talented students.
Teachers can enrich student learning by providing students with opportunities to work with learning area content in more depth or breadth; emphasising specific aspects of the general capabilities learning continua (for example, the higher-order cognitive skills of the Critical and creative thinking capability); and/or focusing on cross-curriculum priorities. Teachers can also accelerate student learning by drawing on content from later band levels in the Australian Curriculum: Technologies and/or from local state and territory teaching and learning materials.
In the Australian Curriculum, the general capabilities encompass the knowledge, skills, behaviours and dispositions that, together with curriculum content in each learning area and the cross-curriculum priorities, will assist students to live and work successfully in the twenty-first century.
There are seven general capabilities:
In the Australian Curriculum: Technologies, general capabilities are identified wherever they are developed or applied in content descriptions. They are also identified where they offer opportunities to add depth and richness to student learning through content elaborations.
Initials or abbreviations of titles indicate where general capabilities have been identified in Technologies content. Teachers may find further opportunities to incorporate explicit teaching of the capabilities depending on their choice of activities. Students may also be encouraged to develop capabilities through personally relevant initiatives of their own design.
The following descriptions provide an overview of how general capabilities are addressed in the Australian Curriculum: Technologies, noting that the emphasis on each general capability will vary from one Technologies subject to another. Detailed general capabilities materials, including learning continua, can be found on the Australian Curriculum website.
Students become literate as they develop the knowledge, skills and dispositions to interpret and use language confidently for learning and communicating in and out of school and for participating effectively in society. Literacy involves students in listening to, reading, viewing, speaking, writing and creating oral, print, visual and digital texts, and using and modifying language for different purposes in a range of contexts.
Students develop literacy capability as they learn how to communicate ideas, concepts and detailed proposals to a variety of audiences; recognise how language can be used to manipulate meaning; read and interpret detailed written instructions for specific technologies, often including diagrams and procedural writings such as software user manuals, design briefs, patterns and recipes; prepare accurate, annotated engineering drawings, software instructions and coding; write project outlines, briefs, concept and project management proposals, evaluations, engineering, life cycle and project analysis reports; and prepare detailed specifications for production.
By learning the literacy of Technologies students understand that language varies according to context and they increase their ability to use language flexibly. Technologies vocabulary is often technical and includes specific terms for concepts, processes and production. Students learn to understand that much technological information is presented in the form of drawings, diagrams, flow charts, models, tables and graphs. They also appreciate the importance of listening, talking and discussing in technologies processes, especially in articulating, questioning and evaluating ideas.
Students become numerate as they develop the knowledge and skills to use mathematics confidently across other learning areas at school and in their lives more broadly. Numeracy involves students in recognising and understanding the role of mathematics in the world and having the dispositions and capacities to use mathematical knowledge and skills purposefully.
The Technologies curriculum provides opportunities for students to interpret and use mathematical knowledge and skills in a range of real-life situations. Students use number to calculate, measure and estimate; interpret and draw conclusions from statistics; measure and record throughout the process of generating ideas; develop, refine and test concepts; and cost and sequence when making products and managing projects. In using software, materials, tools and equipment, students work with the concepts of number, geometry, scale, proportion, measurement and volume. They use three-dimensional models, create accurate technical drawings, work with digital models and use algorithmic thinking in decision-making processes when designing and creating best-fit solutions.
Students develop ICT capability as they learn to use ICT effectively and appropriately to access, create and communicate information and ideas, solve problems and work collaboratively, and in their lives beyond school. The capability involves students in learning to make the most of the digital technologies available to them. They adapt to new ways of doing things as technologies evolve, and limit the risks to themselves and others in a digital environment.
While much of the explicit teaching of ICT occurs in the Digital Technologies subject, key ICT concepts and skills are strengthened, complemented and extended in Design and Technologies as students engage in a range of learning activities with ICT demands.
In Digital Technologies, students create solutions that consider social and environmental factors when operating digital systems with digital information. They develop and apply an understanding of the characteristics of data, digital systems, audiences, procedures and computational thinking. They apply this when they investigate, communicate and create purpose-designed information solutions. Students learn to formulate problems, logically organise and analyse data and represent it in abstract forms. They automate solutions through algorithmic logic. Students determine the best combinations of data, procedures and human and physical resources to generate efficient and effective information solutions.
In Design and Technologies students learn how to operate specific software tools and digital hardware to assist them to realise their design ideas. This occurs when they investigate, research and analyse information and evaluate design ideas. They communicate and
collaborate online. Students develop innovative and creative design ideas; generate plans and diagrams to communicate their designs and produce solutions using digital technologies, for example creating simulations, drawings and models and manufacturing solutions (from basic drawing programs to computer-aided design/manufacture and rapid prototyping).
Students develop capability in critical and creative thinking as they learn to generate and evaluate knowledge, clarify concepts and ideas, seek possibilities, consider alternatives and solve problems. Critical and creative thinking are integral to activities that require students to think broadly and deeply using skills, behaviours and dispositions such as reason, logic, resourcefulness, imagination and innovation in all learning areas at school and in their lives beyond school.
Students develop capability in critical and creative thinking as they imagine, generate, develop, produce and critically evaluate ideas. They take into account sustainability and changing economic, environmental and social needs and concerns. They develop reasoning and abstract thinking capabilities through challenging problems that do not have straightforward solutions. Students analyse problems, refine concepts and reflect upon the decision-making process by engaging in computational, design and systems thinking. They identify, explore and clarify technologies information and use that knowledge in a range of situations and challenges.
Students think critically and creatively about possible, probable and preferred futures. They consider how technologies, data, information, materials and systems (past and present) impact upon our lives, and how these elements might be better designed and managed. Experimenting, drawing, modelling, designing and working with digital tools, equipment and software assists students to build their visual and spatial thinking and to create solutions, products, services and environments.
Students develop personal and social capability as they learn to understand themselves and others, and manage their relationships, lives, work and learning more effectively. The capability involves students in a range of practices including recognising and regulating emotions; developing empathy for others and understanding relationships, establishing and building positive relationships; making responsible decisions; working effectively in teams, handling challenging situations constructively and developing leadership skills.
