The Art of Teaching Craft

by Joyce Spencer & Deborah Kneen
Sally Milner Publishing 1993. 74 pages
Reviewed by Carlene Harwick
Originally Published Autumn 2003

Until recent years, there were very few books written about teaching adults. The majority of them were geared toward children and teaching in a school setting. In the last decade, many more books have been on the market and we are getting more top quality books on all kinds of embroidery-related topics from Australia and New Zealand. The Art of Teaching Craft is one such book and is one of the most helpful ones for teachers in our field.

This small paperback book covers many areas from the teaching environment to ethics, from class atmosphere to teaching aids, and from teaching strategies and techniques to motivating students. There is even a section on dealing with the difficult and special needs students. Teaching classes at home as well as through shops and studios are also covered.

For us as teachers, the chapter on Teaching Strategies and Techniques is a very important one. It deals with presentation of materials, strategies of maintaining the student’s attention, and dealing with individual students. Excellent teachers have the ability to engender creative and original work in their students. Good teachers encourage students to find their own unique way rather than slavishly following the teacher’s example. As teachers we need to be able to gauge the classroom climate and zero in on the individual student – even in group situations.

If you are looking for one book on the art of teaching in our field, this is it!