• Sweden's news in English

Unions welcome teacher training overhaul

TT/Paul O'Mahony · 11 Feb 2010, 16:06

Published: 11 Feb 2010 16:06 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Under the terms of the proposal, presented on Thursday by Education Minister Jan Björklund and Minister for Higher Education and Research Tobias Krantz, all universities and colleges offering teacher training courses will be forced reapply for the right to certify educators.

Any institutions failing to meet the provisions laid out in a new set of teacher training standards will lose the right to educate Sweden's future educators.

The most far-reaching change involves replacing today's unified teaching certificate with four separate qualifications, one each for preschool teaching, primary teaching (grades 1-6), fixed subjects (grades 7-9, high school 1-3), and vocational teaching.

"In a country wishing to invest in the future, the teaching profession is the most important profession of all," Björklund told reporters.

"Teacher training courses have been heavily criticized for a number of years. Many teachers lack the proper competence in their subjects," he added.

The education minister further stated that interest had waned among potential new teachers in line with a widespread view that the demands placed on budding educators were unreasonably low.

Any institutions wishing to offer the new teacher training courses, including those that already provide similar programmes, will be required to apply for permission from the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education (Högskoleverket).

The government also plans to look into the possibility of requiring teacher training applicants to take aptitude tests as a means of gauging their suitability for the role. Even if approved however, aptitude tests will not be introduced until 2013 at the earliest.

The proposal was welcomed by Mette Fjelkner, chairperson of the National Union of Teachers (Lärarnas Riksförbund).

Story continues below…

"This is a major step forward. It means that teacher training in Sweden will become more modern and better adapted to real-life needs," she told news agency TT.

Fjelkner's counterpart at the Swedish Teachers’ Union (Lärarförbundet), Eva-Lis Sirén, was also broadly receptive to the proposal.

Both however expressed concern that teachers in grades 1-3 (ages 7-9 approx.) would emerge from training college with only superficial knowledge of a range of subjects considered too broad by the union chiefs.

TT/Paul O'Mahony (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

15:49 February 11, 2010 by StockholmSam
This initiative is long overdue, but if new demands are going to be placed on Sweden's teachers of the future, then new rewards will also have to be offered. Otherwise, it will remain a second- or third-choice profession for the majority who find them in the field. If they make it more demanding, they will have to make it more rewarding (higher pay!!) or else...well...rats on a sinking ship and all...
22:21 February 11, 2010 by uunbeliever
How about getting Swedish parents involved in their kids lives? We can not teach and raise your kids as well.
03:27 February 12, 2010 by Davey-jo
@ uunbeliever

Teachers get the wrong end of a very smelly stick when it comes to children's behaviour. They get the blame even though they only see the little darlings for 6 hours a day in a 5 day week. So who is letting these little angels down?

Now, you are not allowed to blame the parents because they work so hard and care ever so much and would do everything in the world to see their groin strains do well in the struggle that is capitalism's modus vivendum.

So it must be the damned teachers. Yup, you're to blame and it's the liberal modern teaching system that you force on the pathetic critters that causes them to fail and become a burden on modern society.

So as you pour yourself another Scotch, you teachers should consider the harm you have done to Swedish society and Western Civilisation.

Shame on you ....;)
09:42 February 12, 2010 by StockholmSam
Most teachers I know, though don't see any given kid 6 hours a day. Rather one or two hours every other day for a total of 3-6 hours a week. Why the expectation of raising kids has fallen to the schools is beyond me. Trying to set an example is the best we can do. Beyond that is the parents responsibility.
10:17 February 13, 2010 by uunbeliever
@ Davey-jo, wow have I missed real sarcasm!!! Haha thanks. I am a teaching student in Linköping and some of the differences from my native land (Vancouver, Canada) are shocking. It is illegal for us as teachers to force deadlines for assignments because it puts pressure on the students. What??? "yeah I know I was supposed to check the temperature of the nuclear generator, but I felt that I was pressured into it" god give me a break.

The school system right now prepares students to be lazy in the workplace, which they are, and not be responsible for themselves, which they are not.

I am only first year so I do not know all the answers but can see the reflection of the school system in the workplace.

Not my job, not in my jobdescription, "det står inte i mitt avtal" , who's bringing bullar to ficka?. . . .
21:20 June 17, 2010 by LiteracyMan
A Convenient Mistruth: Teacher Education is a Myth & we like it that Way; Is this Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome?

