I recently referenced Jantelagen. An idea that Swedes should never consider themselves better than anyone else. Sometimes it’s a lovely concept. Other times it leaves those who excel twiddling their thumbs.
Late last year I was taking a Viking History/Archaeology class and was talking to a Swede who was actually in high school but taking the class. She was one of the excelling students who had found a way to fill her time instead of twiddling her thumbs. I remember sitting on the subway back to Central Station wither talking to her about the differences in the educational system. She wasn’t impressed with the Swedish way because she felt that she was being, if not held back, at least allowed to stagnate while she waited for those less driven and less intelligent to catch up. I was intrigued.
Well recently it seems that the Swedes have decided to do something about this. And in my opinion it can only be for the better. Sweden will begin offering classes aimed specifically at advanced high school students allowing them to earn college credits while in high school. It basically sounds like an Advanced Placement program. And I love AP. A school here in Stockholm will be the first to try it out.
My favorite quote is from Jan Björklund, the education minister who says “Vi måste göra oss kvitt den socialdemokratiska jantelagen i skolpolitiken.” Or as The Local translates it: “We have to leave behind the Social Democratic schools policy where nobody should think they are special.” Mostly I love it because even with a great idea like this the government found it necessary to take a dig at the Social Democrats. Seems they might be a bit worried still that their popularity numbers just aren’t quite where they would like them to be.
The Social Democrats of course aren’t impressed, believing that the focus should instead be on making sure everyone meets the goals. But that is the point, doing so just leaves the elite students floundering. Sossarna are silly.
From what I have read in other blogs and a most scientific poll given by Aftonbladet, many Swedes are in favor of this. And I love it. Although, I must say I am a little surprised considering the Social Democratic dislike of the idea and the fact that, despite the Moderates being in charge, most Swedes would back the Social Democrats. Perhaps it is an evolution in Social Democracy that will allow for the individual to grab a bigger piece of the pie.
Welcome to Sweden.