Make First is the Crafts Council’s craft education pedagogy, or method of teaching. We’ve examined our work with learners, teachers and maker educators to pinpoint what’s special about craft learning and packed it all into the Make First approach.
In Make First, learners dive straight into making. They use materials to develop and test ideas—they tweak and tinker based on how the materials respond.
Make First embraces repetition, starting again, leaving a piece of work to come back to later, or working on several things at the same time.
Make First is driven by learners’ own interests. They make their own decisions about how to shape their work, giving them the opportunity to develop their voices as craftspeople.
Learners will fail and try again. They learn that failure is part of the craft process, build their resilience and become braver makers.
At its heart, Make First is about the joyfulness and pleasure that comes from making—the excitement of new possibilities and the satisfaction of creating something.
Make First is accessible and beneficial to our very young, learners for whom English is not their first language, and those with special educational needs. By embedding hands-on learning into classrooms, we provide a counterbalance to the increased use of screens by children and young people, as well as an opportunity for our younger learners to develop key fine-motor skills that will aid dexterity throughout their lives.
Key elements of the Make First approach are outlined below.