Students develop personal and social capability as they engage in project management. They direct their own learning, plan and carry out investigations, and become independent learners who can apply design thinking, technologies understanding and skills to decisions they will have to make in the future. Through collaborating with others, students develop their social and employability skills. They learn to work cooperatively in teams, make group decisions, resolve conflict and show leadership. Designing and innovation involve a degree of risk-taking and resilience, as students work with the uncertainty of sharing new ideas they develop resilience.
The Technologies learning area enhances personal and social capability by developing students’ social awareness. This includes awareness of diversity, which students gain through researching and identifying user needs. Students consider past and present impacts of decisions on people, communities and environments. They develop social responsibility through understanding, tolerance of and empathy and respect for others and themselves.
Students develop the capability to behave ethically as they identify and investigate the nature of concepts, values, character traits, and principles, and understand how reasoning and consideration of the rights of others can assist ethical judgment. Ethical behaviour involves students in building a strong personal and socially oriented ethical outlook that helps them to manage context, conflict and uncertainty, and to develop an awareness of the influence that their values and behaviour have on others.
Students develop the capacity to understand and apply ethical principles and social responsibility when collaborating, creating, sharing and using technologies, materials, data, processes, tools and equipment. Using an ethical lens, they will investigate past, current and future local, national, regional and global technological priorities. They will evaluate their findings against the criteria of legality, environmental sustainability, economic viability, health, social and emotional responsibility and cultural awareness. They explore complex issues associated with technologies, consider possibilities and will be encouraged to develop informed values and attitudes.
They will learn about their own roles and responsibilities as discerning citizens, including detecting bias and inaccuracies. Understanding the protection of data, intellectual property and individual privacy in the school environment assists students to become ethical digital citizens. Students will learn about safe and ethical procedures for investigating and working with data, materials, people and animals, and will consider the rights of others and their responsibilities in using sustainable practices that protect the planet and its life forms.
Students develop intercultural understanding as they learn to value their own cultures, languages and beliefs, and those of others. They come to understand how personal, group and national identities are shaped, and the variable and changing nature of culture. The capability involves students in learning about and engaging with diverse cultures in ways that recognise commonalities and differences, create connections with others and cultivate mutual respect.
In the Technologies learning area students consider how technologies are used in diverse communities at local, national, regional and global levels. This includes their impact and potential to transform people’s lives. Students explore ways in which past and present practices enable people to use technologies to interact with one another across cultural boundaries. Students investigate how cultural identities and traditions influence the function and form of solutions, products, services and environments designed to meet the needs of daily life.
In their interactions with others, students consider the dynamic and complex nature of cultures, including values, beliefs, practices and assumptions. They recognise and respond to the challenges of cultural diversity. Students take responsibility for securing positive outcomes for members of all cultural groups including those faced with prejudice and misunderstanding.
There are three cross curriculum priorities in the Australian Curriculum:
The cross curriculum priorities are embedded in the curriculum and will have a strong but varying presence depending on their relevance to each of the learning areas.
In the Australian Curriculum: Technologies the priority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures provides creative, engaging and diverse learning contexts for students to value and appreciate the contribution by the world’s oldest continuous living cultures to past, present and emerging technologies.
Students identify and explore the rich and diverse knowledge and understandings of technologies employed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in past, present and future applications. They understand that the technologies of the world’s first and most continuous culture often developed through intimate knowledge of Country/Place and Culture.
Students identify, explore, understand and analyse the interconnectedness between technologies and Identity, People, Culture and Country/Place. They explore how this intrinsic link guides Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in sustaining environments, histories, cultures and identities. Students apply this knowledge and understanding within Design and Technologies and Digital Technologies to create appropriate and sustainable products, services and environments to meet personal, local, national, regional and global demands.
In this learning area, students explore how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ capacity for innovation is evident through the incorporation and application of a range of traditional, contemporary and emerging technologies and practices to purposefully build and/or maintain cultural, community and economic capacity. Students apply this knowledge and understanding throughout the processes of observation, critical and creative thought, action, experimentation and evaluation.
In the Australian Curriculum: Technologies the priority of Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia provides diverse and authentic contexts to develop knowledge and understanding of technologies processes and production and related cultural, social and ethical issues. It enables students to recognise that interaction between human activity and the diverse environments of the Asia region continues to create the need for creative solutions and collaboration with others, including Australians, and has significance for the rest of the world.
The Australian Curriculum: Technologies provides opportunities for students to explore traditional, contemporary and emerging technological achievements in the countries of the Asia region. Students apply this knowledge and understanding to create appropriate and sustainable products that reflect intercultural, creative and critical thinking to meet identified needs. In this learning area, students appreciate the diversity of the Asia region. They examine contributions that the people of the Asia region have made and continue to make to global technological advances. They consider the contributions that Australia has made and is making to the Asia region. Students explore Australia’s rich and ongoing engagement with the peoples and countries of Asia to create appropriate products and services to meet personal, community, national, regional and global needs.
In the Australian Curriculum: Technologies the priority of sustainability provides authentic contexts for creating preferred futures. When identifying and critiquing a need or opportunity, generating ideas and concepts, and producing solutions, students give prime consideration to sustainability by anticipating and balancing economic, environmental and social impacts.
The Australian Curriculum: Technologies prepares students to take action to create more sustainable patterns of living. The curriculum focuses on the knowledge, understanding and skills necessary to design for effective sustainability action. It reflects on human need and equity of access to limited resources. The curriculum recognises that actions are both individual and collective endeavours shared across local and global communities. The curriculum provides a basis for students to explore their own and competing viewpoints, values and interests. Students work with complexity, uncertainty and risk; make connections between disparate ideas and concepts; self-critique; and propose creative and sustainable solutions.
In this learning area, students focus on the knowledge, understanding and skills necessary to choose technologies and systems with regard to costs and benefits. They evaluate the extent to which the process and designed solutions embrace sustainability. Students reflect on past and current practices, and assess new and emerging technologies from a sustainability perspective.
Learning in Technologies involves the use of knowledge, understanding and skills learned in other learning areas, particularly in English, Mathematics, Science, Geography, The Arts and Health and Physical Education.