One must seriously question whether we really want teachers and students to get Better. Ironically, while teaching is an old practice it may have failed to become a mature profession, and for reasons that most everyone knows but at some level seems to be denying. There are some great teachers, and even some great Teacher Preparation programs, but these are random occurrences where consistency is essential even while it will never produce "perfect" teachers every time. The reason is simple: Professional Education is (perhaps intentionally) absent the fundamental and coherent standards found in all other professions. Believe it or not, there is no core curriculum, and no sincere, systematic effort to identify Best Practices, no consistency of content from one professor to another; 80% Concurrence from one same named course to another is the quinesstinal core of every profession, from being a barber to a neurosurgeon. It is through the somewhat contentious process of identifying such principles and practices that professional maturity is achieved. Accordingly, it seems sensible to formulate a process for identifying, activating and cultivating Best Instructional Practices. The problem is that there has been too much that has become crystallized around our current state of affairs. Too many of us have figured out how to live with and even benefit by Education's dysfunctionality, often having it serve as the object of scrutiny rather than each of us. This dynamic is quite common. For example, there are accounts of children whose parents incidentally discourage normal development for admittedly subconscious/self-serving reasons. One variation even has a name it is called Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome.

It would be especially helpful to have many minds addressing and illustrating how these core and collateral entities now benefit by and/or might rectify this unintentional misdeed. Does anyone have an argument, explanation, means to suggest that is better? How about even a way to, at the least, redirect the question and possible solutions to some of sources of teacher competency: Professors, Schools of Education, Learned Societies, Foundations, Teacher Guilds, Federal and State Departments of Education, School based Educational Leaders, major media and publishing houses, and what of, parents, and students.

Below are two websites devoted to a form of mass self-examination a la' Rational-Emotional Therapy that ideally would allow our profession to continue toward institutional & societal maturity. Please join the discussion at:

Anthony V. Manzo Blogs
Today's headlines
Trollhättan remembers school attack victims
'It was an attack on all of Sweden,' Education Minister Gustav Fridolin said. Photo: Thomas Johansson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday turned out for a torchlight procession in the small town of Trollhättan in southwestern Sweden to honour the victims of last year’s deadly school attack there.

Sweden wants emission-free cars in EU by 2030
Photo: Jessica Gow/ TT

Sweden's environment minister on Saturday urged the European Union to ban petrol and diesel-powered vehicles from 2030.

Hundreds protest Swedish asylum laws
Around 1,000 people protested in Stockholm. Photo: Fredrik Persson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday demonstrated in Stockholm and in many other parts of the country to protest Sweden’s tough new laws on asylum-seekers.

Dylan removes Nobel-mention from website
The American musician has more or less responded to the news with silence. Photo: Per Wahlberg

American singer-song writer Bob Dylan has removed any mention of him being named one of this year’s Nobel Prize laureates on his official website.

Refugee crisis
Asylum requests in Sweden down by 70 percent
Sweden's migration minister Morgan Johansson. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Sweden received 70 percent fewer requests for asylum in the period between January and September 2016 than it did during the same time last year, the country’s justice and migration minister Morgan Johansson has revealed.

The unique story of Stockholm's floating libraries
The Stockholm archipelago book boat. Photo: Roger Hill.

Writer Roger Hill details his journeys on the boats that carry books over Stockholm's waterways and to its most remote places.

Refugee crisis
Second Stockholm asylum centre fire in a week
The new incident follows a similar fire in Fagersjö last week (pictured). Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Police suspect arson in the blaze, as well as a similar incident which occurred last Sunday.

More misery for Ericsson as losses pile up
Ericsson interim CEO Jan Frykhammar presenting its third quarter results. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

The bad news just keeps coming from the Swedish telecoms giant.

Facebook 'sorry' for removing Swedish cancer video
A computer displaying Facebook's landing page. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

The social media giant had censored a video explaining how women should check for suspicious lumps in their breasts.

Watch this amazing footage of Sweden’s landscapes
A still from the aerial footage of Sweden. Photo: Nate Summer-Cook

The spectacular drone footage captures both Sweden's south and the opposite extreme, thousands of kilometres north.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Here's where it could snow in central Sweden this weekend
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden's 'a-kassa'
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
People-watching: October 12th
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
jobs available