Volume 19 Number 9 April 22, 2018

ImproStory: Social Improvisation and Storytelling in Arts and Skills Subjects in Teacher Education

Seija Karppinen
University of Helsinki, Finland

Ari Poutiainen
University of Helsinki, Finland

Seija Kairavuori
University of Helsinki, Finland

Sinikka Rusanen
University of Helsinki, Finland

Kauko Komulainen
University of Helsinki, Finland

Citation: Karppinen, S, Poutiainen, A., Kairavuori, S., Rusanen, S., & Komulainen, K. (2018). ImproStory: Social improvisation and storytelling in arts and skills subjects. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 19(9). Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.18113/P8ijea1909


Our pedagogic developing project, ImproStory, addresses improvisation and storytelling. We study how these two concepts could be applied in arts and crafts education for both primary and Kindergarten (daycare) teachers. The majority of our data consists of digital questionnaires in basic arts and crafts studies of primary pre-service teachers (N=323). Additional data (portfolios) contain a group of Kindergarten and primary pre-service teachers with a focus in visual arts (N=8). All data were collected at the University of Helsinki (Finland) during the academic year 2014–2015. According to our study, pre-service teachers consider improvisation and storytelling to be beneficial skills. They see developing them as necessary and useful. Experimenting and learning the approach appear to strengthen pre-service teachers’ collaboration and allow them to build independence, trust, and self-confidence within arts and crafts education. In addition, improvisation and storytelling helps them to recognize their individual creative potential.

Visual Abstract

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