Sunday, September 09, 2007

A Canadian Professor John Olson helps to clarify the relationship between Sloyd and Vocational education as follows:

Excerpted from: The Moral Dimension of Making Things
Beyond technique to culture

'Sloyd', for example, in the Scandinavian tradition unifies learning about form and matter in the same making process. The point is that things are made for a purpose, and, when well made, are beautiful. The question of fitness for purpose, and the fitness of the purpose, arises as part of the making. Making things —Sloyd— did not stand outside of general education; it was part of the goal of education for work —but also for life— a unified idea. As Kananoja,(see article notes) speaking from a Scandinavian perspective, points out:

Cygnaeus clarified the concept ‘education’ or ‘upbringing’ in his many writings. He did not want to limit general education to the mere acquisition of knowledge and skills for the work force and to make the pupils unthinking imitators of technologies and artifacts. Rather, he wanted to educate them for carefulness, accuracy, creativity and dexterity.

Sloyd originally was part of a general education which included work as an educational concern. Work education, being then within general education, is the germ from which a more comprehensive view of education grew; at least in the conception of Uno Cygnaeus and those he influenced. Work education was not to one side, but central to general education. If we retain the original spirit of Sloyd, or making things, then we have an idea that does not separate work from life through separate vocational training, but continues to ground education in the idea of work and life as being integrated.

The full text of this article is available Here

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