Forskningsprojekt Programmering har återkommit i svenska skolans läroplan. 2017 presenterades en uppdaterad läroplan, Lgr2017, som integrerar programmering i kursplanerna för matematik, teknik och samhällskunskap.
Programmering har återkommit i svenska skolans läroplan. 2017 presenterades en uppdaterad läroplan, Lgr2017, som integrerar programmering i kursplanerna för matematik, teknik och samhällskunskap. I forskningsprojektet studieras hur tekniklärare arbetar med att forma programmering till ett ämnesinnehåll och även vilka faktorer, eller utmaningar, som lärare möter i detta arbete. I arbetet ingår även en analys av kursplanens budskap kring programmering.
In 2015, the Ministry of Education and Research (Utbildningsdepartementet) appointed the National Agency for Education (NAE) to propose a new national IT strategy for the entire Swedish school system. Part in this work was to propose changes to curricula and syllabi in order to "reinforce and clarify programming as curriculum content". The underpinning argument for this move was much related to a transnational curriculum movement in which 'traditional' ICT programs are replaced with elements of computer science, in many cases programming. There are several arguments for this shift, one of which is related to the everchanging aspects of society. Today, programmed technology is part of most peoples lives and people have to know more about what it means and how it affects the individual and the society. Further, programming is interconnected with the idea that it fosters thought processes (computational thinking, algorithmic thinking, logical thinking).
In 2016, NAE had worked its way through the national curriculum for compulsory school, Lgr11, substantial parts of the curriculum was “digitally remodelled” and programming added as core content to mathematics and technology.
The government gave its approval in March 2017 and a new national curriculum, Lgr11 revision 2017, was released soon after. In October 2017 the Ministry of Education and Research established the new national strategy for school digitalisation which encapsulates the government’s ambitions for the Swedish school system, with the overall goal to be “world leading at exploiting the opportunities of digitalisation in order to attain high digital competence amongst children and students and to promote knowledge development and school equity”.
Thus, programming has been made part of the technology subject. However, technology already faces challenges. Technology is the newest subject in the school curriculum and as such, is not as well established as other subjects. A 2014 evaluation of technology education in compulsory school made by the Swedish Schools Inspectorate pointed out an undesirable abundance of unreflected activity in the technology classroom, the learning goals and contexts of the activities are not made clear enough.
The evaluation also reveals that teachers, both qualified and unqualified, express uncertainty about the subject’s distinctive characteristics and overall purpose and how to teach the subject matter. The evaluation report further reveals that "teachers with insufficient skills often, and unreflected, rely on pre-made teaching materials", something that may undermine the purpose, core content and learning goals of the subject, but can be avoided by having teachers who are well-acquainted with the purpose and methods of the subject matter and who can assess the appropriateness of teaching materials. This illuminates an already existing need for professional development amongst technology teachers.
A survey amongst primary school mathematics teachers from 2017 reveals that 7 out of 10 mathematics teachers (grade 7-9) lack any kind of formal schooling in programming, and that 8 out of 10 express uncertainty or great uncertainty how to teach about, and with programming.
This shows that there is a strong need for professional development. The NAE emphasizes that school and district level administrators both have to encourage and create room (time and quite possibly also money for physical or digital tools) for teachers’ professional development, but there is no extra government funding reserved to support such activities. Added to this, Swedish universities that provide teacher education have been slow to react.
The research project aims to explore explore how teachers transform programming into actual classroom activities and identify factors that influence this process.