Planning for practice
Planning for practice is the up-front and on-going thinking that enables a fit-for-purpose outcome to be developed. It is an essential part of all technological practice.
Planning for practice should consider:
- the physical, social, and cultural environment of an outcome
- the context the technologist will be working in.
Effective planning for practice enables developing technologists (students) to systematically account for all the factors that influence the successful fulfillment of a brief. It also supports reflection and decision making.
These illustrative examples demonstrate how skills and understandings related to the planning for practice component could be developed at different school levels.
The following learning experiences have been provided to support teachers as they develop their understanding of the planning for practice component of the technological practice strand.
These examples could support the local curriculum design of learning activities in your school that support students to achieve the appropriate curriculum level.
Students begin to understand the processes around them at home and school by looking at key stages and putting them in order. As they do this, they work out what they can do next, and begin the steps to develop and progress their critical, analytic, and strategic thinking.
Students achieving at level 1 could:
- identify key stages within familiar processes
- identify the particular materials, software, and devices they could use to create their outcomes
- suggest the next steps for creating their outcomes.
Students achieving at level 2 could:
- identify the key stages required to complete their outcome; these being the need to complete their design first, and then draw and discuss their design to make sure it would work as intended
- explain materials used to make the outcome and if necessary how they could modify their design to use available materials
- record key stages, maybe in a visual form such as a basic flowchart
- list the resources needed to complete the final outcome.
Senior primary / Intermediate
Students build on their understanding of processes by being critical of others processes as they develop their own.
They begin to analyse the usefulness of key stages and how these support and change as they design and develop outcomes.
Students begin to develop independence in their own strategic thinking as they see the results (both good and bad) of decisions they have made and how they have affected the outcome they are developing.
For example see: Primary playground redesign – a rich local curriculum opportunity. To identify the level of teacher support required for learning experiences at each level check the teacher guidance in the indicators of progression.
Students achieving at level 3 could:
- record a plan of action that shows key stages and how much time each stage would require, what knowledge was needed, and who could be approached to provide any additional expertise/skill needed
- explain their progress in terms of the key stages needed to complete their outcome.
Students achieving at level 4 could:
- develop a plan of action that includes key stages, details of experts to be accessed, and identified review points to reflect on progress to date
- allocate time for meeting with stakeholders (teacher, students, parents, outside experts, principal, and board of trustees) to ensure ideas selected and presentation format were in keeping with stakeholder expectations
- revise their planning (accounting for changes made during review points) and adapting their time management to ensure their outcome is completed.
At this level, students build depth into their critical, analytical, and strategic thinking capabilities, by demonstrating how they make decisions in an informed way.
Students increase in their ability to use different planning tools. They develop views on how the planning tools support or hinder the production of a quality outcome. As they do this, they understand the importance of stakeholder perspectives – how the considerations of others' needs, cultures, and environments are critical to their technological practice, and the success of their outcome.
For example see: Batch production in food practical classes. To identify the level of teacher support required for learning experiences at each level check the teacher guidance in the indicators of progression.
Students achieving at level 5 could:
- discuss the planning decisions made during the development of the outcome, and planning they had been involved in to identify strengths and weaknesses of particular planning tools
- use a combination of action plans, Gantt charts, and flow diagrams to plan how they access knowledge and skills required to construct each part of their project
- ensure they had enough time with their stakeholders for their perspectives to inform future planning decisions
- develop a Gantt chart to clearly align tasks to be done with their timeframes, and provide guidance for where to next
- draw detailed flow diagrams showing how their outcome would be constructed and annotate diagrams with notes about possible materials, software, components, and costing
- describe the key stages required to develop their outcome and the appropriateness of selected resources for each key stage
- describe how will they manage the resources during their practice to maximise efficiency of practice and achieve the desired outcome
- say when they will need to access the resource/s for each stage, what will happen to the resource/s once the key stage is finished, and what time has been allowed for each key stage
- explain why, when, and how they have altered their practice in response to their planning strategies
- describe how effective planning has led to modifications that have positively impacted the quality of their outcome/s.
Students at senior secondary level are applying their established level five competencies by demonstrating their critical, analytical, and strategic thinking capabilities in order to make independently informed decisions.
For example see: Outstanding scholarship in technology: STEELBRO Bluetooth application . To identify the level of teacher support required for learning experiences at each level check the teacher guidance in the indicators of progression.
Students achieving at level 6 could:
- critically analyse their own and others' planning practices to establish personal organisational abilities, and explain how these could be enhanced through the use of well selected planning tools
- research and evaluate a range of planning tools, to select tools justified as suitable to the context of the project and their personal organisational ability
- draw detailed sketches of feasible ideas for outcomes, using these to gain feedback from the end user before reviewing design concepts
- employ the use of selected planning tools (a visual diary, updateable planning framework, and a range of diagramming templates) at different times, to best support their forward planning, and time and resource management
- provide justifications for decision making in terms of the physical and social environment in which they were working and the specific requirements of the end user.
Students achieving at level 7 could:
- critically analyse their own and others' experiences of self and team management, to identify a range of planning tools that could be successful in enhancing management practices
- identify personal strengths and weaknesses in relationship to the planning and management requirements of the brief, and develop planning tools that would specifically address these in the context of the project
- employ specifically developed planning tools (a visual diary, updateable planning framework, and a range of diagramming techniques) in an effective manner, to manage, document, and justify decisions in terms of the physical and social environment in which they are working and the specific requirements of the end user.
Students achieving at level 8 could:
- critically analyse their own and others' project management experiences to identify key factors essential to efficient project management
- identify personal strengths and weaknesses in relation to project management in technology, and plan learning opportunities to develop and enhance these
- critically analyse a broad range of planning tools and select those that would best support their project management practices
- develop an initial plan that allowed for extensive exploration of what efficient planning and resource management would require in this environment
- employ the use of specifically selected planning tools to support the project management of their work in an efficient and critically reflective manner
- ensure decisions about information presented, means of presentation, resources used, and the management of time and resources were informed and critically evaluated in an ongoing manner and fit with contemporary understandings and project management best practices.