Justifying Craft in the Curriculum
Craft teachers, perhaps more than most, have through the years displayed a particular sensitivity about the status of themselves and their subject. Although the days are gone when woodwork might be taught by the school caretaker and instructors not allowed into the common-room, some recent trends indicate that all is not well. An Institute of Craft Education conference at the beginning of the year reported a serious shortage of craft teachers in many parts of the country, the problem being most acute in the London area where some workshops have had to be closed. Although promotion prospects within craft departments need be no worse than in any other departments, it was suggested that many specialists are 'escaping' to teach other subjects in order to gain status or promotion to a higher level. If this is so, it would seem to indicate a certain reticence on the part of headmasters and governors to acknowledge the basic equality of craft and its teachers. Similarly, the growing failure of college of education departments to attract adequately qualified entrants indicates that pupils, and therefore parents and advisers who influence them, do not rate craft and craft teaching as sufficiently worthwhile activities.