Art, design, and culture for 145 student teachers

On 12 and 13 December, 145 first-year students from the primary school teacher programme at the School of Education and Communication (HLK) at Jönköping University (JU) went to Vandalorum in Värnamo to learn about how aesthetic learning processes can be integrated into pedagogical activities.

Maria Hammarsten, fil. lic. and lecturer in pedagogy at HLK, is responsible for the course Learning and development for primary teachers (Lärande och utveckling för grundlärare). All primary teacher students, regardless of specialization, take the course during their first year at HLK.

Händer som formar lera.
Maria Hammarsten

Maria Hammarsten

Maria believes that cultural justice is about promoting and creating the conditions for all children, pupils, and young people to have the right to encounter professional culture and the opportunity to explore their own creativity.

“For this to be possible, culture in pre-school, primary and secondary schools is very important, if not crucial. This, in turn, requires that teachers and students becoming teachers have some form of basic competence about what art and culture mean for learning and how culture can be integrated into the entire educational mission," says Maria Hammarsten.

“The combination of practical and theoretical teaching increases”

Elin Gunnarsson is in her first year as a primary school teacher student in grades F-3 and Frida Ståhl as a primary school teacher student in grades 4-6. Both of them attended the day in Vandalorum and are satisfied with the visit.

Frida Ståhl and Elin Gunnarsson in Vandalorum.

Frida Ståhl och Elin Gunnarsson på Vandalorum.

“The study visit was rewarding. It was interesting to see how the different forms of creativity can be used to teach students in an educational context,” says Elin.

Frida continues:
“We learned different approaches to work with the children in different ways connected to nature, such as bringing nature into the classroom and conducting lessons outdoors.”

Both thought that the combination of practical and theoretical teaching increases the understanding of what is mentioned in the lectures.

More 'art and culture' trips

To enable the education days at Vandalorum, Maria Hammarsten has applied for and received funding from Region Jönköping County. The purpose of these funds is to create long-term initiatives that promote art experiences for children and students during their primary school years. The overall goal is to offer future primary school teachers alternatives for their future teaching, learning environment and knowledge development.

Maria Hammarsten also thinks that the educational trip was successful and has already decided that they will do it again for next year's first-year students.

“The students thought it was very fun, interesting, and educational. We will have to wait for the students' course evaluation, but I think that ‘art and culture trips’ will be implemented in the primary teacher education in the future in a more systematic way,” she says.