In schools across Australia there is strong support for linking learning in Technologies with learning literacy skills. Learning in Technologies places a high priority on accurate and unambiguous communication. The Australian Curriculum: Technologies is supported by and in turn reinforces the learning of literacy skills. Students need to describe objects and events; interpret descriptions; read and give instructions; generate and explore ideas with others; write design briefs and specifications, marketing texts, evaluation and variation reports; and participate in group discussions.
The Technologies curriculum provides contexts within which Mathematics knowledge, understanding and skills may be applied and developed. In Technologies, students process data using simple tables, lists, picture graphs, simple column graphs and line graphs. In Mathematics, students' data analysis skills will develop to include scatter plots, linear graphs and the gradient of graphs. This will enhance their ability to analyse patterns and trends in data as part of technologies investigations.
Students develop their use of metric units in both the Mathematics and Technologies curriculums. The ability to convert between common metric units of length and mass and their use of decimal notation in Mathematics will enable them to represent and compare data in meaningful ways in Technologies. Technologies provide tools for automating mathematical processes which reinforce Mathematics concepts. In Mathematics, students learn statistical methods that may be applied to the quantitative analysis of data required in Technologies. Students apply knowledge of geometry, shapes and angles in Technologies.
When considering systems at a vast range of scales in Technologies, students use their mathematical knowledge of timescales and intervals. Students’ mathematical ability to solve problems involving linear equations can be used in Technologies when investigating quantitative relationships and designing algorithms. The development of computational thinking skills in Digital Technologies will complement the problem-solving and reasoning proficiency strands in Mathematics.
The Technologies curriculum closely complements the Science curriculum. Design and Technologies draws upon concepts from biological, chemical and physical sciences to solve problems and design solutions to meet human needs and opportunities. Links with the Science curriculum allow for applications of scientific concepts through designing real-world solutions that are meaningful to students. An example would be applying scientific concepts when designing in an engineering context. Students apply knowledge of material properties and characteristics and do appropriate scientific tests of materials, processes and prototypes. Design and Technologies contextualises learning in Science through engagement with authentic projects. It allows for critiquing, applying prior knowledge and evaluating outcomes.
The Digital Technologies curriculum provides many techniques and technologies for automating the collection, storage and analysis of authentic scientific data in the Science curriculum. Digital technologies such as data loggers, spreadsheets, databases, simulations and imaging technologies are central to modern science. They are used to collect and organise scientific measurements and to derive information by filtering, analysing and visualising large volumes of numerical, categorical and structured data. Digital Technologies provides students with the skills to represent data in ways that enable computational analysis. Scientists use digital technologies to develop software for simulating and modelling natural systems and phenomena. Digital technologies give students the skills to implement simple simulations and gain a deeper understanding of Science concepts and models by interacting with simulations.
History provides another avenue to understand how technologies develop and how their developments are a source of historical facts and artefacts. In the Knowledge and understanding strands students will develop increasingly sophisticated knowledge and understanding, drawn from contemporary and historical sources. It is important that students learn that technologies have developed through the gradual accumulation of knowledge over many centuries; that all sorts of people – including people like themselves – use and contribute to the development of technologies. Historical studies of technologies in a range of societies including the peoples and countries of Asia and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures extending to modern times will help students understand the contributions of people from around the world.
The Geography curriculum provides a range of opportunities for students to consolidate their Technologies knowledge, understanding and skills. From the early years students sort information, find patterns and interact with digital systems as they develop spatial understandings, particularly as they create, interpret and use maps. They use directional language; understand scale and distance; and record data related to weather. They create products and systems that measure and further develop their understanding of the influences of climate and weather conditions. They use digital tools to collect and sort information and data and there is a significant emphasis on digital and spatial technologies.
Students strengthen their Technologies understanding and skills as they study the environmental characteristics of places, processes and human significance. During their investigations they collect and convert data into useful forms using spreadsheets, graphs and distribution maps. Students consolidate their understandings of sustainability as they investigate human significance of the biophysical environment and design and manage projects that enhance their understanding of the fine balance between the environment and human endeavour.
Through Design and Technologies, concepts and learning that are addressed in Geography are contextualised through the design and production of products, services and environments through specific targeted projects that relate to sustainability, the environment and society. They critique, design and produce solutions for managed and constructed environments. Learning is further enhanced through authentic activities that focus on enterprising and innovative solutions to perceived needs.
The Technologies curriculum complements The Arts curriculum, particularly in the application of the elements and principles of design in Visual Arts and in the use of digital technologies in Media Arts. Through the Technologies curriculum aspects of aesthetics such as line, shape, form, colour, texture, proportion and balance are incorporated into the design processes in Technologies learning activities. This occurs when students design products and environments. Knowledge of materials, tools and equipment and the ways they can be used to create designed solutions provides links between Technologies and two and three-dimensional design in Visual Arts. Skills developed in Visual Arts such as representing and exploring creative ideas through sketching and drawing complement processes used in Design and Technologies to generate ideas to create solutions.
Students learn about multimedia across the Australian Curriculum. In Digital Technologies the focus is on the technical aspects of multimedia, and privacy and intellectual property concerns. In Media Arts students use digital technologies to tell stories, represent and communicate ideas and explore concepts. Making in Media Arts involves designing, planning, producing, capturing and recording, choosing, combining and editing, and representing and distributing.
The Australian Curriculum: Technologies will take account of what students will learn in Health and Physical Education. Students will explore how systems work together to produce energy and movement and be able to apply this in technologies contexts. They will develop and practise technical skills which will assist students in developing manipulative skills in Technologies and apply learning particularly in relation to nutrition.
In the Australian Curriculum students may be taught about food and nutrition in both Health and Physical Education and in the Technologies learning area through Design and Technologies. The focus in the Health and Physical Education curriculum is on understanding healthy choices in relation to nutrition, understanding the range of influences on these choices, and developing and applying the knowledge, understanding and skills to make healthier choices in relation to food and nutrition. In Technologies students will learn how to apply nutrition knowledge through the preparation of food. Beyond Year 8 students may choose to study a food-related subject offered by states and territories.
