The Effects of Remote Pandemic Education on Crafts Pedagogy: Opportunities, Challenges, and Interaction

  • Anna Kouhia Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland
  • Kaiju Kangas Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland
  • Sirpa Kokko Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland
Keywords: crafts, craft education, remote pedagogy, distance learning, pandemic pedagogy


The Covid-19 pandemic caused many sudden social changes, including a shift to remote education in many countries. In Finland, remote education also concerns crafts as a standard school subject, combining aspects of art, design, textile, and technology in basic education. Accordingly, Finnish craft teachers faced the unprecedented situation of teaching remotely a subject, which often involves hands-on activities with tangible tools and materials. The present study explores how craft pedagogy has been adapted to remote education by looking at the opportunities and challenges it faces and the effects on classroom interaction. The data consist of the output of two webinars (i.e. 27 group assignments from 123 participants) organised in the autumn of 2020 and targeted at craft teachers and student craft teachers at various levels of the education system. The qualitative, data-driven content analysis reveals that remote teaching provides beneficial opportunities for involving students’ everyday lives and families in craft education. However, challenges exist relating to the unequal distribution of materials, as well as technical and social resources at different levels of education and in various contexts. Our study also finds that remote teaching is more teacher-centred and task-oriented than classroom interaction. Online teaching facilities allow teachers to provide students with more individual feedback but make maintaining students’ peer interaction difficult. Although remote craft education was considered very challenging at first, teachers have managed to create useful pedagogical practices to be utilised in and beyond the era of the Covid-19 pandemic.


Download data is not yet available.


Alcott, B., Rose, P., Sabates, R., & Torres, R. (2018). Handbook on measuring equity in education. UNESCO Institute for Statistics.

Arnove, R. F. (2020). Imagining what education can be post-COVID-19. Prospects, 49(1–2), 43–46.

Aguilera, E., & Nightengale-Lee, B. (2020). Emergency remote teaching across urban and rural contexts: Perspectives on educational equity. Information and Learning Sciences, 121(5/6), 471–478.

Bosco, A., Santiveri, N., & Tesconi, S. (2019). Digital making in educational projects. Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal, 9(3), 51–73.

Choi, M., Tessler, H., & Kao, G. (2020). Arts and crafts as an educational strategy and coping mechanism for Republic of Korea and United States parents during the COVID-19 pandemic. International Review of Education, 66(5), 715–735.

Coleman, K., & MacDonald, A. (2020). Art education during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Daugherty, M. K. (2013). The prospect of an “A†in STEM education. Journal of STEM Education: Innovations and Research, 14(2), 10–15.

De Bono, E. (1985). Six thinking hats. MICA Management Resources.

d’Orville, H. (2020). COVID-19 causes unprecedented educational disruption: Is there a road towards a new normal? Prospects, 49(1–2), 11–15.

FINEEC [Finnish Education Evaluation Centre]. (2020). Poikkeuksellisten opetusjärjestelyjen vaikutukset tasa-arvon ja yhdenvertaisuuden toteutumiseen Osa I: Kansallisen arvioinnin taustaraportti, synteesi ja tilannearvio valmiiden aineistojen pohjalta [The impacts of exceptional teaching arrangements on equity. Part I: The background report of national assessment, synthesis and estimation based on existing data].

FNAE [Finnish National Agency for Education]. (2020, March 13). Education services and the coronavirus.

FNBE [Finnish National Board of Education]. (2016). National core curriculum for basic education 2014. Publications 2016: 5. Finnish National Board for Education.

Freedman, K., & Escaño, C. (2020). Reflections from education and the arts in the COVID-19 era. Reflections IX, X. Communiars. Revista de Imagen, Artes y Educación Crítica y Social, 4, 25–28.

Friese, S. (2012). Qualitative data analysis with ATLAS.ti. Sage.

Fullan, M. (2020). Learning and the pandemic: What’s next? Prospects, 49(1–2), 25–28.

Garzón Artacho, E., Martínez, T. S, Martín, J. L., Marín, J., & Gómez García, G. (2020). Teacher training and lifelong learning: The importance of digital competence in the encouragement of teaching innovation. Sustainability, 12(7), 2852.

Giovannella, C., Passarelli, M., & Persico, D. (2020). The effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Italian learning ecosystems: The school teachers’ perspective at the steady state. Interaction Design and Architucture(s), 45, 264–286.

Hakkarainen, K., Hietajärvi, L., Alho, K., Lonka, K., & Salmela-Aro, K. (2015). Socio-digital revolution: Digital natives vs. digital immigrants. In J. D. Wright (Ed.), International encyclopedia of the social and behavioral sciences (Vol 22, 2nd ed., pp. 918–923). Elsevier.

Hetland, L., Winner, E., Veenema, S., & Sheridan, K. M. (2013). Studio thinking 2: The real benefits of visual arts education (2nd ed.). Teachers College Press.

Hodges, C., Moore, S., Lockee, B., Trust, T., & Bond, A. (2020). The difference between emergency remote teaching and online learning. Educause Review.

