Speaker for the Leading through practice: Make First! Learners First! twilight event
Rebecca Goozee is an Education Manager at the Crafts Council, where she works with educational provision to develop craft practice in the classroom. She is an active advocate for creative education and has produced research exploring the ways public sector organisations can explore making with learners. Rebecca currently manages the Crafts Council's Craft School: Yinka's Challenge.
More about Make First:
Make First is the Crafts Council’s craft education pedagogy. As an approach, it empowers learners to make their ideas instead of sketching them, encouraging them to use malleable materials to test and develop their thinking.
Make First allows learners to develop their voices as makers and shape outcomes by exploring ideas through craft materials and processes. Often without explicit instruction or discussion, learners are allowed to experiment and explore the potentials of craft materials, developing dexterity and understanding of the physical world.
Craft thinking, with its iterative and haptic methodologies, is accessible and beneficial to our very young, our learners for whom English is not their native tongue, and those with special educational needs. A Make First approach acknowledges multiple non-verbal modes of demonstrating understanding and knowledge. By embedding hands-on learning into classrooms, we provide a counterbalance to the increased use of screens by children and young people, as well as an opportunity for our younger learners to develop key fine-motor skills that will aid dexterous activity throughout their lives.
We want to encourage a non-linear craft thinking approach that is rooted in play with materials. Craft thinking encourages learners to develop ideas and outcomes that are driven through creativity, experimentation, reflection and connection to craft practice. Learners gain the ability to self-direct the flow of their work, driven by experiences with materials and other external factors, like local and global cultural heritages and histories or inspiration from other makers and designers.
A learner-driven approach means outcomes are a borne of each learner’s unique background and relationship to the world. We can facilitate this through simple approaches like asking learners to select their own materials, or utilising more in-depth project-based learning pedagogies to allow learners to direct their own work.