In the Australian Curriculum: Technologies the two strands, Knowledge and understanding and Processes and production skills, are interrelated and inform and support each other. When developing teaching and learning programs, teachers combine aspects of the strands in different ways to provide students with learning experiences that meet their needs and interests. There are opportunities for integration of learning between Technologies subjects and with other learning areas.
Engaging learning programs will provide opportunities for students to:
Although the individual Technologies subjects of Design and Technologies and Digital Technologies form the basis of the Australian Curriculum: Technologies, students explore how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ capacity for innovation is evident through the critical processes of observation, action, experimentation and evaluation. These processes reflect traditional, contemporary and emerging technologies which produce a range of products, services and environments. This learning involves exploration of traditional, contemporary and emerging technologies from different societies, including from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. Such technologies might:
While content descriptions do not repeat key skills across the band levels, it should be noted that many aspects of Technologies curriculum are recursive, and teachers need to provide ample opportunity for revision, ongoing practice and consolidation of previously introduced knowledge and skills.
Students learn at different rates and in different stages. Depending on each student’s rate of learning or the prior experience they bring to the classroom, not all of the content descriptions for a particular band level may be relevant to a student in those year levels.
Some students may have already learned a concept or skill, in which case it will not have to be explicitly taught to them in the band level stipulated. Other students may need to be taught concepts or skills stipulated for earlier band levels. The content descriptions in the Australian Curriculum: Technologies enable teachers to develop a variety of learning experiences that are relevant, rigorous and meaningful and allow for different rates of development, in particular for younger students and for those who require additional support.
Some students will require additional support to develop their skills in specific Technologies subjects.
In the Australian Curriculum: Technologies it is expected that appropriate adjustments will be made for some students to enable them to access and participate in meaningful learning, and demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and skills across the Technologies subjects. To provide the required flexibility teachers need to consider the abilities of each student and adopt options for curriculum implementation that allow all students to participate. This might involve students using modified tools, materials or equipment to create solutions.
Teachers use the Australian Curriculum content and achievement standards first to identify current levels of learning and achievement and then to select the most appropriate content (possibly from across several year levels) to teach individual students and/or groups of students. This takes into account that in each class there may be students with a range of prior achievement (below, at or above the year level expectations) and that teachers plan to build on current learning. Organisation of the curriculum in band levels provides an additional level of flexibility that supports teachers to plan and implement learning programs that are appropriate for all students and make best possible use of available resources.
Teachers also use the achievement standards at the end of a period of teaching to make on balance judgments about the quality of learning demonstrated by the students – that is, whether they have achieved below, at or above the standard. To make these judgments, teachers draw on assessment data that they have collected as evidence during the teaching period. These judgments about the quality of learning are one source of feedback to students and their parents and inform formal reporting processes.
If a teacher judges that a student’s achievement is below the expected standard, this suggests that the teaching programs and practice should be reviewed to better assist individual students in their learning in the future. It also suggests that additional support and targeted teaching will be needed to ensure that students are appropriately prepared for future studies in specific Technologies subjects.
Assessment of the Australian Curriculum: Technologies takes place at different levels and for different purposes, including:
Learning in Design and Technologies involves the creative processes through which products, services and environments are designed and developed. Students learn that the design, development and use of technologies are influenced by and can play a role in enriching and transforming societies and our natural, managed, constructed and digital environments.
The Australian Curriculum: Design and Technologies actively engages students in producing quality designed solutions to identified problems or opportunities across a range of technologies contexts. In doing so, students consider social, economic, environmental, ethical, legal, aesthetic and functional factors. Through Design and Technologies students manage projects independently and collaboratively from conception to realisation. They develop a sense of pride, satisfaction and enjoyment from their ability to develop innovative designed solutions. They have the opportunity to contribute to the development of futures that provide sustainable patterns of living.
Design and Technologies develops students' knowledge and confidence to analyse critically and respond creatively to the challenges of a highly technological and complex future. They learn to design, produce and evaluate innovative technological designed solutions. Through the practical application of technologies, students develop manual dexterity and coordination through hands-on activities. The subject engages and motivates young people and provides them with learning experiences to develop skills that are transferable to family and home, constructive leisure activities, community contribution and the world of work. This rationale complements and extends the rationale for the Technologies learning area.
In addition to the overarching aims for the Australian Curriculum: Technologies, Design and Technologies more specifically aims to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills to ensure that, individually and collaboratively, students:
The Australian Curriculum: Design and Technologies comprises two related strands:
Within each strand, key concepts and processes as outlined in Table 2 provide the focus for content and present a sequence of development of knowledge, understanding and skills across the bands.
Together, the two strands provide students with knowledge, understanding and skills through which they can safely and ethically design, plan, manage, produce and evaluate products, services and environments taking into account the needs of individuals, society, the economy and the environment. Students take action and make ethical decisions about technologies, considering social, economic, environmental, ethical, legal, aesthetic and functional factors. Teaching and learning programs should balance and integrate both strands. Students learn about technologies and society as well as different technologies contexts (knowledge and understanding). They design, produce and evaluate designed solutions using technologies processes and production involving their hands, tools, equipment and digital technologies, using natural and fabricated materials (processes and production skills).
The Design and Technologies knowledge and understanding strand focuses on investigating and developing the underpinning knowledge and understanding of technologies, materials, systems, tools and equipment across a number of technologies contexts, some of which are prescribed. It also includes understanding of the relationship between technologies and society.
The Technologies and society content descriptions focus on how people use and develop technologies taking into account social, economic, environmental, ethical, legal, aesthetic and functional factors and the impact of technologies on individuals, families, local, regional and global communities, the economy and the environment.
The Technologies contexts content descriptions provide a framework within which students can gain knowledge and understanding about design concepts across a range of technologies contexts. These content descriptions focus on the properties and characteristics of technologies, materials, components, tools and equipment and how they can be used to create innovative designed solutions.
These technologies contexts provide a progression of learning from Foundation to Year 8 and lead to more specialised Technologies subjects in Years 9 and 10. They also reflect current national priorities including food security and sustainable food and fibre production, workforce demand, and health and wellbeing priorities.
