Craft and Design Technology
This subject area has developed considerably over the last decade and the title, Craft, Design and Technology, describes more adequately than Handicraft the wide spectrum of activities undertaken in school workshops and drawing offices. The principal aim of Handicraft was the physical and emotional development of boys, mainly through the gradual acquisition of skills. Craft, Design and Technology extends this to provide a fuller experience in which cognitive development features more strongly. Its central aim is to give girls and boys confidence in identifying, examining and finally solving problems with the use of materials. Craft, Design and Technology has an important contribution to make to the education of pupils as part of their preparation for living and working in a modern industrial society.
The aim necessitates the formation of courses which make general and specific demands on all pupils and which encourage individual responses to unfamiliar situations. These responses may be made in both two- or three-dimensional forms. Aesthetic and technological principles underlie the quality of a pupil's statement and, regardless of the nature of the initial problem, all decisions made on the way to a final solution call for an understanding of the fine balance necessary between these important elements. Similarly each pupils recognition of the restraints surrounding a problem call for an understanding of the physical properties of materials and of the time and resources available.Problems arise either from the limitations of the designer's own environment, or of that of others, and an expressed need to overcome these, or conversely, from a personal urge to enrich the environment. In either case, it is the creative response which is of paramount importance. It is this which makes complex and interrelated demands on pupils in terms of technological and aesthetic sensibility and requires an understanding of human needs and human values.
As design problems may be selected to promote a real involvement with mathematical, scientific, social, political, ethical and even spiritual issues, the interdisciplinary opportunities offered through the wide range of work associated with Craft, Design and Technology are considerable. However, the quality of experience should be of a high order and may be recognised by the ability of the pupils to perceive, comprehend, analyse and evaluate.
Thinking of this kind may not necessarily require a verbal description but may nevertheless be both complex and immediate. Generally, the quality of thinking is related to the excellence of craftsmanship but in some cases it is shown in the level of ingenuity and inventiveness reflected in the work.