MP logo MP title

Judit Fülöp Kádárné: Education Policy in Sweden in 1990

Sweden has been unique in the world for her generosity towards her school-age population. School is provided free of charge jointly by the state and the local community up to the age of twenty regardless of achievement. Higher education is maintained by the state and it is also free. All important educational decisions are taken by the parliament. The basic goals of the Swedish educational system are education for harmony in private life, democracy in community life, love of nature and protection of the environment, positive work attitudes, education for peace and international cooperation, tolerance toward ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities. Mandatory school age starts at age 7 and ends at the age of 16. Sweden has a central curriculum. The 9-year Swedish compulsory school has a uniform curriculum. Most upper secondary schools are comprehensive schools with various curriculum branches. The Swedish educational system is non-selective so far. School achievement is assessed by standard national examinations toward the end of the compulsory school and of the upper secondary school. Final grades are awarded by the school, taking into account the results of the national tests as well as the pupil's school work. No final examination exists. Students are enrolled in higher education on the basis of their school reports. However, a national standardized scholastic aptitude test is available for those who come from adult education or wish to be assessed by an independent agency. The SAT test is administered twice a year, and a growing number of higher education applicants sit for this examination. The general efficiency of the educational system is monitored by a national assessment system and a national school inspectorate. Sweden has been participating in the work of IEA with the aim of controlling her educational standards in the international education community. Teacher training is based on the conflicting ideals of the "caring teacher" and the "demanding teacher". The first has had the lead so far, which shows up in the serene and harmonious life attitudes of the youth of present day Sweden. As the fear of European competition is growing, the cry for demanding teachers is getting louder. Huxley's Swedish "Island" may be doomed to vanish during the next decade.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 91. Number 3-4. 171-185. (1991)

Levelezési cím / Address for correspondence: Kádárné Fülöp Judit, Művelődési és Közoktatási Minisztérium, H-1055 Budapest, Szalay u. 10-14.


Magyar Tudományos Akadémia