A Comparison of Innovations by Adults and Children at the Grassroots Level in India Implications for Design and Technology Education

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Sachin Datt Sugra Chunawala


The focus of Design and Technology (D&T) education (Wilson & Harris, 2004) has been on designing and making activities and in developing technological capabilities amongst students. Innovation is an important aspect of D&T that helps in creating new products and artifacts to overcome the limitations of existing ones. Problem solving and problem identification are inherent components of innovation and D&T education. This study aims to analyze innovations by adults and children at the grassroots level in India. In particular, we ask what kind of differences are there in innovations created by adults and school students and what could be the reasons for the differences? The data of innovations was accessed from the website of the National Innovation Foundation (NIF), India. The innovators, both children and adults, had not received any design brief by an external agency and the range of problems identified by them were from diverse areas. We grouped the problem areas into a number of categories. Contrary to conventional wisdom and literature about children being more creative than adults, we found a greater diversity in the problems tackled by adults. More importantly there were qualitative differences in the kind of problems identified by adults and children. We suggest that a possible reason for these differences in kinds of innovations are related to the difference in diversity of experience that children and adults have.

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DATT, Sachin; CHUNAWALA, Sugra. A Comparison of Innovations by Adults and Children at the Grassroots Level in India. Design and Technology Education: an International Journal, [S.l.], v. 23, n. 1, p. 10-25, feb. 2018. ISSN 1360-1431. Available at: <https://www.ariadne.ac.uk/DATE/article/view/2244>. Date accessed: 04 july 2022.