Make First

By Rebecca Goozee 

Over the last 50 years the Crafts Council has been working hard to champion craft education, through support education settings and delivering exciting in school programmes including Firing up and Make Your Future. As we prepare to launch our new national schools program Craft School: Yinka’s Challenge we have been revisiting how we have seen and experienced the development and delivery of craft skills by teachers of craft and maker educators.

This reflection has led us to champion Make First approaches as a core craft learning principal. Make First asks learners to make their ideas instead of sketching them, using, forming and playing with malleable materials to test their thinking and develop imaginations. Make First is a good strategy to nurture learner’s resilience and encourage them to take risks with their idea generation and development, as well as provide a rich level of experience with lots of new and different craft making techniques.

Make First also acknowledges and encourages learner’s agency and the importance and development of multiple non verbal modes of demonstrating knowledge and understanding. Often without explicit instruction or discussion learners are able to experiment with their creativity and explore the potentials of craft materials, whilst developing dexterous and tacit practice.

It allows learners of all ages to make craft practices their own, in a way that is rooted in interaction with materials in a playful way, and this is where we feel the magic really happens!