Unlike vocational education which seeks to develop skills for the workforce, The Sloyd Method seeks to develop the learner himself through the cultivation of 12 habits necessary to excel in ALL areas of life. Through woodworking, boat building, printing and script - each Sloyder practices the art of:
Slöjd is a system of Educational Handwork that began in Finland in the 1860s, that embraced many forms of handicrafts, such as work in wood, metal, leather, cardboard, textiles, and skills such as basket-making, and book-binding. While the Slöjd movement began in the 1860's, it continues today as a compulsory course in public schools in Sweden, Finland, and Denmark.
Uno Cygnaeus, a clergyman and educator, considered the Father of the Finnish public school system introduced the idea of the use of handcrafts in education and made it a mandatory subject in the public school in 1865. In 1870 Otto Salomon introduced Slöjd to Sweden, and Meri Toppelius, of Finnish descent, introduced Sloyd to the United States in 1890.
If Sloyd is generally understood to mean a system of Handwork in Wood, why don't we just call it carpentry? What's the difference?
While the Sloyd System reached the shores of the United States at the turn of the 20th century and is cited as the beginning of the public school system's efforts in manual education. The value of manual training and it's need to be deliberately developed to fully educate the child goes back several centuries. Starting as far back as Martin Luther (1483-1546), there was a clear understanding that there is a strong connection between creating with your hands and cognitive development which was promoted and repeated by others such notables as Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531), Johann Amos Comenius (1592-1671), John Locke (1632-1704), Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), Johann Pestalozzi (1746-1827), Friedrich Frobel (1782-1852) among others.