Place-based learning experiences in Design and Technologies education connect people and place with design processes and products. Drawing on place-based learning, this case study shares the experiences of eight final year pre-service Design and Technologies education students from the University of South Australia as they collaborated with in-service teachers and learners within a secondary special education setting. This study reports on the design and development processes that pre-service teachers adopted to produce a sensory teaching resource to stimulate interaction, coordination and fine motor skills for students with diverse learning needs. Qualitative data, incorporating a survey and group design folio, were collected from pre-service teachers to capture how design-based decisions were influenced through place-based experiences. Findings suggest that place-based learning facilitated opportunities for meaningful educational and social connections between people and communities. Through engagement in an authentic special education context, place-based experiences enabled pre-service teachers to develop an enhanced sense of civic responsibility and valuing of communities and citizens at a local level. Importantly, engagement in place-based learning scaffolded a deeper and richer understanding of the role that education can play in supporting individuals and communities to create preferred futures. This study suggests that higher education place-based learning experiences are valuable in providing opportunities for Design and Technologies pre-service teachers to foster knowledge, awareness and understanding of the relationship between design processes and products and the needs of people and place.
& Price, D.
Designing for Diverse Learning: Case study of place-based learning in Design and Technologies pre-service teacher education.
Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 42(3).