Products as materials

Looking an an empty washing up powder box what do you see – waste? something to be recycled? Or do you see good quality corrugated cardboard that should be stored for another use?

Primary schools have historically been great places to find piles of boxes and other used products that can be used by children. Is this true now and do secondary schools also make good use of the materials around us.

Working with a group of primary PGCE students this week, I used some empty photocopier paper boxes. The card was thin strong and mostly white and great for modelling. The point here is that if we look at products as a collection of materials we will see in them the potential for reuse. At it’s extreme this suggests that products are no more than an assembly of materials temporarily put together for a purpose.
If the materials, as product, are used then they are subtly changed and can become encrusted with memories.

Next time you look at washing poweder think again…


About Mike Martin

Teacher educator based at Liverpol John Moores University in the UK. Researching subject knowledge of pre-service teachers.
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One Response to Products as materials

  1. Dr Sandra Horne Martin says:

    Reusing materials and looking at their potential other than rubbish is paramount in today’s society, not only from a environmental point of view, but also economical. If people realized how much their waste is worth it, they would think twice before buying something new.

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