The teachers' views on the significance of the design and craft teaching in Finland

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Abstract

The Finnish curriculum for crafts emphasises the creative problem-solving skills of the student, the completion of different design tasks and the implementation of designs, while seeking to nurture the student’s self-esteem. Furthermore, students should draw up the designs for their artefacts, plan their work, and also develop designs when needed. These aims can be accomplished by teachers diligently teaching the designing of craft products. The purpose of the present study is to analyse teachers’ views on design as a part of the holistic craft process in the school context. The study was conducted in two phases. In the first phase five teachers were interviewed, and in the second phase four teachers wrote short essays. The research questions addressed were as follows: “What kind of views do teachers hold on students’ designing in the crafts area? How is designing implemented in craft teaching?” The results indicate that the extent of students’ participation in designing their craft product is dependent on the attitudes and competence of their craft teacher. Design-oriented teachers plan the designing situations and stimuli carefully and value design as a significant part of the craft process. Technique-oriented teachers will consider their students’ participation in design unnecessary or too challenging and as detracting from more essential learning outcomes, such as craft techniques. It seems the teachers need supplementary education to implement the new curriculum of crafts in Finland.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION: AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL
Volume21
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jul 2016
MoEC publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed