Design, Art and Handicrafts – Subject Didactics PPUFOR30

Course Objectives

Overall aims for teacher education programmes are to develop:

  • Subject skills
  • Didactic skills
  • Social skills
  • Professional ethical skills
  • Innovation and development skills

Design, Art and Handicrafts – Subject Didactics within the Post Graduate Certificate of Education study programme builds on a minimum 3-year graduate professional education. Consequently, the course primarily comprises work that focuses on the latter four skills.

Students will:

  • Acquire knowledge regarding the subject area’s historical development, theoretical roots and cultural significance, and be able to show the importance this has for the development of each individual and the public arena (social, professional and cultural life).
  • Develop the ability to plan, validate, execute, and assess teaching within the subject area on several levels based on curricula and for pupils with different interests and from different backgrounds.
  • Acquire the ability to supervise and assess pupils, and to assess and use various learning aids and visual communication tools in teaching.
  • Develop the ability to reflect on ethical and environmental choices in the instruction of design, art and handicrafts.
  • Develop familiarity with basic didactic concepts with regard to the subject, and use them as a basis for practising subject criticism, innovation and development regarding instruction in the subject area, from both national and international perspectives.
  • Develop the ability to participate in subject-pedagogical debates.

Course Description

Design, Art and Handicrafts has its roots in art and design culture, various handicrafts and creative fields such as pictorial art, art handicrafts, design, film and architecture. The subject is characterised by accomplishment and creative work in two and three dimensions, where materials, tools and techniques are important factors.

The subject field is anchored in tradition and related to creative and innovative work. Knowledge, skills and approaches related to design culture in historic and contemporary perspectives are important aspects of the subject.

Cultural roots, development of ideas, problem solutions and research into new materials are important factors to take into consideration in the development of new knowledge. Activities within the field impinge on the shaping of our everyday existence and affect our lives. Design, art and handicrafts represents an important contribution to understanding and respect for our own and other people’s cultures.

Subject didactics questions are concerned with the legitimisation of the subject area and its place within the educational system. In this context, the relevant curricula are important for the discussion of content, and planning and organising in order to achieve designated aims.

The teaching is related to the five skills of the Knowledge Promotion Reform:

Knowledge Promotion Reform - lower secondary schools

Knowledge Promotion Reform – upper secondary schools – specialisation in arts and crafts subjects

Knowledge Promotion Reform – upper secondary school - design and handicrafts

It is important that pedagogy and didactics are related to each other and placed in a professional and relevant overall context.

Students of Design, Art and Handicrafts – Subject Didactics within the Post Graduate Certificate of Education study programme have usually completed their graduate education in the following subject areas: pictorial art, art handicrafts, design, photography, film and architecture at a university college, and/or completed a degree in the history of art at a university. The course is designed to prepare and qualify students for future teaching positions.

Design, Art and Handicrafts – Subject Didactics is primarily aimed at the teaching of related subjects in lower and upper secondary schools. In the context of the lower secondary school (5th – 10th grades), the focus is on the teaching of art and handicrafts. In the upper secondary school, the focus is on the arts and design subjects in the area of general studies.

The course curriculum is divided into the following five target areas:

1. The subject field’s distinct character, development and legitimisation

2. Teaching, planning and organising and evaluation

3. Teaching, learning aids and ICT

4. Environment and ethics

5. Research and development

This division into target areas is done for practical and systematic reasons. During the course, work will often be done in several areas simultaneously.

Target area 1: The subject area’s distinct character, development and legitimisation

The subject area’s history illustrates how important design, art and handicrafts has been to our society, both technically and aesthetically; in turn, this forms the basis for reflection concerning the importance of the subject area in the educational system. Current curricula and the structure of teaching of the subject, from primary and secondary schools to university colleges and universities, indicate the emphasis the subject area has been given in both general, vocational and professional education programmes.

Students will learn:

  • The reasons for the legitimisation of the subject area, design, art and handicrafts over time, and be able to reflect on this in relation to development and the subject’s area’s distinct characteristics.
  • To evaluate the subject’s practical function, importance and value in relation to the individual, society and cultural life, and possess knowledge of children, adolescents and adults’ aesthetic development, and be able to use this insight in their own teaching.

Target area 2: Teaching, planning and organising, and assessment

Pupils’ own practical work is very important in the subject design, art and handicrafts. Pupils’ interests and predisposition for learning, local conditions and curricula form the basis for the planning of teaching. Skills in relation to learning, analysis, execution, supervision, instruction, reflection and innovation regarding teaching and learning are important aspects of a teacher’s work. The course therefore attempts to emphasise students’ experiences of creative work and learning processes in the planning of teaching and the teaching practice. Supervision of pupils and ongoing dialogue between teacher and pupil are important aspects of the course.

Students will learn to:

  • Plan, execute and evaluate teaching plans based on the general curriculum and the course curriculum for Design, Art and Handicrafts, and adapt the teaching according to pupils’ backgrounds and interests and local conditions.
  • Formulate goals for their own teaching and pupils’ learning based on the general curriculum and the course curriculum, and be able to plan, motivate and supervise the work which these entail.
  • Evaluate pupil assignments and tasks on the basis of each pupil’s needs, including taking into consideration adapted learning strategies in general, and special needs in particular, equality, equal status and the establishment of cultural awareness amongst pupils of different cultural backgrounds.
  • Plan and organise, use and evaluate various teaching and learning methods, including projects and interdisciplinary work, and in this connection establish cooperation with others.
  • Evaluate and discuss various forms of assessment in Design, Art and Handicrafts and be able to use these in evaluating pupils’ work and learning.
  • Evaluate their own and others’ teaching plans and discuss the consequences, strengths and weaknesses of these plans.

