inplThis case study explores the transformative experience of Amy Clegg, an enthusiastic teacher from Golborne High. We delved into her participation in the Teachers in Residence placement program at architectural firm, Foster + Partners. Through this placement, Amy gained in-depth insights into the dynamic world of Architecture, which broadened her understanding of modern design practices, and discovered innovative ways to inspire her students.
Amy, discovered the Teachers in Residence program through a newsletter article (Stream) from The Design and Technology Association. Intrigued by the opportunity to bridge the gap between classroom practice and real-world industry experiences, she applied for the program and was accepted. The placement offered her a chance to spend four days at Foster + Partners’ headquarters, interacting with professionals, observing their work, and immersing herself in the culture of creativity.
Expectations and Experience
Amy had high expectations for the program, hoping to gain insights into the modern design and technology industry. However, her experience surpassed her expectations. She enjoyed the fast-paced nature of the firm’s work illuminating and appreciating the disparity it highlighted between classroom practices and actual industry requirements. Amy realised that many students might be unaware of the diverse career options available in design and technology. This realisation reinforced her commitment to provide her students with more informed explanations and choices in their future careers. Amy explains:
“I was truly amazed by the immersive experience during my time at Foster + Partners. It opened my eyes to the fast-paced and dynamic world of Architecture. This program has ignited a determination in me to equip my students with a well-rounded understanding of the field, inspiring them to explore diverse career paths and develop vital skills such as clear communication and hands-on problem-solving.”
Impact on Skills Development
The Teachers in Residence program deeply impacted Amy’s understanding of skills development. She noted that the program highlighted the significance of clear articulation, confidence, and thorough research in the industry. These skills not only support design projects but also contribute to effective interpersonal communication and collaboration. Inspired by the program, Amy planned to integrate more practical, iterative design approaches into her classroom teaching. She realised that hands-on prototyping and iterative design processes could greatly enhance her students’ creative thinking and problem-solving abilities.
Career Options and Insights
The placement highlighted that the industry values a range of skills, including creativity, research, communication, and hands-on work. Amy recognised the importance of promoting various career paths to her students, including apprenticeships and non-traditional routes that provide valuable experience without incurring excessive student debt.
Imparting Industry Insights to Students
Amy was determined to pass on her newfound industry insights to her students. She planned to organise sessions and workshops for students interested in architecture and model making, helping them understand the diversity and complexity of the field. By sharing real-world examples, discussing different career paths, and demonstrating practical skills, she aimed to inspire her students and help them make informed decisions about their future education and career paths.
Amy expressed her desire to continue her collaboration with Foster + Partners and her fellow teachers who participated in the program. She recognised the value of networking and sharing resources with teachers from different geographical locations and backgrounds. Amy also mentioned her interest in implementing and utilising the Design and Technology Association’s ‘Inspired by Industry’ challenges, which allow students to engage with real-world design briefs set by various companies. She believes this would further strengthen the connection between her school and the design industry.
Amy’s experience in the Teachers in Residence program at Foster + Partners was transformative and inspiring. Through her enhanced knowledge and passion, Amy aimed to empower her students to explore diverse career paths and embrace creative problem-solving techniques. The Teachers in Residence program not only influenced Amy’s teaching practices but also enriched her students’ educational journeys, connecting classroom learning with real-world industry insights.