Why old school REALLY is failing?

I saw an excellent presentation by Kenth Hedevåg the other day. I’ll summarize it here, or in fact just a little piece of it. First, this is applying mainly to the Swedish education system, but I think it’s global.

We, in Sweden, have introduced new requirements about learning in school. There’s a new focus around more social skills, entrepreneurial thinking, more reflection and putting pieces together. This applies to both students and teachers… And parents etc.


Now, the new requirements have been translated into an excellent model for what schools needs to teach children nowadays and it’s been developed by Göran Svanelid and is called “Big five”.

  1. Analytical skills – Describes the causes and consequences. Propose solutions. Explain and demonstrate the connection. View from outside and switch between different perspectives. Compare: Similarities and differences, advantages and disadvantages.
  2. Communicative skills – Converse. Discuss. Justify. Presenting. Express their own opinions and viewpoints. Express and respond to arguments. Describe, formulate, discuss and present.
  3. Meta-cognitive skills – Interpret. Citing. Make reviews. Reflect. Solving adaptation to a particular situation, purpose or context. Determine reasonableness. Choosing between different strategies. Consider and reconsider.
  4. Procedure skills – Search for, collect, organize / organize and critically evaluate information. Distinguish between facts and values. Determining sources usability and credibility.
  5. Conceptual skills – Understand the meaning of the concepts. Relate concepts to each other. Using the concepts in different / new context.

If you train and develop these skills then you can easier reach the knowledge goals. I think it’s wonderful, it’s exactly what’s needed to also build a better society in the long run. For me it’s like music.

However, this is according to Kenth Hedevåg a quite good description of what someone lacks within the autism spectra. And people within the neuro-psychological functional “disorders”… This blows my mind a bit. 10-13 % of all students are suffering in schools today from this. And has always been. Probably the same number goes for grown-ups. Wow, when we try to see the whole suddenly out whole society seems to be autistic.

Imagine a teacher teaching entrepreurial skills, or sustainability, or synthesis having this kind of disorders. In fact, putting everything out of context and learning separate subjects and sciences is somewhat weird for me but maybe absolutely necessary for others. A teacher within that 10-15%. Imagine a politician. It’s a diagnose of society. And add to that the information and overall stress of endless opportunities and success.

So, in school we seem to see the crisis first – and we see it now! Let’s do something about it. Let’s go! Please contact me at christer.hellberg@gmail.com if you think I’m on to something! I need all the help I can get!

There’s a lot of conclusions that can be drawn from the presentation (this review of mine is around one little piece) but the most important is that we need to provide adapted and indivualistic teaching so that these 10-13% also find a way to their own learning, in that way the rest will follow!

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