The technologies contexts for Foundation to Year 8 are:
Across each band from Foundation to Year 8, students will study each of these contexts and design, produce and evaluate at least three types of designed solutions (product, service or environment). The combination of contexts and types of designed solutions is a school decision. Table 3 outlines the requirements for contexts and designed solutions.
The Design and Technologies processes and production skills are based on the major aspects of design thinking and design and technologies processes.
The Design and Technologies processes and production skills strand focuses on:
In each band of the curriculum, one content description focuses on each of these processes. The processes are described below and further detailed in the bands. Students will spend a substantial amount of time engaged in developing processes and production skills.
Critiquing, exploring and investigating involve students as creators and consumers critically reflecting on the intention and purpose and operation of technologies and designed solutions. Critiquing encourages students to examine values, analyse, question and review processes and systems and reflect on how decisions they make may have implications for the individual, society and the local and global environment. Students explore and investigate technologies, products, systems, services and environments as they consider the needs of society. They progressively develop effective investigation strategies and consider the contribution of technologies to their lives and make judgments about them.
Generating and developing ideas involves students in embracing change, making choices, weighing up options, considering alternatives and documenting various design ideas and possibilities. Students use critical and creative thinking strategies to generate, evaluate and document ideas to meet needs or opportunities that have been identified by an individual, group or wider community. Generating creative and innovative ideas involves thinking differently; it entails proposing new approaches to existing problems and identifying new design opportunities. Generating and developing ideas involves identifying various competing factors that may influence and dictate the focus of the idea. Students will evaluate, justify and synthesise what they learn and discover. They will use graphic representation skills when they draw, sketch, model and create innovative ideas that focus on high-quality designed solutions.
Planning, producing and evaluating designed solutions involve students in making a sequence of general, intentional and operational decisions based on initial exploration and investigation of information. Students increasingly engage in an extensive range of planning and managing approaches, including strategic, program and operational planning. When planning and managing projects, students focus on the project’s scope, aims and objectives, its development, the roles and responsibilities of those involved, and the time and cost estimates for completion.
Producing (making) involves developing products, services or environments designed to meet specific purposes and users. Students learn a variety of skills and techniques. They apply knowledge about components, materials and their properties and characteristics to ensure their suitability for use. They learn about the benefits of adopting safe work practices. They develop accurate production skills to achieve quality designed solutions. Students develop the capacity to select and use appropriate materials, components, tools and equipment; and use sustainable work practices. The use of modelling and prototyping to accurately develop simple and complex physical models supports the production of successful designed solutions.
Students evaluate and make judgments about the quality and effectiveness of their designed solutions and those of others throughout a design process. They consider the implications and consequences of actions and decision-making. They determine effective ways to test and judge the appropriateness of their designed solutions.
In Design and Technologies students are actively engaged in the process of designing, producing and evaluating designed solutions for personal, domestic, commercial and global settings for sustainable and preferred futures. For younger children, this usually involves personal and family settings where there is an immediate, direct and tangible outcome, and where playfulness and practical exploration are a focus. Students work independently and collaboratively on projects as they critique, explore and investigate needs and opportunities; generate, develop and evaluate ideas; and plan, produce and evaluate designed solutions using predetermined criteria.
Students make ethical decisions about the use and application of design and technologies, considering health and sustainability implications. Students progress from considering environmental sustainability factors in the early years to then also considering social sustainability factors in primary years and including economic sustainability factors in later years. They learn about the process of design as well as how technologies are developed and used in different technologies contexts.
They produce designed solutions using technologies processes in a practical manner using natural and fabricated materials, components and digital technologies. Students will spend a substantial amount of time engaged in developing processes and production skills. Through the practical application of technologies, students develop manual dexterity, fine motor skills and coordination through hands-on activities.
When students generate, develop and communicate their ideas to a range of audiences and for design tasks in a range of technologies contexts, they develop graphic representation skills. They also develop graphics skills when the focus of the design project is on developing a graphics product, service or environment.
In Design and Technologies and Digital Technologies the imaginative and purposeful application of play is foregrounded in the early years. In play children create imaginary situations in which they change the meaning of objects and actions as they invent new ideas and engage in futures thinking (for them). They also explore real-world concepts, rules and events as they role-play what is familiar and of interest to them. Play is deepened and imagination and creativity are better harnessed for learning when play is relevant and purposeful, and when children and teachers engage in shared, sustained thinking. Play includes the purposeful application of creativity and imagination to learning situations in both Design and Technologies and Digital Technologies.
In the early years students are actively involved in projects: they plan (with teacher support) simple steps and follow directions to complete their own projects or manage their own role within team projects. As they progress through primary school they take more responsibility for specific roles within a project with increasing levels of collaboration and team work. In the early years of secondary school students begin to manage projects, with support from peers and teachers. In the latter years students use their increasing skills to fully manage projects and teams. They use digital tools to support their project management. They coordinate teams and collaborate with others locally and globally.
Enterprise and marketing in the early years of school focuses on local audiences and promotion through displays and verbally sharing products and services from a personal perspective. In the later years enterprise and marketing becomes more oriented to the perspectives of others, with the use of more sophisticated mechanisms for sharing services and products. Students become more enterprising in developing and promoting designed solutions. Marketing also becomes more sophisticated, in that it draws upon social and sustainability principles, leading to an increasing consideration of ethics and futures thinking.
Students will undertake design projects that involve the three processes and production skills: critiquing, exploring and investigating; generating, developing and evaluating ideas; and planning, producing and evaluating designed solutions. By the end of each band students will have had the opportunity to design, produce and evaluate designed solutions for each of the identified Technologies contexts. To provide breadth of study, students should complete at least one product design project, one service design project and one environment design project, within each band. The combination of contexts and types of solutions is a school decision.
Typically a unit of work in Design and Technologies would feature the integration of Design and Technologies knowledge and understanding content descriptions (Technologies and society and at least one Technologies context) through the Design and Technologies processes and production content descriptions.
Content descriptions for technologies contexts provide the stimulus for teachers to develop teaching and learning programs. It may be possible to address multiple technologies contexts in a unit.
In the Australian Curriculum, design thinking and design processes feature significantly in Technologies, in particular in Design and Technologies and The Arts. Critical and creative thinking is closely associated with design thinking and design processes. It is described in the Critical and creative thinking general capability and is developed in all learning areas.
