• Sweden's news in English

Sweden unveils new school curriculum

Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 11 Oct 2010, 12:07

Published: 11 Oct 2010 12:07 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"The requirements of the school should be clear and concrete. Teachers, parents and students should understand what is expected in class. The curriculum states that students are entitled to structured, teacher-led instruction," Jan Björklund said in an education ministry statement.

The minister argued that "it is time to upgrade the teacher and teaching in schools."

The new national curriculum will apply to the nine years of compulsory school, as well as the Sami school and special schools, and will replace the previous framework introduced in 1994.

The 1994 curriculum, which was also implemented by a centre-right government, left too much scope for choice and decentralisation, Björklund said on Monday, promising to increase central control over the education system.

The new curriculum will reduce the number of specified goals, provide greater clarity in those goals, and proscribe centralized teaching content.

The National Agency of Education (Skolverket) will in the autumn be charged with developing knowledge requirements for years three, six and nine.

In year nine knowledge requirements will be developed for all subjects, while at year six modern languages will be exempted. In year three (9/10 years-old) knowledge requirements will be introduced for Swedish, Swedish as a second language, maths and natural and social science subjects.

Grades on a new A-E,F scale will be introduced in year nine, and for year six subject to parliamentary approval.

Work to implement the new curriculum will be undertaken by the education agency during the 2010/11 academic year with autumn 2011 earmarked for the gradual introduction of the new curriculum and course outlines.

The Local reported on Sunday that the government has announced one significant change from proposals framed by the education agency - regarding the teaching of Christianity in schools.

Story continues below…

In a move described as "the government steamrollering the agency", Björklund has decided that Christianity should continue to receive special treatment when teaching religion in schools.

“It’s not that the Christian religion is better than any other, rather it has to do with the enormous influence Christianity has had on our country, and still does have in our part of the world,” Björklund explained.

The agency had proposed that the world's five main religions, which are all taught in religious education classes Swedish schools, should be given equal emphasis.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

13:12 October 11, 2010 by Rebel
"The 1994 curriculum, which was also implemented by a centre-right government, left too much scope for choice and decentralisation, Björklund said on Monday promising to increase central control over the education system."

Oh how the Swedes love central control and being told how to think and what to do. Give people too much room to think and interpret and who knows, they might start thinking for themselves. We love Big Brother.
14:12 October 11, 2010 by mehdiking
Even I like Christianity more than other religion Peaceful religion as we can see in the world . We have example .. Buddhism is also peaceful religion but mission one thing Forgiveness which you find in Christianity ... The Only Thing I don't believe in Christianity is GOD. I am still searching answer about GOD, lets see if I find answer one day or not :P
14:50 October 11, 2010 by ISayWhatPeopleThink
Buddhism has the concept of forgiveness, who told you different?

And the one big reason they are peaceful is because they don't envision other religions as "competition" or feel a need to convert or recruit people, they tolerate other religions...something you can't say about Christianity.
16:36 October 11, 2010 by zircon
Christianity in Latin or Greek?
16:45 October 11, 2010 by mehdiking
@ISayWhatPeopleThink Thanks I really do not about this :P
17:11 October 11, 2010 by jackx123
Anyone who loves any other religion go there. I think you swedes have a lovely way of living and should remain so
17:44 October 11, 2010 by ISayWhatPeopleThink
mehdiking: No worries. Neither did I until I moved here.

At home I had 12 years of theology, but all from a very skewed pro-Catholic perspective. (I went to Catholic School, not by choice and I don't consider myself a Catholic but my folks called the shots). I came into Sweden with a lot of misconceptions about other religions. I was pleasantly surprised at the objective way of thinking towards teaching religion, and was awed that many Swedes in my class could hold a discussion about different religions (probably due to the secularized way they grew up, but still!) and still be constructive and not fight constantly.

I was so impressed I ended up getting a Bachelor's in Religion here on the side when I started studying at uni. ;) Frankly - I think it is a real pity if they shift the slant even more towards Christianity. Christianity and Judaism already take up a huge amount of space in the current requirements for the first year. Already much of the other religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, New Age, etc.) have taken a back seat in the curriculum due to time constraints....and it's sad...because that's where real deep and creative understanding about religion comes about...from comparing the different norms, ethos, doctrines etc across the board.

