onsdag 13 augusti 2014

Work Wednesday - Teachers

Södermanland, cirka 1930

This week means back to work for most of Sweden's teachers. Most teachers have in their employment that they work 35 hours at school and 10 hours at home every week. A normal work week in Sweden has 40 hours. The extra 5 hours for teachers mean they can have days off during Christmas, spring holliday, Easter and most of the 10 weeks' summer holliday.

As in most of Europe the church was responsible for education during the middle ages. During the 1500's the state took over the schools when the catholic faith was abandoned. Not many people wanted to get education though and only a privilaged few actually studied. Schools were founded in different places but there was no over all plan for the education of the Swedish people. Latin, French and German were the languages used in education.

In 1842 the government decided that all children should attend school for four years and that is considered to be the start of the school system that Sweden has today. In the beginning a lot of schools moved around so the teacher could spend some weeks or months in one place and then go to the next village to teach the children there for the same amount of time. At time went by more and more schools became permanent and more and more teachers were needed. More years were added and in 1882 the obligatory school became six years long. Still, not all children attended school because they were often needed at home where they helped out on the farm. In 1905 laws were passed that ment that schools were for everybody, the could not be different schools for different social groups. From 1936 school was 7 years and in the 1950's it became 8 years long. Since 1972 all children must attend school for nine years, between the ages of 7 and 16. Education for teachers are different depending on which ages they teach and also varies in length, from 3,5 years to 5,5. Teachers for younger children have to have knowledge of more subjects but teachers of older students focus on 2-4 subjects. Some subjects, like Swedish and Social Studies, take longer to study in order to become a teacher. From year 7-9 a stundent has 15-16 subjects so there needs to be a lot of different kinds of teachers; Swedish, English, French, Spanish, German, maths, physics, chemistry, biology, technology, religion, history, geography, social studies, P.E. textile/fabrics, wood works,home economics and music.

Before the nine year obligatory school is a pre-school year that is becoming more and more like a tenth year. After the nineth year the students choose what kind of education they want to attend, what kind of occupation they want to have. The so called Gymnasiet is three years and some programs that the students can choose are more occupation oriented and some are more to prepare the students for higher education. Most teachers at Gymnasiet only have two subjects.

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