Target area 3: Teaching, learning aids and information and communications technology (ICT)

The teaching and dissemination of art and design culture / art history holds an important position in the subject curriculum of Design, Art and Handicrafts. It should be highlighted as a separate subject area and as an area for learning, inspiration, and reflection related to design. The development of information and communications technology has opened up new learning arenas incorporating various learning aids, essential for illustrating concrete examples and various forms of presentation within the subject area. Video, CD-ROM and satellite television and Internet have also expanded the limits of what was previously possible within visual communication. A critical and overall examination of possibilities and limitations is important in relation to discussions regarding changes within the subject area.

Students will learn to:

  • Give an account of what characterises effective teaching skills in Design, Art and Handicrafts, and be able to use technical terms and visual communication in their own teaching.
  • Plan and organise so as to provide pupils with meaningful experiences, learning and the opportunity for reflection related to art and design.
  • Keep up to date regarding important literature on the subject and be able to reflect and discuss strengths and weaknesses.
  • Discuss challenges, opportunities and limitations regarding incorporating information and communications technology in the teaching.
  • Use various learning aids and develop material to illustrate concrete examples.

Target area 4: The environment and ethics

This target area concerns questions related to design subjects’ use of materials and resources with regard to ecological sustainable development, and to the shaping of our physical environment.

Students will learn to:

  • Give an account of the characteristics and information concerning the use of any materials which may be used in the teaching of the subject but may cause damage to the user and the environment.
  • Evaluate ethical questions related to the subject’s use and consumption of materials and resources.
  • Reflect on the development of public spaces and plan and organise so that pupils develop a conscious awareness regarding this; provide them with experiences that will enable them to make up their own minds concerning their attitudes; and provide them with opportunities to contribute constructive proposals in relation to their environment.

Target area 5: Research and development work

Research and development work is an important requirement regarding the development of the subject field. Development-related activities may take place on several levels, from simple experiments to more complex studies. Insight into, and motivation to participate in research and development work is necessary both for one’s own development in subject-related didactics and in order to contribute to development in the educational sector.

Students will:

  • Acquire knowledge of current research and development work regarding didactics in relation to Design, Art and Handicrafts, and become aware of various methods and approaches for accessing knowledge both generally and within the subject field.
  • Participate in research and development activities regarding the subject field and didactic approaches.

Learning Methods

This course in subject didactics is organised so as to alternate between theory and practice. Teaching practice in educational institutions forms an important basis for reflection on the didactics aspect of the subject. Organisational and study methods should be chosen that bind together the various parts of the course, i.e. subject didactics, teaching practice and pedagogy.

The study of subject didactics should be associated with the most common or principal themes within several subjects or subject areas of the field of design, art and handicrafts. Students should also relate their written, practical and oral work in the course to themes from their own fields of specialisation or subject background. The study of subject didactics should, in other words, be based on practical teaching applications. Student learning in subject didactics in Design, Arts, and Handicrafts is based on participation in the group work involving didactic reflection related to the practical workshop activities. Large parts of the programme are therefore obligatory.


In the 30 ECTS programme, Design, Art and Handicrafts - Subject Didactics, the last 15 ECTS consist of development work in subject didactics. This involves an independent project with a subject didactics’ approach. The project should be related to the student’s area of specialisation / subject background, and should comprise a practical part, i.e. creative work carried out by the student. The project should be documented by means of a report and a visual presentation.

Teaching plans

Based on the course curriculum and practice teaching, semester plans will be drafted which will provide information on the work requirements / obligatory assignments, and an overview of the parts of the teaching where attendance is obligatory. The target areas in the general curriculum and course curriculum are obligatory. Within each target area, the teacher and student must reach a mutual agreement on prioritising. In the obligatory part of the course, which will be specified in the semester plan, there is a requirement of a minimum of 80% attendance in order for students to be allowed to take the examination.

Teaching and learning methods

The primary objective for the course is to guarantee high standards within the teaching profession and within the subject. Throughout the course, teaching and learning methods are used which aim at developing teaching skills. There should be a combination of individual and group work in the course. In experiencing different teaching and learning methods, students will develop their abilities to reflect, evaluate, create, take the initiative and mediate.

Teaching and learning methods in the course may include: lectures, individual study, group work, projects, research and development work, fieldwork, study trips, practical creative efforts and exhibitions etc.

The results of student work may be documented through practical teaching work, written presentations, oral presentations, dramatisations, exhibitions, video programmes and home pages.

Responsibility for one’s own learning is a fundamental principle of the course, and students also have a common responsibility for group efforts. Experience with various forms of cooperation is an important element of preparation for future professional responsibilities.

Assessment Methods

In order to take the examination in Design, Art and Handicrafts – Subject Didactics, obligatory assignments must have been submitted and approved. These assignments, both practical and theoretical, will be assessed pass/fail.

Before candidates may take the examination they must first have successfully completed the obligatory teaching practice in the current semester.

The examination consists of:

5-hour individual, written examination

weighted 2

Project with report

weighted 3

A single graded mark is entered on the diploma, graded from A to F, where A is the highest, and E the lowest passing grade. Each part of the assessment must receive a passing grade in order to achieve a final passing grade for the course. Please refer to Telemark University College’s examination regulations for further information.

Minor adjustments may occur during the academic year, subject to the decision of the Dean

Publisert av / forfatter Ian Harkness <>, last modified Ian Hector Harkness - 01/04/2011