The report authors said it was time to abandon the idea that talent lay behind children’s success in school.
“It’s quite common to say that children with good grades are talented. But we want to question that viewpoint, Education Agency spokesperson Karolina Fredriksson told the TT news agency.
“We wanted to pinpoint that how children are taught can be very significant.”
The report on high-performing students looked at grades, gathered feedback from pupils and parents, and referred to international and Swedish research into what makes a child perform well in school.
The Education Agency report concluded that emotional factors were key.
“For example, that the child believes in him/herself,” the report summarized.
Enjoying school and having a good relationship to the teacher were also key ingredients of success. As was diligence.
The study aimed to find ways to spur on children who found learning easy, as well as offering support to students who learn more slowly.
“Students who have an easier time reaching the requirements set out in the curriculum should receive guidance and be stimulated to reach further,” the report authors wrote.
The report also found that the children who performed well in school were more likely to have well-educated parents.
“We have to compensate when a student doesn’t have the same favourable home environment,” Fredriksson said.
Finally, the report cited international research that indicates that talent is nurtured through education, rather than being a static personality trait.