The Toolsets in DPE are the Context-specific ‘tools’ and/or ‘knowledge’ in a given area. These are learning about, and how to use, the ‘tools’ that they will be able to draw upon during the design process.
The Skillsets – These are future-focused skills that will prepare the students for success across multiple disciplines and prepare students for their futures. They include collaborative working skills, communication skills, critical thinking, questioning, and problem-solving, as well as developing agency and self-organization. In DPE this skill development is framed by the design process.
The Mindsets are the values we hold as most important. Mindsets are why we do what we do and how we overcome challenges and strive to achieve. At Raroa these relate to our school vision – ASPIRE to Achieve. The Mindsets in DPE are outlined in the table below.
Another significant achievement is the integration with the classroom. Traditionally, technology departments have run completely separately from the rest of the school, and each subject has a silo of its own. By working alongside learning programmes, complementing the knowledge and skills within students’ current inquiries we are increasing the relevance, creating partnerships, and bridging the gap between the classroom teachers and technology teachers. The results have been impressive with celebrations which have been attended by hundreds of parents.
The Learning Street was built in 2016 to complement the move to a more design-based approach. ‘The Street’ is a design hub that links the specialist areas. One of the catchphrases for Learning Street is, ‘The ideas should shape the rooms, not the rooms shaping the ideas’.