The Swedish School System – Some provocative ideas

This was originally published on LinkedIn as a comment to Sirkka Persson, HeadTeacher achieving solid results in her school. Great work she and her team were doing.
As I have been working extensively with translating many of the major school documents, and fortunate to receive insights from policy makers in my work as a trainer, I thought I knew something about the system and its weaknesses.
I started commenting but exceeded LI’s maximum number of characters. Instead of throwing it away, which I probably should have done, decided to publish it here. So hopefully people can comment on some of my highly critical views of the system, and decide if there is any merit in my criticisms.

Hope OK, if I just barge in here in English too, and respond. It certainly sounds like a v. good job is being done at your school. And not because of luck as you said, but hard focused work.
I am English half retired but have 2 young adult children, 30 and 25 who have benefitted from their schooling in Sweden, and I like to think their upbringing at home as well. I know that some education policy makers have often thought that the function of upbringing rests with the school.

I fundamentally oppose this thought.I believe they should complement each other.

Both my adult kids went to schools in Stuvsta and then Kungsholmens MusikGymnasium where they took the social science programme in the Swedish section Oliver (son) , and Emily (daughter) in the International section. I think we were all pretty satisfied in principle.
I will ask them what they think the schools could have done better. And if I feel sufficiently courageous, I  will ask for their response to this piece. Will probably get slaughtered for my pains.

IMHO one horrifying omission was that even though both Oliver and Emily  were and are capable, they did not have the faintest idea of handling job interviews through role-play scenarios. We trained this in role plays at home. But the school should have prpeared for something as basic as this. (more…)

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