AbstractThis issue of Studies in Design Education focusses on the problem of examinations in design education and considers the work required for the B.Ed. degree and for 'A' level examinations in design and in engineering science. In doing so it reveals a remarkable set of developments not only in examination practice but also in the range of design activity that it is now possible to assess by examination.
The whole issue of examining in the design subjects has a long and chequered history. When the pattern of public examinations taken in the schools began to be established in the nineteenth century it tended to be restricted to the traditional academic subjects. The design and applied science subjects were for the most part believed to be inappropriate or even of insufficient status for examination requirements. Inevitably this led to strenuous and concerted efforts to incorporate such subjects into the examination system by those who taught them in the schools and colleges in order that they might achieve the recognition and status that appeared to acrue to those who taught the examination subjects. (See, for example Hanson's article on The Association of Art Teachers in Studies in Design Education Vol. 3. No.2.). The result was usually the adoption of a series of written essay type examinations modelled upon the pattern used by the academic subjects; this was usually accompanied by some test of skill of a traditional nature - 'drawing from the flat', a jointing exercise or the construction of a peice of tinplate geometry.