Approaches to Teaching Design Subjects: a quantitative analysis | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 1, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1474-273X
  • E-ISSN: 2040-0896


This paper reports the results of a pilot study of variation in design teachers' approaches to teaching. It contains a comparison between the literature reports of qualitative descriptions of design teaching and variation obtained using a quantitative method (the Approaches to Teaching Inventory). The quantitative approach revealed that, as in other teaching contexts, there is significant variation in descriptions of how design teaching is approached but that overall, the approaches adopted by design teachers are described as being more student-focused than in most other areas of higher-education teaching. The results also suggest that when design teachers describe their approaches as more student-focused they are more likely to say that they learn more during the teaching of their subjects and are more likely to give students the opportunity to explore their own creative ideas. The Approaches to Teaching Inventory was found to be a useful indicator of qualitative variation in teaching approaches in creative fields such as design.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): Approach to teaching; ATI; design; qualitative variation; student-focused
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