The Design and Technologies processes and production skills strand develops design thinking and design processes. Designing in Design and Technologies involves design thinking and the explicit use of design processes to design solutions for an identified user and purpose (usually to fulfil some practical purpose in the wider world). It involves developing designed solutions that have taken into consideration a range of factors related to the identified need, such as functionality, sustainability and obsolescence, and that can be evaluated using identified criteria for success.
Food and fibre production provides a context and body of knowledge, understanding and skills in the Australian Curriculum: Technologies. Students will also have opportunities across the learning areas from Foundation to Year 10 to learn about the production of the food they eat, fibres they use and the environment in which they live. This learning will address key processes of production, marketing, consumption, sustainable use of resources and waste recycling.
ACARA will document how food and fibre production is addressed across the Australian Curriculum. This will provide a framework for all young Australians to understand and value food and fibre production across learning areas and specifically within the Technologies learning area as a context for core learning in F–8. States and territories may offer additional learning opportunities in Years 9–12.
Student attitudes and behaviour regarding healthy living can be influenced by providing them with opportunities to learn about where their food comes from, how it is produced and how they can prepare it. In the Australian Curriculum students will be taught about food and nutrition in Health and Physical Education (HPE) and in the Technologies learning area through Design and Technologies from Foundation to Year 8. In Technologies students will learn how to apply nutrition knowledge through the design and preparation of food for specific purposes and users.
ACARA will document how food and nutrition are addressed across the Australian Curriculum. This will provide a framework for all young Australians to understand and value food and nutrition across learning areas and specifically within the Technologies learning area as a context for core learning in F–8. States and territories may offer additional learning opportunities in Years 9–12.
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Learning in Design and Technologies builds on concepts, skills and processes developed in the Early Years Learning Framework, revisiting and strengthening these as needed, with a focus on play.
By the end of Year 2 students will have had the opportunity to design, produce and evaluate designed solutions in at least the following technologies contexts: Materials and technologies specialisations; Food and fibre production (including Food technologies); and Engineering principles and systems. Students should have opportunities to experience designing, producing and evaluating services and environments as well as products.
In Foundation to Year 2 the curriculum focuses on students investigating and playing with technologies, materials, systems, tools and equipment, including their purpose and how they meet personal and social needs within local settings. They develop an understanding of how society and environmental sustainability factors influence design and technologies decisions. They plan (with teacher support) simple steps and follow directions to complete their own or group design ideas or projects, and manage their own role within team projects.
Using a range of materials and technologies including digital technologies they draw, model and explain design ideas; label drawings; draw objects as two-dimensional images from different views; draw products and simple environments and verbalise design ideas.
Students evaluate designed solutions using questions such as ‘How does it work?’, ‘What purpose does it meet?’, ‘Who will use it?’, ‘What do I like about it?’ or ‘How can it be improved?’ They begin to consider the impact of their decisions and of technologies on others and reflect on their participation in a design process. This involves students developing new perspectives, and engaging in different forms of evaluating and critiquing products, services and environments based on personal criteria. Students are aware of others around them and the need to work safely and collaboratively when making designed solutions.
Understand how people, including designers and technologists, design and produce familiar products; services; and environments to meet personal and local community needs.
Investigate and play with technologies, materials and systems used to identify properties and create designed solutions for personal and local community needs.
Investigate sustainable systems of care for plants and animals that are grown, raised and processed for food, clothing and shelter for an identified purpose.
Explore how mechanical, electrical and electronic technologies use pushes and pulls to create movement in systems and products
Explore and investigate needs or opportunities for designing, and the resources needed to produce designed solutions.
Visualise, generate, develop, evaluate and communicate design ideas through a range of media including digital technologies
Use design ideas, materials, components, tools and equipment to play with, plan, safely produce and evaluate designed solutions based on personal criteria for technologies contexts.
By the end of Year 2, students describe the purpose of familiar products, services and environments; they identify who designs and produces them, and how they meet the needs. of users and affect others. They identify the properties of some materials, systems and technologies for a range of technologies contexts.
Students identify needs or opportunities and suggest resources needed for their designed solutions. Using a range of media and methods including digital technologies, they develop, communicate and evaluate design ideas and choose the best ideas. With guidance they safely use materials, components, tools and equipment and follow steps to produce products, services or environments. They use identified criteria to evaluate these designed solutions predominantly in relation to personal needs.
Learning in Design and Technologies builds on concepts, skills and processes developed in earlier years, and teachers will revisit and strengthen these as needed.
By the end of Year 4 students will have had the opportunity to design, produce and evaluate designed solutions in at least the following technologies contexts: Materials and technologies specialisations; Food and fibre production (including Food technologies); and Engineering principles and systems. Students should have opportunities to experience designing, producing and evaluating services and environments as well as products.
In Years 3 and 4 the curriculum focuses on students developing a sense of self and ownership of their ideas and thinking in relation to their peers, communities and as a consumer. Students explore creative and innovative ideas and alternatives and establish their own design skills. Students learn to harness their creative ideas and imaginative approaches to achieve designed products, services and environments through planning and awareness of the properties and characteristics of materials and the use of tools and equipment. They learn to reflect on their actions to refine their working and develop their decision-making skills.
Using manual and digital technologies students represent ideas, for example clarifying ideas by drawing freehand annotated diagrams; modelling objects as three-dimensional images from different views by visualising rotating images and using materials. Students recognise techniques for documenting design and production ideas such as basic drawing symbols and use simple flow diagrams.
Students examine personal, social and environmental sustainability implications of existing products and processes to raise awareness of their place in the world. They compare their predicted implications with real-world case studies, and recognise that designs and technologies can affect people and their environments. They become aware of the role of designers and technologists and how they think about the way a product might change in the future.
Students become aware of the appropriate ways to manage their time and focus. With teacher guidance, they identify and list criteria for success and the major steps needed to complete a design task. They demonstrate an understanding of the importance of planning when designing solutions, in particular when collaborating.
Students identify safety issues and learn to follow simple safety rules when producing designed solutions.
Recognise factors that impact on the design of products, services and environments including the role of designers and technologists to meet local community needs.
