Art and crafts - one subject or a cross disciplinary field?

  • Kjetil Sømoe Høgskolen Stord/Haugesund
Keywords: Art and Crafts, curriculum, subject, history, sloyd, woodwork, textile, drawing, cluster of subjects, forming, sacred and profane


The introduction of the curriculum subject, Forming, later renamed Kunst og håndverk (Art and Crafts), is often described as a merging of the three earlier curriculum subjects handicrafts for boys (mainly woodwork), handicrafts for girls (mainly textile based activities) and drawing. This article use the curriculum subject history, as well as different descriptions of the controversy which has existed in Forming/Art and Crafts since the merging, to argue that Art and Craft is better to be described as a cluster of subjects rather than a subject in its own right. Through two national surveys, the School Subject Inspection 2009 and 2011, the practice and attitude among Norwegian primary- and secondary school teachers have been mapped. The findings suggest that different teachers fill their teaching with very different content, and also that high educated teachers, especially in the secondary school, tend to emphasize one of the historical roots of the subject, such as woodwork, textile or drawing. The article argues that the different traditions in Art and Crafts should be made visible at a formal level in the Norwegian teacher education, and it suggests there should be left some room for specialization within the subject in the national teacher 1-7 and 5-10 education curriculums.


How to Cite
Sømoe, K. (2013). Art and crafts - one subject or a cross disciplinary field?. FormAkademisk - Research Journal of Design and Design Education, 6(3).