Lena Sjöberg, a PhD student at the University of Gothenburg and lecturer at University West in Trollhättan, has critically reviewed various types of policy document from the 1940s through to today.
These include government reports and bills, European Commission texts, Swedish Teachers' Union campaign materials, and student teachers' examination assignments.
"A relatively consistent, and so powerful, picture emerges of the ideal teacher and the ideal pupil today," says Sjöberg. "They constantly want to learn more and be mobile, creative, flexible and productive."
Sjöberg notes the large number of systems and techniques created since the 1990s to steer pupils and teachers in the right direction, such as national testing, teacher licensing, developmental dialogues and personal development plans.
"These systems and techniques have come at the same time that schools have been deregulated and decentralised. There is much talk about the competent student and the professional teacher, but in practice there is a big gap between the rhetoric and the extensive control that has been built up."
The policy documents also reveal a lack of consensus on how the teaching personality is formed. From the mid-1960s until the early 1980s, the documents suggested that teacher training could actually mould the teaching personality, and this view is still around today.
A competing view is that a teacher needs certain inherent personality traits, as expressed in the 2007 government report on teacher training HUT 07, which argues that teachers need to have an aptitude for the profession: "However good the training is, it cannot create the good teacher that children and pupils need if he or she does not have the essentials for successfully pursuing the profession," the report says.
"This is an echo from the mid-20th century," says Sjöberg. "It was also said back then that teachers need to have a certain natural predisposition."
"This is probably part of the personal characteristics that cannot to any great extent be influenced by teacher training," states a bill from the 1950s.
There are therefore parallels between the mid-20th century and today - but there is also a big difference:
"Back then, schools were considered first and foremost to have a democratic role. Today, there is instead an economic rationality that prevails - the aim of education is now primarily to increase our competitiveness in the global economy and ideally take Sweden to the top of the class. This change in how the role of education is perceived can be seen not only in the Swedish documents but also in the European Commission texts.For further information, please contact:
Author: Sjöberg, Lena.
Helena Aaberg | idw
How we understand others
28.04.2016 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
The non-driving millennial? Not so simple, says new research
29.03.2016 | University of Vermont
Researchers from the Max Planck Institute Stuttgart have developed self-propelled tiny ‘microbots’ that can remove lead or organic pollution from contaminated water.
Working with colleagues in Barcelona and Singapore, Samuel Sánchez’s group used graphene oxide to make their microscale motors, which are able to adsorb lead...
Neutron scattering and computational modeling have revealed unique and unexpected behavior of water molecules under extreme confinement that is unmatched by any known gas, liquid or solid states.
In a paper published in Physical Review Letters, researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory describe a new tunneling state of...
Honeycomb structures as the basic building block for industrial applications presented using holo pyramid
Researchers of the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) will introduce their latest developments in the field of bionic lightweight design at Hannover Messe from 25...
Polymer solar cells can be even cheaper and more reliable thanks to a breakthrough by scientists at Linköping University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). This work is about avoiding costly and unstable fullerenes.
Polymer solar cells can be even cheaper and more reliable thanks to a breakthrough by scientists at Linköping University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences...
As one of the leading R&D partners in the development of surface technologies and organic electronics, the Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP will be exhibiting its recent achievements in vacuum coating of ultra-thin glass at SVC TechCon 2016 (Booth 846), taking place in Indianapolis / USA from May 9 – 13.
Fraunhofer FEP is an experienced partner for technological developments, known for testing the limits of new materials and for optimization of those materials...
27.04.2016 | Event News
15.04.2016 | Event News
12.04.2016 | Event News
29.04.2016 | Physics and Astronomy
29.04.2016 | Health and Medicine
29.04.2016 | Life Sciences