Hands-on learning is a pre-requisite for engagement. If we have a task to complete we have a purpose – and the Manual Arts subjects give a concrete understanding of steps needed to finalise a project. Manual Arts in schools are usually framed around Woodwork and Metal work.
Manual Arts disciplines are much broader, and are based around technology and ‘trades’ – which should allow schools to open their doors to vocational learning and teaching. Schools have for too long been defined by a campus. What if we expanded our view and saw vocational training available in local businesses – akin to the apprenticeships schemes? What if we were able to offer ‘shed’ space to retirees with time and expertise to offer youth?
School and the subject Manual Arts can be offered with expertise beyond the teacher’s skills. How else is it possible for a school to offer and prepare students for the range of fields needed to develop:
Trade skills (building, electrical, plumbing), Mechanics and Manufacturing skills (incl. 3D printing), Engineering (Civil, Electrical, Mechanical, Systems, and Chemical), Production (sound/video) skills, Agriculture and Horticulture, Architecture (and technical drawing), Design and Food Sciences.