Home » today » Business » Sweden’s Education System Moving Back to Books

Sweden’s Education System Moving Back to Books

european magazine

As of: December 17, 2023 5:46 a.m

Sweden has long been proud of its digital classrooms. But there is now a lot of criticism about this. Learning skills are declining sharply, warns the Swedish government and wants to see more books in schools again.

Before you go to class, you have to hand over your cell phone! The 4th grade children at Lövestad School in Sjöbo in southern Sweden put their smartphones in a small wooden box, which teacher Madelen Sevedsson then locks in a cupboard before class. It is nothing unusual in Sweden that fourth graders already have a smartphone. The children also do not wear heavy school bags. Because in lessons they work digitally, with laptops or pads.

But today that should change. Madelen Sevedsson shows the children her new math book. “I’m giving it to you first so that you can look at it at your leisure. Take a look through it. It’s brand new!”

Real books in class – after almost four years of school, it is the first time for these children at the Lövestad School in southern Sweden. So far they have worked almost exclusively with laptops in mathematics lessons.

After just a few minutes, student Ines notices the first differences. “There are more descriptions. We didn’t have that on the laptop. But now I have to read it myself. The computer used to read the tasks out loud.”

A turnaround

Flip through real pages again. A turnaround is slowly beginning to take place in many Swedish classrooms. Even primary school students have been taught almost exclusively digitally for years. It was only five years ago that the school authorities recommended the use of digital teaching aids such as laptops or apps in a national guideline.

That also had disadvantages, says primary school teacher Jeanette Wiberg. “Students’ overall reading speed, vocabulary and reading comprehension have declined. We think it’s because we’ve done too much digitally.”

The focus: primary school students

The Swedish school system is liberalized. In addition to state schools, there are also numerous private providers. Education policy is not centrally controlled.

Schools and teachers deal with digital teaching in different ways. Sweden’s conservative government now wants to change that. School Minister Lotta Edholm demands that primary school students in particular should read more again.

The Swedish government is making 60 million euros available this year alone to get the books back. “Digital teaching aids are for older children. We know that, according to brain research, small children should not come into contact with screens at all.”

If the Swedish government has its way, teachers will soon receive new guidelines. Sweden’s education minister also wants to prevent small children from being glued to a screen too early.

“Many parents also want us to get the books back,” says Minister Edholm. “With a book you can more easily understand what your child has to learn before the next test, instead of being handed some paper or, in the best case, just a link.”

“The future is digital”

At the Lövestad School in southern Sweden, the children get their laptops in geography class. They should use them to discover Sweden and learn where cities and regions are and mark them on the screen.

Student Sixten’s laptop doesn’t really want to cooperate and keeps hanging up. “It can take a whole class period to get it working again. That’s bad. Writing is much better! It connects more with the brain.”

Sweden’s school authorities also point out the role of teachers. You would have to deal properly with the new possibilities.

In any case, teacher Jeanette Wiberg doesn’t want to completely do without laptops. “The future is digital. We have to teach children about this world and teach them the right way. If I had the choice again, I would choose a combination.”

You can see these and other reports in the Europamagazin – on Sunday at 12.45 p.m. on Erste.

2023-12-17 21:47:04
#Swedens #education #policy #digitally

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.