“We are thinking of students as whole human beings” – about education in Denmark with Jeppe Bundsgaard

“We are thinking of students as whole human beings” – about education in Denmark with Jeppe Bundsgaard

"Too focused on preparing for exams instead of life"
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vor 1 Jahr
Jeppe Bundsgaard is a professor at the Danish school of education and the Danish representative at the world wide ICILS Study, which compares computer and information literacy of students around the world.
In the podcast “School must go on” talks Jeppe Bundsgaard about how students are treated at Danish schools, the role of grades and digitization in the Danish education system.

– Students and teachers are almost on the same level –

With the education reform in Europe, Denmark has tried to develop a school system that is more student-centered, more project-based and more about developing whole human beings. “It’s not much time that we spend on stupid drills and practice getting correct answers to really simple questions,” the education expert says.
Therefore, the relationship between teachers and students in Denmark is also on equal terms. “They talk to each other like being almost on the same level,” Jeppe Bundsgaard explains. For example, occasional jokes by students in class are welcomed by teachers and both students and teachers are called by their first names. “I think it’s an important basis for good education.”

– Too focused on preparing for exams instead of life –

A few years ago there were no exams and grades in Danish lower secondary schools. “There was a test you could take when you left school and then you could also get grades. But you were not forced to take this exam,” the professor says. Today, he says, it is mandatory to take the exam and get grades from 8th or 9th grade on at the latest. Sometimes even before in order to practice. “In my opinion we have gone towards more focus on exams and grades way too much because it has a backlash on how things are done,” Jeppe Bundsgaard explains. “Teachers are too worried about the exams. They are too focused on preparing students for exams instead of focusing on preparing them for life.”

– Digitization of education –

The Danish school system started getting digitized very early. “In the 60s we had the first professor of computer science. He worked very seriously on getting computer science into basic education,” explains the IT expert. This professor laid the groundwork for computers being a core part of how people in Denmark have been thinking about education since then. “Around the year 2000 almost all schools in Denmark were connected to the internet and computers started getting a big part of life. Since 2015 you wouldn't go to a school without ICT being completely integrated into teaching and learning,” sums up Jeppe Bundsgaard. Overall, he says, the ministry of education has been pushing for integration and development of 21st century skills. “In our curriculum there are three cross cutting areas: entrepreneurship and Innovation, ICT and language awareness. Those three should be part of all subjects.”
Jeppe Bundsgaard also talks about the collaboration between the different stakeholders, innovative schools, autonomy in schools, establishing of digital learning materials and school during Corona in Denmark.

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