A Comparative Study of Craft and Technology Education Curriculums and Students’ Attitudes towards Craft and Technology in Finnish and Estonian Schools

Ossi Autio, Mart Soobik

Abstract

This paper is based on a comparative study of craft and technology education curriculums and students’ attitudes towards craft and technology in Finland and Estonia. The study was undertaken by the Helsinki University and University of Tallinn in the year 2012. A literature review was completed, in order to examine and compare the origins of craft education in Finland and Estonia. The review highlighted that craft education in both Finland and Estonia originated over 140 years ago and was influenced by the Tsarist Russia, the Western European countries and Scandinavian sloyd pedagogy. Furthermore, despite the origins of craft education in Finland and Estonia being similar, the Estonian national curriculum placed greater emphasis on innovation, whereas the Finnish national curriculum focused on the development of students’ personalities and gender issues. A quantitative survey was subsequently distributed to 148 school students in Finland, 276 school students in Estonia. It consisted of 14 questions, which aimed to ascertain students’ attitudes towards craft and technology. The survey showed substantial differences in students’ attitudes towards craft and technology education in the two countries: these differences may be explained by differences in the national curriculums and the different pedagogical traditions. However, these findings need to be examined further through research.

Keywords: national curriculum, attitude, pedagogical traditions, technology education, craft.

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