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Beyond craft and art: A pedagogical model for craft as self-expression

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Craft as a school subject faces new challenges as the array of learning objectives widens and the traditional distinctions between craft and art begins to blur. In an effort to redefine the subject of craft, teachers can strengthen the relevance and meaningfulness of craft education by contextualizing craft with different kinds of pedagogical models. This article focuses on a pedagogical model that combines craft and art education. This kind of approach includes not only the production of crafted items, but also the demonstration of one’s skills, knowledge, thoughts, experiences, perceptions and emotions – tasks traditionally reserved for artistic expression. At the core of the learning task is the personal and active processing of a mental image or association. Craft as a form of self-expression can be a way of learning sensitivity towards different cultural or ecological phenomena, reflecting on culture and society, and better understanding cultural differences. In this model, the relationship with tradition is future oriented and renewable.

Keywords: art education; craft education; craft-art; holistic craft process; pedagogical model; self-expression

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/eta.7.2.111_1

Affiliations: University of Eastern Finland

Publication date: July 12, 2011

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  • The International Journal of Education through Art is an English language journal that promotes relationships between art and education. The term 'art education' should be taken to include art, craft and design education. Each issue, published three times a year within a single volume, consists of peer-reviewed articles mainly in the form of research reports and critical essays, but may also include exhibition reviews and image-text features.
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