If you’ve had a look at my Writing page, then you’ve probably noticed that I have a bit of a thing for crafts. And now Comment is Free at the Guardian has provided me with a platform to declare my love of making stuff, and my hope that more schools will give their pupils the opportunity to learn practical skills:
The idea that an education should train your hands as well as your head has been consistently chipped away at over the last 30 years. Up until 1975, UK secondary schools offered pupils training in home economics and textiles (for the girls) and woodwork and metalwork (for the boys). The Sex Discrimination Act banned gender-specific classes and helped to undermine the stringent channelling of children into “domestic” or “labouring” futures, but it also – as Joanna Turney explains in a recent book – forced schools to compress craft education into nothing more than a set of “taster classes”.
To find out what I think about craft and class, the domestic in drag, and how compulsory metalwork can be a progressive force (YES IT CAN) – read the rest of the article…
Text © Sarah Ditum, 2009