[Design and Technology] Changes to the student use of machinery - Schools reference guide.

Panousieris panousieris at bigpond.com.au
Tue Jul 22 21:51:19 EST 2008

This is my response to Paul O'Halloran and David Lawry and the OH&S Unit I
am extremely concerned about the changes on numerous levels and all D&T
teachers should respond or you will miss the chance to have your say. Too
often this happens and D&T teachers blame everyone else but the fact that
they couldn't be bothered reading the documents. 

Having read the information I am extremely concerned about the 16 hrs PD
required by the teacher and also the students before students are allowed to
use equipment such as a scroll saw, portable drill, jig saw, belt sander,
biscuit machine, doweling machine etc.  These are tools used in virtually
every D&T wood room which means that every wood teacher will have to attend
the PD and a huge amount of teaching time will be spent just by students
just passing competency tests.  

The VCE D&T course doesn't allow for that time hence the VCAA may need to be
involved. Also I note that drills and jigsaws require students to pass "safe
use test" - hence a "student pass-book" is needed.  How will teachers meet
the VELS requirements as it is asking for students to use equipment that
progressively extends their skills and knowledge.  This document will have
all students using hand tools only no portable power tools.  How will we as
D&T teachers ever be able to meet the VCE or VELS requirements ?  If we do
how will we ever be able to truly engage the students and take them beyond
the use of the coping saw and hand drill ?  

The welders (a very generic term - there are so many) I note are OK for
student use but a grinder is not - I would suggest that a welder does not
cause immediate blood loss, amputation etc but the long term health risks
are extensive and if a kid burns themselves with an Oxy welder it is
hospital.  Why are these on the "less dangerous list" ?  

If this goes through in it's current state I would suggest that there will
not be enough PD time slots for teachers and that it is asking far too much
- 16 hrs for safe use of the biscuit machine, doweling machine etc. that's
crazy.  How will you ensure that D&T classes in schools don't totally stop
because the teachers can't get the mandatory training.  That will affect VCE
in particular and some parents may seek legal redress if their children are
educationally disadvantaged because their teacher hasn't gained the
mandatory training due to inadequate provision for it. 

Which schools will run the PD and who will run it - none of us are

I find it extraordinary that the draft document concentrates on this issue
when in reality we as D&T teachers know that having 26 students in a D&T
room is the danger.  We have watched this happen over the past 2 decades
where practical classes are considered the same "risk wise" as an English
class.  The real issue that may be too hard to tackle is that- class sizes -
not making it virtually impossible for students to use any powered machine
be it portable or fixed in a D&T class, that doesn't make a room safe it
makes it boring so that the subject is destroyed by stealth, no student will
choose the subject because it doesn't extend them educationally or

There are so many issues with this draft document that is scares me - not
the risks in the D&T classes I teach,  I can handle those but this type of
document seems to destroy everything I am trying to teach the students.  

Paul and David this document has the potential to destroy the entire subject
area of Design and Technology and at a time when the country is looking for
people to work in trades.  

Just as a selfish afterthought I was the lecturer in charge of furniture
design at the University of Melbourne for 4 years (B.Ed Visual and
Performing Arts Eduction).  I trained teachers in D&T - I taught student
teachers how to use machinery etc and I will be forced to do this PD.  This
is a total waste time.  How will you deal with people such as myself ?  

Robin Panousieris.

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Today's Topics:

   1. Feedback on Schools reference Guide. (David Fletcher)


Message: 1
Date: Sun, 20 Jul 2008 21:54:41 +1000 (AUS Eastern Standard Time)
From: "David Fletcher" <dgfletch at bigpond.net.au>
Subject: [Design and Technology] Feedback on Schools reference
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