Children Designing a Soft Toy. An LCE model as an application of the experiential learning during the holistic craft process
In a holistic craft process, the same person designs a visual and technical appearance, produces the design with craft materials and technologies, make necessary changes to the design during its production and finally assesses the process and the finished product. Similarly, in the educational context, students should make craft products starting with the design process. These kinds of designing and hands-on activities nurture students’ creativity and problem-solving skills and offer them an opportunity to test their ideas and see them realised. Testing and further developing pedagogical approaches to holistic craft is important from the perspective of the renewal of the national core curriculum (2016) in Finland, which emphasises holistic approaches and the integration of different content areas. This study presents an experiential learning model of combining literature education, ethic-moral education and craft. Kolb’s model of experiential learning gives a solid and systematic theoretical base for this LCE model (one combining literature, craft and ethic-moral education). The teaching experiment is implemented as a craft process supported with children’s literature and activities based on a story. It seems that children can derive benefit from literature and activities during a craft making process. In addition, referencing literature enables the teacher to combine the craft process with multiple learning targets, fostering both ethical and content skills. We present the LCE model both in the light of an experiential learning model and the pragmatic implementations it gives rise to. According to our experiments, experiential learning can be meaningfully applied to the holistic craft process and craft education. Furthermore, the LCE model helps students to commit to holistic craft by nurturing a personal attachment.
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