Studying Craft: trends in craft education and training

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Information about Studying Craft: trends in craft education and training

Published on May 29, 2014

Author: flashnick



The Studying Craft report is research commissioned by the Crafts Council and is a comprehensive examination of contemporary craft education in England.

Studying craft: trends in craft education and training Crafts Council Registered Charity Number 280956

Approach to the study • Covers all stages of formal education from the age of 16, including community learning • Analysis of secondary data for last five years (07/08 – 11/12), case studies to follow up on key questions Stage Age range Typical qualifications Key Stage 4 15–16 years old GCSEs Key Stage 5 / 16–18 Further Education 16–18 years old AS-levels, A-levels Apprenticeships 16 years and over Intermediate Level, Advanced Level and Higher Apprenticeships Further Education (adults) 18 years and over Qualification and Credit Framework units Higher Education 18 years and over Foundation degrees, Bachelor degrees, Masters, PhDs Community Learning 19 years and over Qualification and Credit Framework units

Definitions • The material disciplines that the course addresses: Disciplines General Craft Model Making Ceramics Paper crafts Glass Textiles Furniture Toys and Instruments Jewellery Wax crafts Silversmithing Wood crafts Metal crafts Animation

% change in courses by stage 07/08 – 11/12

Change in total craft learners Note that at the time of publishing no KS4, KS5 and community learning data was made available for 2011/12 by the Department for Education

% change in learners by stage 07/08 – 10/11

Comparing change – courses and learners Note that this slide does not compare like for like data

Levels of participation 07/08 – 11/12 Stage 2007/08 2008/09 2009/10 2010/11 2011/12 Key Stage 4 360,900 338,800 316,700 290,500 ~ Key Stage 5 – School Sixth Forms 52,900 57,000 57,900 51,100 ~ Key Stage 5 – FE 14,300 10,800 9,900 6,100 9,000 Adult FE 20,600 15,100 11,800 4,800 8,500 Adult employer-related FE 500 900 400 300 600 Apprenticeships 400 500 300 100 400 HE – undergraduate 18,000 18,600 19,400 19,700 20,300 HE – postgraduate 1,200 1,200 1,400 1,500 1,600 Community Learning 150,900 235,100 248,800 236,100 ~ Total 619,700 678,000 666,600 610,200 ~

Case studies 1 Decline in GCSE participation 7 Apprenticeships 2 Changes in educational infrastructure - Academies 8 Links between stages in textiles education 3 Changes in educational infrastructure - Studio Schools 9 HE courses, employability & local craft economy 4 Changes in educational infrastructure – University Technical Colleges 10 Student recruitment in craft subjects at post grad level 5 Unitised courses 11 The viability of craft courses in HE institutions 6 Adults and participation in FE courses craft courses

Key Themes • The perception of craft • Lack of clarity in funding for the future • Removing resources of the physical space • Inadequate careers advice • Loss of vocational training • Fewer foundation courses Nb. In the following slides, comments in grey are quotes from participants

The perception of craft Craft is considered in isolation and frequently portrayed separate to academia as a hobbyist activity, rather than as a force which feeds into technology, industry and science. As a result, parents and senior teachers often undervalue study of the arts. The renaissance in craft plus the success of ventures such as the Crafts Council’s Power of Making exhibition illustrate that there is a growing appreciation of craft within society, but this is not reflected within education. There is disconnect between the burgeoning creative sector and the route education policy is taking. We need to see ‘making’ as a discipline and articulate more clearly the transferable skills you gain from working with materials. How can we argue for the innate value of making as a discipline? Without that, its place in the education system will always be at risk. PLTS: Personal Learning & Thinking Skills. Advocated as a new way to connect subjects with career. This may be a way to show how art, craft and design are applicable. • Independent enquiry • Team working • Creative thinking • Self-management • Reflective learning • Effective participation

