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It’s been an ongoing question in our community of how to get young people involved in repair culture. In this month’s podcast, we were delighted to talk to students, Carl Mau and Beat Schneiderhan, and their teachers, Felix Lossin and Walter Kraus, who have a plan. Based at the Rudolf Steiner School in Munich, not only do they have a weekly repair cafe led by students but lessons on repairing are also integrated into their curriculum. And they have created a guidebook on how to start a student repair shop at any school. We spoke to them about this innovative idea and how it has been received by students.
Carl and Beat tell us about their experience being students of the repair workshop and how excited they are to share the opportunity with more schools. In addition to their weekly repair cafe, students who opt to study repair have up to four dedicated classes per week. They feel that the skills they are learning in their repair classes will stay with them for the rest of their lives, and in some cases seem much more applicable than more traditional classes.
The ‘learning by doing’ ethos
They describe the teaching method of the repair classes as “learning by doing”, often the students are encouraged to work without the assistance of teachers as much as possible. Carl points out that this has made him more confident to attempt repairs at home and he hopes that this mindset will carry on once he graduates.
“It’s the realisation that the students kind of lose their fear of something so easy. When they see how easy it is they get used to it and will repair for themselves. And every time something is broken, they are ready to try to repair it.”
Fixing Things for the Future
Finally, we discuss their guide called Fixing Things for the Future. It details how to start a student repair workshop from scratch, covering everything from tools to tutorials. Felix points out how important student safety is when operating one of these projects. The guidebook has an extensive section on how to keep students safe and help them confidently deal with electricals.
Beat hopes that in the future there will be a repair workshop at every school, in every country! If this sounds like something you could help set up, they now have an English version of the guide available for download.
- Find the guide here Schueler-reparaturwerkstatt or here Culture of Repair
- Our Fixfest 2022 session with Fixing Things for the Future
- Last month, we spoke to a company introducing repair to even younger children – Restart Podcast Ep. 82: No need for new toys, we have Team Repair
[Photos courtesy of Felix Lossin]