Craft education in sustaining and developing craft traditions

Reflections from Finnish craft teacher education

  • Sirpa Kokko University of Helsinki
  • Riikka Räisänen University of Helsinki


In 2013, the UNESCO convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage was ratified by Finland, and its implementation has continued since. During this process, the discussions on the role of craft tradition have concerned the specific features of Finnish craft culture. One recognised aspect is the role of craft education in Finnish basic education. This article discusses the role of craft education in sustaining and developing textile craft traditions from the perspective of craft teacher education. The student teachers' portfolios from two courses were examined to determine how students applied traditional crafts and craft techniques in individual work and in teaching practices. The findings suggest that the way the students applied crafts traditions was often related to their own motivation, experiences, and ideation. Some of the topics in these two courses guided them to apply craft traditions but often it was their own choice to consider traditional aspect. Following the guidelines of the Finnish Curriculum for Basic Education, Finnish craft teacher education does not particularly focus on craft traditions. Taking the targets of safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage seriously, more effort is required when educating future teachers about craft traditions and the ways to sustain and develop them further.

Keywords: textile craft, craft education, teacher education, intangible cultural heritage, tradition, sustainability


Sirpa Kokko, University of Helsinki

PhD, Adjunct Professor Sirpa Kokko works as a University Lecturer at the University of Helsinki. Her duties are teacher training in craft education: lecturing of craft education and supervising teacher training, Barchelor, Master's and Doctoral thesis. She has experience in different levels of education. In addition to working in Development cooperation, she has been involved in teacher and research cooperation with European art and craft universities. She has conducted research on various topics of arts and crafts and craft education. She is a member of the Editorial Board of Studia Vernacula (University of Tartu) and has been reviewing scientific papers.

Riikka Räisänen, University of Helsinki

PhD, Adjunct Professor Riikka Räisänen works as a University Lecturer at the University of Helsinki. She has her doctoral degree in craft science and she also has degrees in education and natural sciences. As a lecturer at the textile teacher education, she teaches textile technology and materials, dyeing and research methods. She also supervises Batchelor, Master’s and Doctoral thesis. Räisänen’s research interests focus on sustainable textiles and consumption as well as collaborative and problem based working. Her special interest is in biocolourants. She is a member of the Editorial Board in Coloration Technology, and a referee in various textile research journals.

Referera så här
Kokko, S., & Räisänen, R. (2019). Craft education in sustaining and developing craft traditions. Techne serien - Forskning i Slöjdpedagogik och Slöjdvetenskap, 26(1), 27-43. Hämtad från