Reflections from the Frontlines of (Design) Teacher Preparation
Tamara Christensen | Arizona State University
"Good teachers are costly, but bad teachers cost more."
How do designers learn to teach? What kind of practical and theoretical knowledge prepares designers to become educators? While the discipline of education maintains a wealth of knowledge and research regarding teacher preparation, comparatively little work has been done to explore preparation of teachers in the design disciplines. This paper describes a redesigned course curriculum for a graduate level Teaching Practicum course that aims, essentially, to teach designers how to teach. The course relied upon experiential learning theory and reflective practice as a framework for engaging student/teacher learning about the practice of teaching design. Both students and co-teachers provided weekly reflections about the teaching/learning experience which provided the data for this exploratory study. Rather than provide any definitive answers about requisite skills for the design educator, this study utilizes narrative inquiry to weave together stories from the participants. The rich tapestry of this conversational learning approach raises many questions about what it means to (learn to) teach design.