Material and surface: Course synergy as a channel towards a more encompassing view of learning

Ana Anna-Liisa Nuutinen, Riikka Räisänen, Päivi Fernström

Tutkimustuotokset: Kirjoitus lehdessä tai erikoisnumeron toimittaminenArtikkeliTieteellinenvertaisarvioitu


The course Material and Surface is a combination of four minor courses: Experiential Textile Design, Dyeing, Textile Printing and Embroidery. The course combination is offered to first-year textile teacher students. Through combining courses, the aim has been to support integrated learning and transform fragmented education into a thematically coherent whole. The four courses form an intertwined and progressive structure in which each course is based on the knowledge learned from the previous course. The creative basis of the Experiential Textile Design course applies David Kolb’s theory (1984). The creative ideas are then applied to assignments in Dyeing, Textile Printing and Embroidery. Following the courses, students collect assignments in a learning portfolio. They organize their assignments in a progressive order to self-assess personal development, the creative process and changes in learning and thinking.

The aims of this research were to find out 1) how the course combination reinforced students’ understanding of their own learning, 2) in which ways students’ own experiences strengthened their personal development and 3) what effect the collaboration had on teachers and their working. Data collected during the years 2008–2013 consisted of students’ portfolios (N=152), teachers' self-reflections as notes and diary remarks and notes from the final critiques. Data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis.

The results indicate that the learning portfolio serves as feedback for the teachers. During the courses, the students worked in groups and shared experiences which strengthened collective values and meanings. Mutual sharing built the group’s cohesion, which was observable in students’ vivid and increasing discussions: they shared more of their ideas, they encouraged and inspired each other. Diversity appeared to be the most important feature that arose from the data – all experiences were evaluated equally true and valuable.

Keywords: textile teacher education, integration, synergy, curriculum
JulkaisuTechne Series: Research in Sloyd Education and Craft Science A
TilaJulkaistu - 2016
OKM-julkaisutyyppiA1 Vertaisarvioitu alkuperäisartikkeli


  • textile teacher education, integration, synergy, curriculum


  • Muut humanistiset tieteet

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