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Björklund wants more teacher-led education

Published söndag 13 mars 2011 kl 18.12
Education Minister Jan Björklund. Photo: Scanpix

Swedish school pupils are left too much to study on their own, according to Education Minister Jan Björklund, who would like to see the teachers take a more active part in the classroom.

In an opinion piece in today's edition of the daily Dagens Nyheter, Björklund refers to what he sees as the "predominant trend" among politicians and educationalists to say the pupils need to take more responsibility and that the role of the teacher should change from teaching to guiding. This is to the detriment of children from families with no studying-tradition, Björklund writes. He also refers to the Schools Inspectorate's criticism of the maths education, which is too much based on the pupils doing sums on his or her own.

"We will now enshrine into the schools ordinance that the pupils right to a structured, continual, active support from the teacher. That is a pointer that teacher-led education cannot be rejected in the way it has been," Björklund tells Swedish Radio News.

According to the latest so called Pisa survey, which is an international evaluation of 15-year old pupils school performance in terms of reading, maths and sciences, the Swedish pupils are lagging behind.

Sverker Härd at the Swedish National Agency for Education agrees that teachers need to be more active in the classroom. But, he tells Swedish Radio News, it is also a fact that Sweden's teachers do not have as much time for teh students as their colleagues in other countries.

And the Social Democrats' education spokesperson, Mikael Damberg - who also says he wants to increase the teacher-led education - says Björklund seems to expect too much of a result from "changes in policy documents" instead of looking at what is happening in the classrooms. "I think you need to look more at what the conditions are for the teachers to do a good job," he told Swedish Radio News.

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