This bit about "the enormous influence Christianity has had on our country" part is just sad. If they really wanted to show influence in culture they'd add in bigger modules pertaining to Nordic religion, Shamanism, and Sami religion. That's where the true cultural roots and heritage lay around here.
18:22 October 11, 2010 by mehdiking
@ISayWhatPeopleThink wow you took bachelor in religion that means you read all different religion amazing Good. I like the swedish culture and soceity . I do not know how they achieve this but i prefer we can implement this in the world .... So we get peaceful world.... For this we need swedish people rule in countries Most Important Middle east and Asia.... I feel we make hell in Asian and Middle east and Heave in Nordic. They did a good work but i do not know how they achieve it. Do you know ?
03:18 October 12, 2010 by Da Goat
The difference with Christianity is Grace, GRACE is IT, and the truth too!

The other religions have justice for sure, some even have mercy and forgiveness, only Christianity has grace that is forgiveness and pardon when you don't deserve it!

I say go with the most Graceful !

after that you can clearly see the others suck big time!

Marko you can do better than you think, investigate the Grace of God people.
06:00 November 5, 2010 by ghostwriter

Sweden (and Finland) already has one of the most decentralized education systems in the world.
20:05 November 6, 2010 by SGJamie
The new education reform is just like putting a band-aid on a broken leg. This new reform is not going to fix anything and the problems with discipline (or lack there of) are going to continue as well as confusion as what kids can actually do in each of their classes. They still haven't broken down subject knowledge to suit the different grade levels so teachers will still be getting a paper that says, "This is what the kids should know before leaving the 9th grade." So a math teacher of 7th graders has no idea from that list where her teaching fits in. The schools and teachers will be able to make up their own curriculum and just hope to god each 9th grader fits the national standard before leaving and if not.... oh well... just let the gymnasieskolan take care of that child. I am a big believer in a nationwide curriculum broken down by subject and further broken down into each grade level so teachers of that grade level know EXACTLY what to teach and at what level. It's bullshit that teachers have to make this up on their own because most teachers don't have that knowledge from their education (how to plan a particular grade level's curriculum). They rely on the textbooks to guide them and no teaching should be done directly from the book. Also, I have seen many math classes where the kids have to read the book themselves and do the work... where no formal lecture is given to teach the kids HOW to do the work being expected of them. I am a cleaner at a school and it killed me to have a student ask ME of all people how to do the problem.... not his teacher.... ME! Of course this child knew I was a math teacher in the US, but he still trusted me over his Swedish math teacher. That's sad.

The government needs to hit hard the curriculum, discipline and inspect that every child is receiving the attention of teachers TEACHING the material rather than this crap philosophy of expecting kids to teach themselves.
Today's headlines
Meet Sweden's lonely Donald Trump voter
A Donald Trump campaign button. Photo: Rogelio V Solis/AP

The Local talks to an American Donald Trump supporter on what it is like living in progressive stronghold Sweden.

Forgotten Ingmar Bergman script to be made into a film
It's thought the script was part of an ill-fated collaboration between Bergman (left) and Federico Fellini (right). Photo: AP

Written in 1969, the script is 'up to the standard of his best', according to the Ingmar Bergman Foundation.

Sweden's consumption footprint 'among the worst'
Trucks transporting goods on a Swedish highway. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Sweden has been criticized for its unsustainable consumption of the planet's resources in the latest edition of a major WWF study.

Video: How to be Joel Kinnaman for a day
Kinnaman with one of the camera rigs that will allow people inside his head. Photo: Tele2

The Swedish Hollywood actor will strap a camera to his head, stream it live and allow viewers to interact with him this weekend.

Presented by Invest Stockholm
How Stockholm's cold climate boosts creativity
Photo: Ola Ericson/imagebank.sweden.se

Do long, dark winters actually make Swedes more creative and more productive? We spoke to Stockholm startups to find out.

Sweden to keep record-low interest rate in 2017
Sweden's landmark negative interest rate will continue towards 2018. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

The Swedish central bank said that it will take longer than expected to reach its inflation target.

Presented by Stockholm University
9 unexpected programmes at Stockholm University
Photo: Niklas Björling

Did you know Stockholm University offers 75 master's programmes taught in English? And some of them are programmes you won't find anywhere else...

Creepy clown messes with the wrong dog walker in Sweden
Not the clown in the story. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

A dog helped its owner fight off a creepy clown chasing the pair in southern Sweden.

A million Swedes are digitally excluded: report
How should Sweden bridge the digital divide? Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Tech-savvy Swedes? Perhaps not. A new study suggests that at least a million of its residents feel the pain of the digital divide.

Malmö's 19th Swedish title sets Champions hopes alight
Malmö fans celebrating after the match. Photo: Björn Lindgren/TT

Malmö FF have their eyes set on the Champions League after winning the Swedish league for the 19th time.

Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
People-watching: October 26th
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast
Is Game of Thrones coming to Sweden?
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
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Will Swedes soon be looking for fairtrade porn?
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
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
jobs available