Investigate the effectiveness and sustainability of a range of technologies, materials, systems, tools and equipment that support local community needs.
Recognise the contribution food and fibre production and food technologies make to modern and traditional societies.
Investigate how forces and the properties of materials affect the behaviour and performance of a product or system and how systems can be enhanced through appropriate manipulation and design.
Critique, explore and investigate needs or opportunities for designing and test and evaluate a variety of technologies, materials, systems, tools and techniques to produce designed solutions.
Generate, develop, evaluate, communicate and document design ideas and design decisions using manual and digital technologies.
Select materials, components, tools and equipment using safe and sustainable work practices to produce and evaluate designed solutions based on identified criteria for success for technologies contexts.
By the end of Year 4 students explain how products, services and environments have been designed to best meet people’s current and future needs in the local community and describe how designers and technologists contribute to meeting needs. They describe the properties and characteristics of technologies, materials and systems for a range of technologies contexts.
Students describe design situations. They use a range of media and methods, including digital technologies to investigate, generate, communicate and evaluate design ideas, including making scaled models and annotating drawings. Students plan and sequence major steps in design and production and make design decisions. They document their design decisions and processes. They adopt sustainable and safe work practices as they use appropriate materials, components, tools and equipment correctly to produce designed solutions for a range of technologies contexts. They judge the success of the product, service or environment against student-identified criteria.
Learning in Design and Technologies builds on concepts, skills and processes developed in earlier years, and teachers will revisit and strengthen these as needed.
By the end of Year 6 students will have had the opportunity to design, produce and evaluate designed solutions in at least four technologies contexts: Materials and technologies specialisations; Food and fibre production; Engineering principles and systems and Food technologies. Students should have opportunities to experience designing, producing and evaluating services and environments as well as products.
In Years 5 and 6 the curriculum focuses on students critically examining technologies, materials, systems, tools and equipment that are used regularly in the home and in local, national, regional or global communities, with consideration of society, ethics and social and environmental sustainability factors. Students consider why and for whom technologies were developed.
Students engage with ideas beyond the familiar, exploring how design and technologies and the people working in a range of technologies contexts contribute to daily life. They seek to explore innovation and establish their own design capabilities. Students are given new opportunities for clarifying their thinking, creativity, analysis, problem-solving and decision-making.
Students work collaboratively with others to identify and sequence steps needed for a design task. They negotiate and develop plans to complete design tasks, and follow plans to complete design tasks safely, making adjustments to plans when necessary. They explore trends and data to imagine what the future will be like and suggest design decisions that contribute positively for people in the future.
Using manual and digital technologies, students represent objects and ideas in a variety of forms such as thumbnail sketches, models, drawings, diagrams and storyboards to illustrate the development of designed solutions. They use a range of techniques such as labelling and annotating sequenced sketches and diagrams to illustrate how products function; and recognise and use a range of drawing symbols in context to give meaning and direction.
Students identify, plan and maintain safety standards and practices when making designed solutions.
Identify how designers and technologists address competing considerations and tradeoffs in the design of products, services, environments and systems.
Identify and explain properties and characteristics of a range of technologies, materials, systems, tools and equipment and evaluate the impact of their use locally, regionally and globally.
Recognise that sustainable resource management is essential in food and fibre production.
Explain how forces or electrical energy can be used to control movement, sound or light in a product or system and consider how material properties and construction processes influence the design and construction of structures.
Investigate how food preparation techniques can be selected and used to design and produce nutritious food.
Critique, explore and investigate needs or opportunities for designing, and analyse and select appropriate materials, components, tools, equipment and processes to achieve intended designed solutions.
Generate, develop, evaluate, communicate and document design ideas and processes for a range of audiences, using some relevant technical terminology.
Develop project plans, and manage production processes and procedures when safely using a variety of technologies, materials, systems, tools, equipment and techniques when producing and evaluating designed solutions for technologies contexts.
By the end of Year 6 students identify how designed products, services and environments may involve competing considerations and trade-offs when sustainability and ethics are considered. They explain how the properties and characteristics of technologies, materials, and systems impact designed solutions and influence design decisions for a range of technologies contexts. They describe how design and technologies contribute to daily life.
Students identify key aspects of a design situation when considering the development of products, services and environments and establish criteria for the evaluation of designed solutions. They communicate, evaluate and modify creative design ideas using a variety of techniques. They select and use appropriate digital technologies to collaborate on, investigate, generate, communicate and document design ideas and processes using technical terminology. Students develop project plans and production processes and procedures. They select and use materials, components, tools, equipment and techniques correctly and safely to produce designed solutions that meet an identified need. They evaluate the product, service or environment against criteria for success.
TLearning in Design and Technologies builds on concepts, skills and processes developed in earlier years, and teachers will revisit and strengthen these as needed.
By the end of Year 8 students will have had the opportunity to design, produce and evaluate designed solutions in at least four technologies contexts: Materials and technologies specialisations, Food and fibre production, Engineering principles and systems, and Food technologies. Students should have opportunities to experience designing, producing and evaluating services and environments as well as products.
In Years 7 and 8 the curriculum focuses on students investigating and selecting from a range of technologies, materials, systems, tools and equipment. They consider the ways properties and characteristics of resources can be combined to create and produce sustainable designed solutions to problems for individuals and the community considering society and ethics, and economic, environmental and social sustainability factors. Students use creativity, innovation and enterprise skills with increasing independence and collaboration.
Students respond to feedback from others about design processes used and evaluate designed solutions for preferred futures. They investigate design and technology professions and the contributions that each makes to society locally and globally through creativity, innovation and enterprise. Students evaluate design ideas and technologies in relation to who does and does not benefit from them.
With greater autonomy, students identify the sequences and steps involved in design tasks. They develop plans to manage design tasks, including safe and responsible use of materials and tools, and apply management plans to successfully complete design tasks.
Using manual and digital technologies such as three-dimensional communication software they generate and clarify ideas through sketching, modelling, perspective and orthogonal drawings using a range of symbols and technical terminology in a range of contexts to produce patterns, annotated concept sketches and freehand drawings, using scale, pictorial and aerial views to draw environments.
