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