Design and delivery of a Graduate Certificate of Secondary Design and Technologies

The challenge

In Victoria, Australia, out-of-field teaching is a politicised phenomenon, and, like other national and international contexts, popular and political discourses tend to construct these teachers in deficit terms. Indeed, existing research into out-of-field teaching shows that these teachers commonly construct deficit professional identities, seeing themselves as lacking knowledge and as imposters in the out-of-field subject, despite skills and experience they might bring to the work.

Deakin has partnered with the Victorian Government Department of Education to deliver the Secondary Sciences, Technologies, and Mathematics Initiative (SSTM). The Initiative aims to address the critical and ongoing shortage of digital technologies and design and technologies teachers by helping teachers who are already teaching those subjects ‘out of field’ — without formal qualifications — to gain qualifications in teaching digital technologies and design and technologies.

The Initiative offers two Graduate Certificates that will allow out-of-field teachers to build familiarity and confidence in their content knowledge, learn new contemporary approaches to teaching that engage student interest and develop their skills.

Project overview

This research and development project will co-design, develop and implement a blended mode course that responds to the particular needs of out-of-field practicing Design and Technologies teachers.

This research and development project will engineer a novel teaching and learning environment, informed by an new interdisciplinary partnership (between the School of Education and the School of Engineering at Deakin University), input from diverse stakeholders in design and technologies education (via Design and Technologies Teacher Association of Australia, DATTA), formative data collected progressively from teachers who enrol in the course, and decisions made during on-going co-design meetings with the funding body (Victorian Department of Education).

Design-based research methods will be used to answer the following research questions:

  1. What are the knowledge/skill needs of contemporary and future teachers of secondary school Design and Technologies curriculum?
  2. What challenges face school leaders and teachers seeking to strengthen Design and Technologies curriculum delivery in schools?
  3. What challenges face school leaders and teachers seeking to increase the uptake of elective and post-compulsory Design and Technologies subjects by school students?
  4. What program design features will best accommodate the needs of out-of-field Design and Technologies teachers returning to study to complete a taught postgraduate credential in this discipline?
  5. What program design features and additional supports will best support increased confidence, agency and educational leadership in out-of-field Design and Technologies teachers as they transition towards ‘in-field’ teaching?


Graduate Certificate of Secondary Design and Technologies

Duration: 2 years part-time

This course is designed to support the out-of-field secondary Design and Technologies teachers to move in-field through developing their knowledge, skills and confidence in the design process, systems thinking and the use of a variety of materials and technologies; their pedagogical content knowledge and skills in teaching Design and Technologies; and the capacity for professional and curriculum leadership. The course supports enrolled teachers to develop their knowledge and professional skills in the Design and Technologies secondary curriculum and to build their professional agency and skills for successful teaching. It builds on research-informed approaches to Design and Technologies pedagogies, assessment practices, safety and inclusion. This course will facilitate the movement of teachers into new discipline areas and innovative teaching practices and support the development of Design and Technologies in their schools and more widely within the professional teaching community.

More information

Learn more about the Graduate Certificate of Secondary Design and Technologies

Visit the Victorian Government’s SSTM website to:

Watch the video.


design and technologies education, teacher professional learning, teacher education