Lack of clarity in funding for the future Cost is the primary driver in short term decision making, whilst strategic decisions are falling in line with the government’s STEM agenda and league table subjects to ensure that further cuts do not mar provision. Ofsted, the Research Excellence Framework and performance based assessment creates an educational environment risk adverse to practice based work that is harder to measure. Creativity defies the linear process and thus is not fostered if it cannot be sufficiently measured and reported. Value vs. costs: for crafts, is the problem it’s undervalued rather than too expensive? Practice based work has no link to REF. Hard to measure, therefore no money. Tackle perception of craft/art/design not being “valued” or real, ‘just soft’ subjects at examination level.

Removing resources of the physical space Many schools are losing the equipment which is costly to upkeep as budgets become tighter within arts funding. Shrinking resources makes it increasingly difficult to enable students to study craft disciplines. As a result, students are often reaching FE and HE level without having learnt the basics of making and the reduction in Foundation courses is only widening the gap. Learning has become predominately theoretic rather than developing the practical skills. Teachers Alliances – schools could share. Simple structures could be put in place. Look at existing practice. Teachers role in offering bridge to sector… Need open doors. Opportunities for schools to access craft practitioners, workshops and lectures Do GCSE students and younger have enough access to materials, to tools, skills and experimentation?

Inadequate careers advice Schools are suffering from a reduced capacity for careers advice. In addition, many parents are unfamiliar with the sector. There is little education around how a portfolio career works in practice and no argument around the strength of craft as a career decision. Emphasis needs to be place on the lifestyle that making allows and examples given on how to use craft within other areas. Use diverse and young practitioners to promote crafts as a career and creative sector (and offering personal satisfaction and reward). HE needs to build professional awareness into the course and get students to engage. Communicate how portfolio and diverse careers work for arts/crafts graduates Understanding what the detail of portfolio career means in practice: advocacy.

Loss of vocational training Information on the National Apprenticeship Scheme complex website is not easily accessible or encouraging towards microbusinesses and thus fails to attract makers (who are frequently sole traders) to appreciate the advantages of the scheme. It is essential that makers develop the knowledge to share their skills and have access to resources that would enable adequate support of a student. The links between professional makers within the sector and young people need to be strengthened with the risks of engagement minimised through tested ways of working that maximise potential for micro businesses. how can apprenticeships work for a sector dominated by sole-traders and micro-businesses?

Fewer foundation courses Students who choose to study craft at HE often enter with little-to-no experience. In the absence of craft education in schools, the importance of foundation courses was emphasised by Prof. Steve Dixon who advocated that they are ‘an opportunity to explore mediums to establish your strengths, with access to specialist knowledge.’

Suggestions STEM should incorporate the arts and become STEAM Advocacy for the intrinsic values of craftsmanship Business Skills Apprenticeships Shared resources and good practice

STEM should incorporate the arts and become STEAM • Totality of education – not science vs the arts • Engage with STEM agenda to communicate the value of making • Link haptic to the digital. Prove that craft is forward thinking and innovative, that digitalisation is linked to practice rather than one precluding the other. • Michael Gove’s speech referenced the connection between making + digital agenda, science and technology.

Advocacy for the intrinsic values of craftsmanship • Case studies in addition to career advice • Emphasise why other sectors need people with craft skills. • “Filming craft can bring intangible things to the surface which are hard to articulate into words.” - Dr Amanda Ravetz. Make short films on makers – both craft careerists and those from other industries.

Business Skills • Entrepreneurship education at GCSE and A- level qualifications • HE should build professional awareness into courses

Apprenticeships • Craft Trailblazer • Extend the age range of apprentices entitled to funding under NAS for those in micro businesses.

Shared resources and good practice • Sharing of creative spaces, opportunities to meet/network and develop collaborations. • HE students can take their craft back into schools for both sides to benefit. • Essential to show students that mistakes count as learning: failure is formative. Making will equip people to solve problems.

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