This is not my experience of the teaching of science or design and technology (DT aka manual). There is certainly more emphasis on the teacher being a suitably qualified and experienced person (SQEP) when conducting experiments and in working with machinery, and more PPE is worn. Whereas we probably made do with an apron or lab coat, ear and eye protection is the norm as well as higher-duty protective clothing, but that surely is a good thing? Teachers are undoubtedly more safety conscious in today's science labs but experimentation is still widely carried out, not just as teacher demonstrations but by the students themselves. It's still all about bangs and smells, just conducted more safely!sejintenej wrote: ↑Wed Jun 17, 2020 7:19 am As for the more practical subjects like physics, chemistry and biology and what we referred to as "manual" IMHO the big problem is the courts. We used to carry out experiments etc. but now with 'elf and safety those have to be dome by the teacher or preferably not done at all.
What is undoubtedly true is that schools like the University Technical Colleges (UTC) that have appeared over the past decade to provide a technical education targeted at those who will subsequently complete non-graduate technical training, have faced a number of challenges. Not least of these is the lack of SQEP instructors. This is partly down to teachers having to be graduates rather than the time-served technicians but the consequence has been large amounts of equipment not being utilised because the UTCs have no-one to instruct safely in its use. On the other hand, DT includes a wide range of other topics including both Computer-Assisted Design (CAD) and Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) which didn't exist in the past, whilst the availability of tools like 3-D printers have taken DT in directions those of us brought up on forges, lathes and band-saws could never have imagined.
As for the much maligned 'elf and safely let me categorically assert: this is a good thing! Some people don't understand the requirements or fail to acknowledge that risk has to be managed rather than completely removed, but having been part of the first generation that always wore hearing protection, always rolled our sleeves down in machinery spaces, and always wore our safety footwear, I survived a 35-year engineering career with no lasting damage thanks to applying common-sense and using my PPE!