Swedish Startup Space

Should Programming Replace “Craft” In Swedish Schools?

Written by on June 23, 2014

“Craft” became a mandatory subject in Swedish schools almost 60 years ago. The Swedish party Moderaterna proposes that computer programming is a new subject.

The educational spokesperson for Moderaterna, Tomas Tobé tells TV4 (Editor’s note: Swedish news channel), that the jobs today require knowledge and understanding for programming and coding. Tomas Tobé visited Tegelhagen’s school in Stockholm. They are already working with programming in certain classes.

When the school proposed that students could choose programming instead of craft, they received mixed opinions. Some kids wanted to keep the traditional craft and some wanted to pursue the programming direction.

This is a really exciting development and I am happy about this. However, Måns Jonasson, from the Swedish IIS, believes this is the wrong way to take:

Programming as a compulsory school subject is the wrong way to go, and risks putting Sweden at a standstill”

Måns argues that students won’t learn programming from doing it in school, rather doing it on their own: “The truth is that school is most likely not the best place to learn specific programming skills. In our school competition Webbstjärnan for example, we can see quite clearly that the students who do the best web design did not get their talents from learning web design in school. On the contrary, they’ve taught themselves out of their own interest, which is exactly as it should be. The school should provide opportunities and space for students to advance and explore their skills instead of pushing outdated knowledge down their throats.”

Source: Sydsvenskan

  • Your article provoked many thoughts, so I wrote an article in response. In brief: handcrafts provides a far better foundation of the exact skills that are needed in future technology workers, and replacing the teaching of these lower-order, tangible with higher-order, abstract skills is the wrong way to go. Here’s the article: https://medium.com/@kirstenzerbinis/teach-handcrafts-653b794306a4

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