[Design and Technology] The future of VCE Product Design & Technology - Help needed

David Pitt dpitt at huntingtower.vic.edu.au
Wed Aug 19 23:02:07 UTC 2020

Well put.

>From the outset, VCAA guidance was vague, incomplete, pending, or outright incompatible with the nature of the assessment indicators as they could be applied – even disregarding the enormous discrepancy in available access we will see across school settings.

I also echo your dismay at the core element of the response that the SAT serves only to rank your students.  We know already that the VCE is a simply a tool for creating easily applied university entry processes, but If a ranking is all that is required and not any significant investment in the student’s whole pathway and learning experience, then surely certain indicators could be waived and still provide a perfectly serviceable ranking.

I know we want more for our students, more for them to take away at the end than a score, but this has not been considered the focus at all in the advice given – it has been nothing but administrative.  This, despite the significant health, wellbeing (both mental and physical, and both teacher and student) and timeline benefits for the subject in making realistic modifications, particularly considering the heavy impact of isolation on a practical SAT task so heavily dependant on equipment and adequate supervision.

Wholeheartedly disappointed.

David Pitt Head of Department – Design Technology.

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From: destech <destech-bounces at edulists.com.au> On Behalf Of Whitehouse, Stuart
Sent: Thursday, 20 August 2020 8:47 AM
To: destech at edulists.com.au
Cc: Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority <vcaa at education.vic.gov.au>; elvin.barbara.g at edumail.vic.gov.au; seabury.justin.s at edumail.vic.gov.au; o’neill.geoffrey.m at edumail.vic.gov.au <o?neill.geoffrey.m at edumail.vic.gov.au>; douglass.robyn.f at edumail.vic.gov.au
Subject: [Design and Technology] The future of VCE Product Design & Technology - Help needed

Dear all

In the absence of a response from my latest email to the VCAA, I feel disheartened by the lack of support and leadership being displayed.  The response from the VCAA,  given to a number of colleagues on this forum has been identical in its wording displaying a corporate response to a widespread concern without actually addressing the pressing concerns or questions being posed.

I am sure that there are a number of staff that would relish the idea of heading back in for face to face classes in an attempt to move the practical element along which is admirable and typical of the dedication and commitment that we have as a body of professionals.  However, not every school finds itself in the same position for a myriad of reasons.  Many Datta Vic members have openly expressed their concern and dismay. Many have presented possible solutions to try and create some form of assessment to the practical component and its relevant criteria. Staff have also been gracious with their time to direct fellow colleagues to the often hard to find updates and directions from the VCAA which in itself is time consuming and with its own challenges.

What we are left with is a deafening silence from our only curriculum assessment body that in a time of crisis, has failed to give support and timely guidance to its members, when it was most needed.  It’s response has left me dumfounded in that their approach to assessment in only about ranking and nothing to do with one of the major drivers of education, learning.

Unfortunately,  I see no resolution to this current predicament that takes into consideration the concerns of all Victorian schools, students and staff.  The response to assessment from the VCAA has made a mockery of its purpose and intent, leaving questions around the authenticity of assessment, audits and governance. It has also highlighted a lack of understanding of our curriculum.

Elizabeth, Dean and many others have been champions in attempting to seek reason and equity for all schools, and whether or not you are in agreement, the need for equity across all schools is desperately needed now more than ever.

If all schools could show their support, even if you are in a position to meet the assessment criteria in some shape or form, then perhaps the VCAA will recognise at the bare minimum, consider the need to discuss a solution that is equitable for all and one that doesn’t  undermine the integrity of our subject.

Please show your support by posting on the forum if you have a moment to spare.

Keep safe and good luck.

Warm regards


Stuart Whitehouse
Head of Technology

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