Design and Craft Education in Iceland, Pedagogical Background and Development: A literature review

Brynjar Ólafsson, Gisli Thorsteinsson
2009, Vol. 14, No. 2,


Sloyd pedagogy was introduced towards the close of
the18th century to Icelandic educators. Subsequently craft
was established as a specific subject aimed at general
education. In the beginning craft was called “school
industry,” to distinguish it from “home industry” whose aim
was to help homes to be self-sufficient for commercial
purposes. Different curricula focusing mainly on craft were
developed until 1999 when craft was re-established as a
new technological subject, based on a rationale for
technological literacy, innovation and design. The new
subject, Design and Craft was influenced by the national
curricula of New Zealand, Canada and England and a
specific Icelandic model for Innovation Education. Design
and Craft education is compulsory for all grades 1-8 (ages
6-13), but optional for grades 9-10 (ages14-15). In the
new subject students base their idea generation and
design on authentic problems and make their artefacts
from resistant materials. They design systems based on
electronic circuits, mechanisms, pneumatics and structures.
In this article the authors describe the pedagogical
background of the subject and the curriculum


pedagogy, craft, pedagogical craft, Sloyd, Iceland, Cygnaeus, Salomon, Thorarinsson, Design and Craft, technology education, Innovation Education, national curriculum

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