The intelligence of the hands: studying the origin of pedagogical craft education

Brynjar Olafsson*, Gisli Thorsteinsson**
* -**University of Iceland
Periodicity:November - January'2012


Pedagogical craft was established in the Scandinavia around 1950 under the name Sloyd. The ideology was developed by European educators from 16th and 17th century. Sloyd aimed to educate children holistically via a carefully structured system for teaching craft. The child became the centre of the educational activities and the development of the capabilities of the whole person. Sloyd had a noted impact on the early development of manual training, manual arts, industrial education and technical education in many countries. The pedagogy had a humanistic character and its principles were guidelines for the whole activity in the subject. Individual development and self-realisation were at the centre of the subject, rather than just technical knowledge and skill taught by the teacher. The system aimed to fulfil the demands of a holistic education by fostering the entire human being’s capabilities. At the same time, it prepared the individual for the future working life, in accordance with the needs of an industrial society.


pedagogy, craft, pedagogical craft, Sloyd, general education, handicraft.

How to Cite this Article?

Brynjar Olafsson and Gisli Thorsteinsson (2012). The Intelligence of the Hands: Studying the Origin of Pedagogical Craft Education. i-manager’s Journal on Educational Psychology, 5(3), 1-8.


[1]. Anderson, L. (1926).A History of manual and industrial social education . New york; Applection
[2].Bennet, C.A. (1926). History of manual and industrial social education upto to Peorial: The Manual Arts Press.
[3].Bennet, C.A. (1926) to m1917. History of manual and industrial social education upto to Peorial: The Manual Arts Press.
[4].. Borg, K. (2006). what is sloyed? A question of lehitimacy and identity. Tidskriff for lararutbildningoch forshning, 13(2-3),35-51.
[5]. Borg, K. (2007). Processes or/and products – what do teachers assess? Design and Technology Education: An International Journal, 12(2), 57–65.
[6]. Brühlmeier, A. (1998). Mitarbeit an der Pestalozzi Website von Prof. Dr. G. Kuhlemann. Accessed 26.03 2009 from:
[7]. Barnard, H. (1859). Pestalozzi and Pestalozzianism: Life Educational Principles and Methods of John Henry Pestalozzi. With Biographical Sketches of Several of His Assistants and Disciples. New York: F.C. Brownell.
[8]. Comenius, J. A. (1633/1986). Didactica Magna / Magna Didactics Akal Ediciones. Tra edition.
[9]. Den Danske Ordbog 1-6 (The Danish Dictionary 1-6) (2003-2005). Gyldendal & Society for Danish Language and Literature.
[10]. Kananoja, T. (1989). Tyo, taito ja teknologia: Yleissivistävän koulun oiminnallisuuteen jatyohon kasvattamisesta. Doctoral thesis: University of Turku
[11]. Kananoja, T. (1991). Uno Cygnaeus, des finnische Volkschulwesens und seine Ideen zur Slöjd-Pädagogik. Í R. Oberliesen og G. Wiemann (ritstjórar), Arbeit und Technik im Unterricht. Sonnenberg Internationale Berichte zur Geschichte I. Symposium im Nääs, 29. Juli – 04. August (bls. 125–140). Braunschweig: Sonnenberg.
[12]. Kantola, J. (1997). Cygnaeuksen jaljilla kasityonopetuksesta teknologiseen kasvatukseen. Doctoral thesis: University of Jyväskylä.
[13]. Kantola, J., Nikkanen, P., Kari, J. og Kananoja, T. (1999). Through education into the world of work. Uno Cygnaeus, the father of technology education. Jyväskylä: Institute for Educational Research, University of Jyväskylä.
[14]. Kapes, J. T. (1984). A study guide to historical antecedents of vocational education. Educational philosophy and federal legislation. College Station: Department of Industrial, Vocational and Technical Education, Texas A&M University
[15]. Kuhlemann, G. and Brühlmeier, A. (2002). Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi (1746-1827). Hohengehren: Schneider-Verlag.
[16]. Locke, J. (1693/2001). Some Thoughts Concerning Education. New York: Bartleby.
[17]. McArdle, T. (2002). Planning in technical and vocational education and training. Planning & Project Development. Heart Trust / National Training Agency.
[18]. McClure, F. A., Chrisman, R. J. and Mock P. (1985). Education for Work: The Historical Evolution of Vocational and Distributive Education in America. Fairleigh Dickinson University Press.
[19]. Mikkelsen, A. (1891). The pedagogue (Opdrageren); A Journal for Sloyd Education. Vol. 8, No. 1. Slojdlærerskolen Copenhagen.
[20]. Moreno, L. (1998). Cuban Sloyd. An evolutional approach, theoretical perspective and empirical contribution. Doctoral dissertation. Åbo: Åbo Akademi University Press.
[21]. Moreno Herrera, L. (1999). Nordic slöjd – roots and contribution to international education. Nordisk Pedagogik, 19(2), 91–97.
[22]. Myhre, R. (2001).Stefnur og straumar í uppeldissogu. Reykjavík: Rannsoknarstofnun Kennarahaskola Islands.
[23]. Roberts, R. W. (1965).Vocational and practical arts education. New York, NY: Harper & Row.
[24]. Rousseau, J. J. (1764/1979). Emile or On education. Basic Books: USA. Salomon, O. (1877 – 1887). Letters to Uno Cygnaeus.
[25]. Salomon, O. (1892).The theory of educational Sloyd. London: George, Philip & Son.
[26]. Salomon, O. (1893).Tankar om slöjd, uppfostran och lärarebildning. Stockholm.
[27]. Salomon, O. A. (1904).The teacher's hand-book of slojd. Boston, New York & Chicago: Silver, Burdett & Co.
[28]. Thane, L. (1914).Om Slöjd. Aands og haandsudviklingen Iskolen. Pios Boghandel. Copenhagen.
[29] The Danish Sloyd Guide. (1893). To the exhibit of the Danish Sloyd Association at the World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago. Copenhagen.
[30]. Thorarinsson, J. (1891). Um kennslu i skolaidnadi. Timarit um uppeldis- og menntamal, 4(1), 3-20.
[31]. Thorbjornsson, H. (2006). Swedish Educational Sloyd – an International Success. Tidskrift för lärarutbildning och forskning, 13(2–3), 10–34.
[32]. Thorbjornsson, H. (1990). Nääs och Otto Salomon. Slöjden och leken. Helsingborg: Ordbildarna.
[33]. Vaughn, S. J. & Mays, A. B. (1924). Content and methods of the Industrial Arts. New York & London: The Century Co.
If you have access to this article please login to view the article or kindly login to purchase the article

Purchase Instant Access

Single Article

North Americas,UK,
Middle East,Europe
India Rest of world
Pdf 35 35 200 20
Online 35 35 200 15
Pdf & Online 35 35 400 25

Options for accessing this content:
  • If you would like institutional access to this content, please recommend the title to your librarian.
    Library Recommendation Form
  • If you already have i-manager's user account: Login above and proceed to purchase the article.
  • New Users: Please register, then proceed to purchase the article.