What should the school teach?

Sverker Sörlin: "Jan Björklunds skolpolitik leder till ökade klyftor." - DN.se: "Björklund talar heller aldrig om vad kunskap är bra för. När han skall säga något om individens frigörelse eller kunskapens glädje är det som om han hade stenar i munnen."

Well, it seems to me that Björklund wins this debate since Sörlin is mixing up practical knowledge and learning with theoretical ditto. Both of course gives satisfaction to the student. Sörlin is attacking Björklund again today in DN (not ONLINE). Sörlin says that the teachers only should decide what is to be taught. This lead to a debate that has not been in the open: whether Alliansen is having a politically steered school and that teachers would transmit more apolitically.

The first thing that comes to mind is how much we are willing to sacrifice on the altar of nationalism? Natural science topics are given but problems arises when we want to discuss subjects that form the Swedish citizen. Sörlin says that there are 200 hours taught the nine first years. The question then is what this 5 week course is going to teach? Sörlin points out that the average kid spends a lot more time on the internet and it is then important to note that the English Wikipedia is both larger and better. It is of essence to internationalize the students early with knowledge in English.

There is a lot of people that want students to discover their roots and learn about how Sweden became what it is today. That is not forward looking. However, given a certain amount of time it might be more important to teach the course about how mankind came to be and that Sweden represents 2% of the EU population and 1% of the trans-Atlantic world. To be honest, we don't have that much influence as some people seem to wish.

The maintenance and establishment of something Swedish seem to me today a waste of time. Environmentalists would not agree of course. But trying to moralize in this direction might lead to more trouble than solutions. Nationalism, the belief that on nation is superior to others, is probably not a winning concept on too small a scale. The scale today is given by the giant China.

Should the students learn Chinese instead? Some people I have heard wish we would. That is typical. Some Swedes have had a penchant for large totalitarian countries before. However, nationalism could be replaced by the same type of awe that we give to athletes. Give credit where credit is due. A good company etc. If the EU is not going to become a home for the Swedes, then the language group of English speakers might. After all we are deeply involved in its cultural output.

So teach the five week course on the development of the Western civilization. Our historic time from the Sumerians and forward. Speaking for myself I belong in the English language group. Swedes learn English early so I would have many with me. There will always be those who are fascinated with Swedish history that will carry this forward as a pastime. Swedish history has had relatively little impact on the world. It is good to know when you are abroad.

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