All teachers require positive strategies to manage classroom disruptions and inappropriate classroom behaviours for the optimum learning of all students, and for their own professional development and career satisfaction. Building strong teacher-student relationships is the first step to creating a harmonious classroom atmosphere, increasing engagement and achievement. Positive teacher – student relationships enable students to feel safe and secure in their learning environments and provide scaffolding for important social and academic skills (Baker et al., 2008; O’Connor, Dearing and Collins, 2011; Silver, Measelle, Armstron, & Essex, 2005).
Researchers and educators are slowly awakening to the educational benefits of teaching handcrafts to children, and in particular, knitting.
In the Rudolf Steiner system of education, handcrafts are an essential part of the curriculum and finger knitting is taught to students at age 5-6, with class one (age 7) learning traditional knitting with needles. A knitting project is completed every year in primary school with increasing difficulty –learning to cast on and off, to increase and decrease stitches, and following patterns developed over subsequent years.