The Quality of Design in 9th Grade Pupils’ Design-and-Make Assignments in Craft Education

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Erja Syrjäläinen Pirita Seitamaa-Hakkarainen


The aim of the present study was to analyse the
performance of grade 9 pupils (15-16 years old) on a
design-and-make assignment, which was a part of the
assessment of learning outcomes conducted by the
Finnish National Board of Education (FNBE) in crafts. A
sample of the students’ work on the assignments (N=
169) was analysed from the viewpoint of visualization and
operationalisation of the design ideas. Further, the
functional and aesthetic aspects of end products were
evaluated. The method of qualitative and quantitative data
analysis of the pupils’ design-and-make assignment is
explicated in detail. The results showed that pupils had
difficulties designing on paper; they executed only very
basic line-work for the designed products, and only some
details were illuminated in their visual representations. The
poor quality of visual and technical designing revealed that
the objectives of the National Core Curriculum in craft
education have not yet been attained. Further, these
results also indicate that the pupils’ skills in clarifying their
visual designs do not necessarily directly relate to the
functionality of what they have concretized in the end
products. The implications of the study for craft education
are discussed; brief recommendations are made on how
craft should be taught at school and what should be
emphasized in the courses’ content.

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How to Cite
SYRJÄLÄINEN, Erja; SEITAMAA-HAKKARAINEN, Pirita. The Quality of Design in 9th Grade Pupils’ Design-and-Make Assignments in Craft Education. Design and Technology Education: an International Journal, [S.l.], v. 19, n. 2, june 2014. ISSN 1360-1431. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 28 jan. 2023.
craft education, visual design, technical design, design-andmake assignment, assessment of learning outcomes