Hughes, C. (2020). COVID-19 and the opportunity to design a more mindful approach to learning. Prospects, 49(1–2), 69–72.

Ilomäki, L., & Lakkala, M. (2020). Finnish upper secondary school students’ experiences with online courses. Education in the North, 27(2), 73–91.

Inki, J., Lindfors, E., Sohlo, J., Aadeli, S., & Bläuer, H. (2011). Käsityön työturvallisuusopas — Perusopetuksen teknisen työn ja tekstiilityön opetukseen [Occupational safety guide for crafts—For teaching technical work and textile work in basic education]. Opetushallitus.

Iivari, N., Sharma, S., & Ventä-Olkkonen, L. (2020). Digital transformation of everyday life: How the COVID-19 pandemic transformed the basic education of the young generation and why information management research should care? International Journal of Information Management, 55, 102–183.

Kini-Singh, A. (2020). Art education in the time of a pandemic.

Krippendorff, K. (2004). Content analysis: An introduction to its methodology (2nd ed.). Sage.

Kokko, S. (2021). Approaches to craft studies at higher education. FormAkademisk - Forskningstidsskrift for Design Og Designdidaktikk.

Kokko, S., Almevik, G., Høgseth, H., & Seitamaa-Hakkarainen, P. (2020). Mapping the methodologies of the Craft Sciences in Finland, Sweden and Norway. Craft Research, 11(2), 177–209.

Kokko, S., Kouhia, A., & Kangas, K. (2020). Finnish craft education in turbulence. Techne serien - Forskning i Slöjdpedagogik och Slöjdvetenskap, 27(1), 1–19.

Koskela, T., Pihlainen, K., Piispa-Hakala, S., Vornanen, R., & Hämäläinen, J. (2020). Parents’ views on family resiliency in sustainable remote schooling during the COVID-19 outbreak in Finland. Sustainability, 12(21), 8844.

Korhonen, T., Tiippana, N. M., Laakso, N. L., Meriläinen, M., & Hakkarainen, K. (2020). Growing mind: Socio-digital participation in and out of the school context. Students’ experiences 2019. University of Helsinki, Department of Education.

Kyngäs H. (2020). Inductive content analysis. In H. Kyngäs, K. Mikkonen, & M. Kääriäinen (Eds.), The application of content analysis in nursing science research (pp.13–21). Springer.

Laurell, J., Seitamaa, A., Sormunen, K., Seitamaa-Hakkarainen, P., Korhonen, T., & Hakkarainen, K. (2021). A socio-cultural approach to growth-mindset pedagogy: Maker-pedagogy as a tool for developing a next-generation growth mindset. In E. Kuusisto, M. Ubani, P. Nokelainen, & A. Toom (Eds.), Good teachers for tomorrow’s schools - Purpose, values, and talents in education (pp. 296–312). Brill Sense.

Mannila, L. (2018). Digitally competent schools: Teacher expectations when introducing digital competence in Finnish basic education. International Journal of Media, Technology and Lifelong Learning, 14(2), 201–215.

Milman, N. (2020). This is emergency remote teaching, not just online teaching. Education Week.

MinEdu [Ministry of Education and Culture]. (2019). Finnish VET in a nutshell. Education in Finland. Ministry of Education and Culture.

MinEdu [Ministry of Education and Culture]. (2021). Liberal adult education.

Niemi, H. M., & Kousa, P. (2020). A case study of students’ and teachers’ perceptions in a Finnish high school during the COVID pandemic. International Journal of Technology in Education and Science (IJTES), 4(4), 352–369.

Niemi, H., Kynäslahti, H., & Vahtivuori-Hänninen, S. (2013). Towards ICT in everyday life in Finnish schools: Seeking conditions for good practices. Learning, Media and Technology, 38(1), 57–71.

Nussbaum, M. C. (2010). Not for profit: Why democracy needs the humanities (Vol. 2). Princeton University Press.

Popa, S. (2020). Reflections on COVID-19 and the future of education and learning. Prospects, 49(1–2), 1–6.

Porko-Hudd M., Pöllänen S., & Lindfors E. (2018). Common and holistic crafts education in Finland. Techne Series: Research in Sloyd Education and Craft Science, 25(3), 26–38.

Pöllänen, S. (2019). Perspectives on multi-material craft in basic education. International Journal of Art and Design Education, 39(1), 255–270.

Robinson, S. K. (2020). A global reset of education. Prospects, 49(1–2), 7–9.

UNESCO. (2020). #LearningNeverStops. COVID-19 education response. UNESCO.

Wood, D. (2021). Introduction: Re-crafting an unsettled world. In D. Wood (ed.), Craft is Political (pp. 1–17). Bloomsbury Publishing.

Øgaard, A. (2018). Conventional classroom teaching through ICT and distance teaching. Nordic Journal of Digital Literacy, 13(1), 9–23.

How to Cite
Kouhia, A., Kangas, K., & Kokko, S. (2021). The Effects of Remote Pandemic Education on Crafts Pedagogy: Opportunities, Challenges, and Interaction. Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal, 11(Sp.Issue), 309-333.