by Janzon, Erland

Abstract (Summary)
I have taught pupils in several schools in eighth and ninth grade in ‘weak’ groups in mathematics. Most of them seemed to possess potential, but lacked motivation. Even though I tried several pedagogical methods, these approaches failed to engage the students. This prompted thoughts that this may reflect a broader structural problem about the organisation of education in Sweden. A rigid structure that is imposed on adolescents during a very important formative stage of their development that may not reflect their interests or needs and which, in fact, may have the adverse effect of de-motivating them. In response to these thoughts I began to investigate what alternative school system might provide more flexibility and choice for students. The alternative school system that appears to have the potential to effectively address the concerns raised above emerged in Sweden, in the 1950s and is commonly known as “Enhetsskolan”. In these schools pupils could chose according to their interests between three different streams of subjects. To examine the rationale behind “Enhetsskolan” I examined documentation produced during reviews of education during the 1940s. This reviews consisted of skolutredning (1940) and skolkommission (1946) and a subsequent Skolöverstyrelsens evaluation. I have also read some biographies and interviewed two persons about their experiences while they were students at Enhetsskolan in the 1950s. The research concludes that there are close similarities between the contemporary school system and the system that existed in the forties. In response to this finding it is suggested that there should be six years of common education in a primary school followed by at least three years in secondary school, where students have the freedom to select between several alternative subject streams - not too dissimilar to “Enhetsskolan” system of the 1950s.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Södertörns högskola

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:experimental school differentiation


Date of Publication:06/19/2006

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