Students establish safety procedures that minimise risk and manage a project with safety and efficiency in mind when making designed solutions.
Examine and prioritise competing factors in the development of technologies and designed solutions to meet community needs including ethics, social values and sustainability
Understand the ways in which products, services and environments evolve locally and globally through creativity, innovation and enterprise
Describe ways to create effective designed solutions that consider ethics, social values and sustainability factors through selecting and combining properties and characteristics of resources.
Explain how food and fibre are produced in dynamic and interactive systems.
Analyse how motion, force and energy are related and interact with the properties of materials and components in electromechanical systems and the ways these systems can be manipulated and controlled in simple, engineered designed solutions.
Incorporate principles of food processing, preparation and presentation in designing solutions for healthy eating.
Critique, explore and investigate needs or opportunities for designing and a range of materials, components, tools and techniques to collaboratively develop and produce creative and sustainable designed solutions in response to design briefs.
Generate, develop, test, evaluate and communicate design ideas, plans and processes for identified needs and audiences using manual and digital technologies and collaborative techniques.
Competently and safely use a broad range of materials, components, tools and techniques when designing, and project managing production of sustainable designed solutions for technologies contexts and evaluating using identified criteria for success.
By the end of Year 8 students explain how designed technologies, products, services and environments evolve by identifying the factors that influence design to meet people’s needs and contribute to sustainability. They identify the properties and characteristics of technologies, materials and systems and explain how they impact on designed solutions for a range of technologies contexts. They explain the contribution of design and technology innovations and enterprise to society locally and globally.
When responding to design briefs students develop appropriate criteria for evaluating design ideas and designed solutions. They use appropriate digital technologies to collaborate, investigate, generate, and communicate innovative design ideas using appropriate representation techniques to intended audiences and make considered design decisions. Students develop and document detailed production plans and processes including resources.. They select and use materials, components, tools, equipment and techniques including digital technologies to independently, competently and safely produce designed solutions. They evaluate the suitability of designed products, services or environments against the identified criteria for success.
Learning in Design and Technologies builds on concepts, skills and processes developed in earlier years, and teachers will revisit and strengthen these as needed.
By the end of Year 10 students will have had the opportunity to design, produce and evaluate at least four designed solutions focused on a range of materials and technologies specialisations. Students should have opportunities to experience designing, producing and evaluating designed solutions for services and environments as well as products.
In Years 9 and 10 the curriculum focuses on students using design and technologies knowledge and understanding, processes and production skills and design thinking to produce designed solutions to identified needs or opportunities. These needs and opportunities are of relevance to individuals and to global communities. Students work independently and collaboratively. Specialised problem-solving activities will be sophisticated, acknowledge the complexities of contemporary life and make connections to related specialised occupations and further study. Increasingly, study will have a global perspective, with opportunities to understand the complex interdependencies involved in the development of technologies and enterprises. Students specifically focus on preferred futures, taking into account ethics, legal issues, social values, economic, environmental and social sustainability factors and using strategies such as life cycle thinking.
Students identify the steps involved in planning the production of designed solutions. They develop detailed project management plans incorporating elements such as sequenced time, cost and action plans to manage a range of design tasks safely. They apply management plans, changing direction when necessary, to successfully complete design tasks. Students use creativity, innovation and enterprise skills with increasing confidence, independence and collaboration.
Using manual and digital technologies students generate and represent original ideas and production plans in two and three-dimensional representations using a range of technical drawings including perspective, scale, orthogonal and production drawings with sectional and exploded views. They produce rendered, illustrated views for marketing and use graphic visualisation software to produce dynamic views of virtual products.
Students identify and establish safety procedures that minimise risk and manage projects with safety and efficiency in mind, maintaining safety standards and management procedures to ensure success. They learn to transfer theoretical knowledge to practical activities across a range of projects.
Critically analyse and explain how the design and production of designed solutions for global preferred futures involves complex design processes and decisions, and can require expertise from specialist occupations.
Explain factors influencing design and how products, services and environments evolve and the impact of emerging technologies on design decisions and preferred futures.
Investigate and make judgments about how properties and characteristics of resources can be combined to design and produce designed solutions appropriate for purpose, with consideration of ethics, social values and sustainability factors.
Critique, explore and investigate needs or opportunities to develop design briefs and justify the selection of an increasingly sophisticated range of technologies, materials and systems to produce creative designed solutions.
Apply design thinking, creativity, innovation, enterprise and project management skills to develop, evaluate, modify and communicate design ideas; sequence production and management plans using digital technologies.
Work flexibly to safely test, select, justify and use appropriate technologies to design, produce and evaluate designed solutions using identified criteria for success and suggesting improvements to design processes.
By the end of Year 10 students explain the complex interdependencies involved in the global environment in the development of technologies, products, services and environments for preferred futures. They investigate how knowledge of properties and characteristics of technologies, materials and systems can be used to make judgments about their appropriateness for use for designed solutions to problems of individuals and the global preferred futures for a range of technologies contexts.
Students identify authentic needs or opportunities to develop design briefs and criteria for success that include ethical considerations. They communicate creative, innovative, and enterprising design ideas for projects of increasing sophistication using a variety of communication and representation techniques to a range of audiences, justifying design decisions. They compare, select and use manual and digital technologies to collaborate on, investigate, generate and communicate design ideas and document processes. Students develop, document and apply detailed and logically sequenced production and management plans including time, cost, resources and production processes. They test, select and use appropriate materials, components, tools and specialised equipment confidently, collaboratively, independently and safely to produce designed solutions that meet all design brief criteria, making adjustments to plans when necessary. They evaluate products, services or environment against identified criteria for success, justify their responses and transfer knowledge of production and processes to suggest improvements to design processes.
agile development techniques
augmented reality (AR)
cloud-based bookmarking tools
a collection of data organised so the contents can be easily accessed, managed and updated
drawing and modelling standards
exploded view drawing
file transfer protocol (FTP)
food and fibre production
general-purpose programming language
graphics and modelling
hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP)
life cycle thinking
low-input sustainable agriculture (LISA)
object-oriented programming language
radiofrequency identification (RFID)
structured query language (SQL)
Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)