FORMakademisk (Dec 2010)

Examining Design and Craft Education in Iceland. Curriculum development and present situation

  • Brynjar Olafsson,
  • Gisli Thorsteinsson

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 3, no. 2


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This article reports a research project that examined the background, status, understanding of and attitude to Design and Craft education (Hönnun og smíði) in Icelandic elementary schools. The main conclusions showed that certain aspects of Design and Craft need to be further defined in order to strengthen its position in the school system. Concepts were not clearly defined and research on Design and Craft education was lacking. The participants’ attitudes to Design and Craft were positive and the subject was popular amongst students. However, results showed a lack of understanding of the differences between basic terms such as Art, Design and Craft. All of the interviewees thought Design and Craft were important subjects for individualized learning and wanted to give them a more prominent role in general education. Design and Craft education in the Icelandic National Curriculum has not been fully realised. The research identified that schools have not allocated extra hours for the subjects, even though local authorities were supportive and flexibility existed in the time schedule. Lack of finances was, furthermore, not a hindrance to increased Design and Craft education.