Schools minister Lotta Edholm moves students off digital devices and on to books and handwriting, with teachers and experts debating the pros and cons.
Since young children went back to school across Sweden recently, many of their teachers have been putting a new emphasis on printed books, quiet reading time and handwriting practice, and devoting less time to tablets, independent online research and keyboarding skills.
The return to more traditional ways of learning is a response to politicians and experts questioning whether Sweden’s hyper-digitalised approach to education, including the introduction of tablets in nursery schools, had led to a decline in basic skills.
Sweden’s minister for schools, Lotta Edholm, who took office 11 months ago as part of a centre-right coalition government, was one of the biggest critics of the all-out embrace of technology. “Sweden’s students need more textbooks,” Edholm said in March. “Physical books are important for student learning.”
The minister announced in August that the government wanted to reverse the decision by the national agency for education to make digital devices mandatory in preschools. It plans to go further and to completely end digital learning for children under age six, the ministry has told the Associated Press.
Although Sweden’s students score above the European average for reading ability, an international assessment of fourth-grade reading levels, the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), highlighted a decline among Sweden’s children between 2016 and 2021.
Read the full article on The Guardian’s website.