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ELSE Teachers in Residence

Coral Fowley, a textile print designer turned teacher from Bishop Challoner Catholic School in Basingstoke, embarked on a ‘Teachers in Residence’ placement at Else, an Experience design consultancy based in London. The placement aimed to provide Coral with insights into industry practices, potential curriculum enhancements, and provide networking opportunities.

Initial Impressions

Upon arrival, Coral found the studio environment really warm and collaborative. The team’s strong communication and bond, even while sometimes working remotely, left a lasting impression on her. Coral also noted Else’s innovative policies, such as a short working week with dedicated research and development (R&D) days.

Professional Development Insights

During her placement, Coral gained valuable insights into the design process at Else. Their simple yet visual approach resonated with her as a teacher, prompting thoughts on incorporating similar methods into her curriculum. Additionally, Coral observed various job roles within design, such as interaction design and experience architecture, which sparked ideas for broadening her students’ career perspectives.

Curriculum Enhancement

Inspired by Else’s approach, Coral envisioned incorporating elements of their design methods into her teaching, despite its absence from the curriculum. She planned to introduce tools like Figma to her students, emphasising the importance of visual representation and problem-solving skills in design. Furthermore, Coral aimed to guide students in exploring diverse design career paths, leveraging their individual strengths and interests.

Impact on Student Engagement

Coral recognised the potential of introducing real-world design concepts, such as client services and prototyping, to engage students effectively. By highlighting the relevance of design skills beyond traditional boundaries, she aimed to inspire students and provide clear career pathways.

Looking ahead, Coral aimed to integrate lessons learned from Else into her teaching practice, emphasising practical design skills and career awareness. Coral’s ‘Teachers in Residence’ placement at Else provided her with valuable insights into industry practices and career pathways within design. Through reflection and collaboration, Coral identified opportunities to enhance her teaching, identifying career paths for students and open channels for networking with Else on potential future initiatives.