Heavy Craft Work in the Middle School
While the coming of the middle school clearly presents teachers with a wide range of opportunities for exciting new work the problems involved in the new enterprise are equally clear. Secondary teachers ask themselves to what extent their approach and subject matter will be applicable to younger children; their· junior colleagues, teachers of general subjects in the main, consider what increased degree of specialization will be required of them. In no subject are the opportunities and problems more apparent than in craft. A speaKer at the Exeter conference reported in Middle Schools - Themes in Education no. 14 (p 15) was enthusiastic about craft opportunities. 'The middle school provides two tremendous advantages. One, boys and girls could have equal opportunity in these schools and secondly a child can start specialised craft work before the age of eleven.' The section on craft in this publication is helpful, but useful references in this area are not abundant. In Towards the Middle School, DES Education Pamphlet no. 57, good examples are given of planning for heavy craft work. The Middle School - a Symposium comprises eight articles which first appeared in The Teacher and which embody a lot of good sense. Two very good articles on the subject of this paper appeared in the TES of 24 July 1970. There is a need for a lot more discussion, however, on what wood and metal work can be done with the middle school age group, what place it should have in the timetable and who should teach it.