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|Title: ||The introduction of practical craft skills into the Scottish technology curriculum: a new beginning or the beginning of the end? A reply to my critics|
|Authors: ||Dakers, John R.|
|Issue Date: ||2004|
|Publisher: ||© DATA|
|Abstract: ||This follows from a paper presented at the
conference last year (Dakers, 2003). The argument
given in that paper suggested that the introduction
of a subject which taught practical craft skills in a
prescriptive manner, as is the case in Scotland, is
likely to be a retrograde step.
The paper made the case that the learning of a craft
skill, for instrumental purposes only, reduces the pupil
to the level of that of an automaton. Such a pupil will
consequentially have no ownership of, or creative
identity in, either the process or the end product.
A major criticism of this view was that in order to
master, or at least gain proficiency in a skill domain,
certain necessary basic skills appropriate to that domain
are an essential prior requirement. For example, if one
wishes to play a musical instrument, it is first necessary
to learn the playing of scales. If one wishes to
manufacture a wooden pencil case, an understanding
of how to operate a variety of woodworking tools,
amongst other things, is a necessary prerequisite.
Without prior mastery of such fundamental and basic
skills, it will be impossible for a person to develop into a
proficient musician or woodworker.
The criticism was taken further with the argument
that these fundamental skills were also a necessary
prerequisite for the design or creative process. To
play a musical instrument with creative flair requires
not only a formidable set of psychomotor skills
requisite to the instrument, but a deep knowledge
and understanding of music. Equally, in order to
design the ultimate wooden pencil case, handcraft
skills associated with woodworking, together with
knowledge and understanding of the properties and
nature of wood, are essential prerequisites.
This paper will seek to develop the argument and will
take as its starting point the criticisms mentioned
above. It will argue that it is not a necessary
prerequisite to becoming proficient, or indeed creative,
that fundamental psychomotor skills such as the rote
learning of musical scales be undertaken. Learning,
like design, is not only a messy process but also a
very personal one. It will argued, moreover, that
learning these skills in the manner suggested is, in
fact, more likely to result in the de-motivation of the
majority of pupils and a stifling of the creative process.
I am weary of doing and dating
The day with the thing to be done,
This painful self translating
To a language not of my own
Give me to fashion a thing:
Give me to shape and to mould;
I have found out the song I can sing,
I am happy, delivered, and bold.
Lawrence Binyon (Published 1920)|
|Description: ||This is a conference paper|
|Appears in Collections:||D&T Association Conference Series|
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