University of Jyväskylä

Dissertation: 29.10.2016 M.A. Marjo Rissanen (Faculty of Education, Education)

Start date: Oct 29, 2016 12:00 PM

End date: Oct 29, 2016 03:00 PM

Location: Seminaarinmäki, S212, Vanha juhlasali

M.A. Marjo Rissanen defends her doctoral dissertation in Education "Taitamisen tiede – Tietämisen taide. Taidon oppimisen arkkitehtuuri”. Opponent Professor Antti Juvonen (University of Eastern Finland) and custos Senior Lecturer Matti Itkonen (University of Jyväskylä). The doctoral dissertation is held in Finnish.


The purpose of this research was to study skill learning and the meaning of the art and skill subjects in Finnish comprehensive school.  During the last decade, there have been many discussions in the media about the position of the art and skill subjects in our school system and the curriculum. The beginning, the idea, of this study can be located in 2003, when we educators were in the middle of designing the new curriculum for the year 2004. In that curriculum the amount of the art and skill subjects was decreasing, because the amount of the optional subjects decreased from 20 to 13. Many teachers asked: why was that happening? They had a feeling, that the direction was not right. I was also reasoning this matter and asking myself: what is the meaning of the art and skill subjects in our educational system?

In this research the aim is to point out, that it isn’t waste of time to have art and skill subjects in school. I claim that “the art and skill subjects are important, because it is possible to affirm selfhood with them. Also our brain functions and motor skills are developing. The learning process becomes more effective through the interaction and the creative thinking”. The research questions are: How do the art and skill subjects affirm selfhood? How the hands on approach and action are affecting to one’s brain development and motor skills learning? How the art and skill subjects are contributing the learning and creativity development?

This research is interdisciplinary: phenomenological philosophy, cognitive neuroscience and pedagogy are the main aspects in the research. Edmund Husserl’s eidetic reduction has been used as a research method. Based on that method the Architecture of Skill Learning -figure has been constructed during the research process. As a result of the analysis, the claim is strengthened during the process by interviewing pupils (N 50), art and skill teachers (N 30) and an artist and also analysing the research literature.

In the end of the research there is reasoned, how the 21st century skills are adopted through the art and skill subjects.

Keywords: art and skill subjects, 21st century skills, creativity, curriculum, eidetic reduction, embodiment, skill learning, phenomenology

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Marjo Rissasen