Sweden Returns Books and Penmanship to Schools

Last month, when Swedish kids went back to school, several of their teachers gave some old talents a fresh lease on life. These included practicing penmanship, reading aloud in silence, and engaging in printed book reading. Less time was spent by teachers using digital devices, conducting internet research, and practicing typing. Experts and politicians alike may have questions that can be answered by going back to more conventional methods of education. They have questioned why the nation’s educational system relies so heavily on technological technology. For instance, Swedish schools have started introducing iPads to preschoolers, although detractors claim this has hindered children’ acquisition of fundamental skills.

The Swedish Minister of Education is Lotta Edholm. She joined a new center-right government when she took office eleven months ago. She was among the most vocal opponents of the amount of technology used in classrooms. “More textbooks are needed for Sweden’s students,” Edholm declared in March. “Printed books are essential for education.” The minister made the announcement last month that the government intends to overturn the National Agency for Education’s ruling mandating digital gadgets in preschools. The government informed the Associated Press that it intends to discontinue digital education for kids younger than six. Sweden’s reading proficiency score is higher than that of the rest of Europe. However, the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study, an international assessment of fourth-grade reading proficiency, revealed that Sweden’s kids had fallen behind between 2016 and 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic may have caused some learning loss.

An increasing proportion of immigrant pupils who do not speak Swedish as their first language may also be the cause of the losses. However, excessive usage of electronics in the classroom might make students fall behind, according to education experts. The Karolinska Institute in Sweden is a research-focused medical school. The organization stated in a statement last month that “there is unmistakable scientific evidence that digital tools hinder rather than improve student learning.” The institute further stated that the focus of instruction in schools ought to be on teacher expertise and printed textbooks. It stated that data obtained from digital sources could not be reliable. The education and cultural office of the United Nations is similarly concerned about the proliferation of digital learning resources in schools.

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