Slöjd, developed by Salomon, combines craft, creativity and the teacher's guidance with "...the educative force which lies in rightly directed bodily labour, as a means to developing in the pupils (sic) physical and mental powers which will be a sure and evident gain to them for life."
Biography of Otto Salomon
Otto Salomon was born in Göteborg, Sweden in 1849. He attended, but did not complete, various studies at the Technological Institute in Stockholm and the Ultuna Agricultural Institute at Uppsala, Sweden. Following these studies, Salomon took up teaching at a school for boys located at Nääs Castle, a 17th century mansion in Göteborg. At Nääs, Salomon and his uncle, August Abrahamson, in 1872 founded a vocational school for boys and in 1874 a second school for girls. Thereafter, in 1875 they founded a training school for teachers of Slöjd, a Scandinavian word for ‘craft’. Teacher training became Salomon’s sole focus for the remainder of his career.
Slöjd as defined by Salomon came to mean the formalized system of teaching crafts as part of an educational process. The derivation of slöjd is slög, an early Scandinavian word for craft. As in most rural households, those of Sweden continued a craft tradition that included spinning, weaving and the making of a wide variety of small wooden items for personal use.
Salomon’s goal was to provide, through the inclusion of moderated, progressive forms of handicrafts in the educational curriculum, a creative element that would disengage both the student and the teacher from the highly structured forms of education of that day. His goal was to provide a platform whereby the capabilities and interests of the individual child could be addressed and enhanced while the need for group instruction by a teacher could be maintained. In essence, Salomon instituted an educational system that encouraged individual thought and independence as well as inter-dependence at a time when his society was governed by a strict and conservative class structure.
Prospects: the quarterly review of comparative education (Paris, UNESCO: International Bureau Of Education), vol. XXIV, no. 3/4, 1994, p. 471-485