Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Consistent picture of the ideal teacher and the ideal pupil in school policy documents

08.03.2011
A thesis from the University of Gothenburg on school policy documents shows that the ideal pupil and the ideal teacher are supposed to be naturally curious and have an inherent will to learn as a means of increasing Sweden's economic competitiveness. "The argument that education should contribute to democracy or solidarity has taken a back seat," says author Lena Sjöberg.

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.

Extensive control

"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.

Genetic predisposition

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:
Lena Sjöberg, tel: +46 (0)70 993 2309, e-mail: lena.sjoberg@hv.se
Bibliographic data:
Journal: (EDUCARE, (1),73-99. 2010
Title: ”Same same, but different”. En genealogisk studie av den 'goda' läraren, den 'goda' eleven och den 'goda' skolan i svenska lärarutbildningsreformer 1940-2008,

Author: Sjöberg, Lena.

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://hdl.handle.net/2077/24101

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht New measure for the wellbeing of populations could replace Human Development Index
07.11.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht Because not only arguments count
30.10.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Mathematik in den Naturwissenschaften (MPIMIS)

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

Im Focus: Nanorobots propel through the eye

Scientists developed specially coated nanometer-sized vehicles that can be actively moved through dense tissue like the vitreous of the eye. So far, the transport of nano-vehicles has only been demonstrated in model systems or biological fluids, but not in real tissue. The work was published in the journal Science Advances and constitutes one step further towards nanorobots becoming minimally-invasive tools for precisely delivering medicine to where it is needed.

Researchers of the “Micro, Nano and Molecular Systems” Lab at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, together with an international...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Peptides, the “little brothers and sisters” of proteins

12.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Materials scientist creates fabric alternative to batteries for wearable devices

12.11.2018 | Materials Sciences

A two-atom quantum duet

12.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>