The Swedish Education Act of 2010 stipulates that “education should be grounded in scientific evidence and proven experience”. This was reinforced in the curriculum introduced in 2011. This means that the content of the teaching as well as the teaching methods used should be based on current knowledge. VA has investigated both teachers’ and pupils’ attitudes to, and perceptions of, science and research in a number of projects.

Youth parliament about science at Thorildsplans gymnasium in Stockholm. Photo: Gustaf Waesterberg

Schools Meet Science

One way to enhance the scientific level of teaching in schools is to collaborate with researchers. In the School Meets Science project, VA has been working with the Skåne Research Network to investigate how schools can successfully collaborate with researchers on the school’s own terms. The project consisted of three parts.

The first was a national survey to investigate how teachers and school leaders in Sweden access information about research and about their contacts with researchers. The results of the survey are presented in the VA report 2013:3 How schools view science – a survey.  A short summary of the results of the study is available in English within this report and you can also read more about the survey in the press release on Lack of time prevents Swedish schools from embracing science.

In the second part, new collaborative models for bringing students, researchers and teachers together were developed and tested. (Report available only in Swedish).

In the third part, an evaluation of the activities was undertaken.

For further information about the project, please contact Cissi Askwall, Secretary General

Children and youth are affected by influences from many different sources and can have many role models. Teachers can greatly influence the attitudes and behaviour of young people.

In 2004 we therefore surveyed school teachers’ attitudes towards and opinions of science and research. In 2005 in cooperation with Nutek (the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth) we conducted an in-depth survey focusing on teachers’ attitudes to and work with developing creativity and entrepreneurial skills among children. Both of these surveys were conducted in cooperation with Synovate Temo in the form of telephone interviews with teachers, school principals and student teachers. We also produced an overview of previous surveys in this area (2004:2). The interview survey on science in 2004 is presented in the report: How Teachers View Science, 2004 (In Swedish)

One of the topics discussed at VA Day 2004 was contact between teachers and the research community and what the scientific community thinks about how children are being educated. Summary: VA Day focuses on learning

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How Teachers View Science, 2004 – an interview survey

VA Report 2004:4

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