Sweden school bans homework and tests to “reduce stress”

Judge Judy shakes head rolls eyes

The students are happy with this decision. Duh.

Guess that’ll give them more time to enjoy their smart phones…

From Yahoo: It’s no secret that homework is stressful. But in recent decades, researchers have begun to wonder whether the anxiety it produces outweighs its benefits. A myriad of research suggests that indeed, the bad may overshadow the good. One study in particular, from Stanford University in 2014, found excessive homework not only heightens stress, but causes difficulty sleeping, and exacerbates other physical ailments such as headaches.

Given this research, it was only a matter of time before schools began experimenting with a radical solution: eliminating homework altogether. The first to make news for trying this was an elementary school in Montreal, where the principal said he wanted his young students to be “playing” after school instead of working.

But now a school in Sweden has taken it a step further: banning not only homework but tests. The high school, located in a small town called Boden, reportedly informed its students of the new policy, aimed to reduce stress, in February. “It was my idea,” Petronella Sirkka, principal of the Sturenskolan School, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “The students have expressed that they are relieved, since they are under a lot of pressure during our school year.”

Sturenskolan’s homework and test ban has met mixed reviews in the town. But that hasn’t stopped Sirkka from pushing onward. “We are constantly receiving new reports that our children feel bad. And that’s because they have a very high stress level all the time,” Sirkka told SVT, the Swedish national public broadcaster. “This is our way of trying to reduce that stress.”

Sirkka said that the curriculum her students study is “very complicated” and “places extremely high demands” on them individually. Eliminating homework and tests (except for nationally required tests) is an attempt to make it “less challenging for their psychological well being” overall, according to a Sputnik News article.

Sirkka says that, since the students were away on Easter break, they haven’t been in class long enough for her to adequately judge how it’s going. But in general, she says the students are happy with the decision. For Sirkka, that’s good news. Her goal, if it goes well, is to introduce a permanent ban on homework and tests at Sturenskolan in 2019.

The anxiety that Sirkka’s solution is aimed at tackling isn’t unique to Sweden. Research shows that young Americans are more anxious than ever. According to the National Institutes of Mental Health, 31.9 percent of adolescents in the U.S. now have a diagnosable anxiety disorder, compared with just 19 percent of adults. In the last decade, the American Academy of Pediatrics reports, the number of adolescents and teens admitted to a hospital for suicidal thoughts has doubled.

Although there are many contributing factors to increased anxiety among teens — threats to physical safety being one of them — the burden of homework is real. The aforementioned Stanford study, published in the Journal of Experimental Education, looked at more than 4,000 students in upper-middle-class California communities (a demographic, it should be noted, that receives more homework help than others) and found that excessive homework, along with adding stress, leads to decreased socialization with friends and family.

Studies like that one, combined with anecdotal evidence from parents, have led to a growing irritation with after-school assignments. In a book titled The Case Against Homework, authors Sara Bennett and Nancy Kalish argue that there is no evidence showing actual benefits of homework among students — and a wealth of evidence proving its negative effects.

“Homework overload is compromising our parenting choices, jeopardizing our children’s health, and robbing us of precious family time,” Bennett and Kalish write. “Many ‘homework experts’ claim that one of the benefits of homework is increased parental involvement. But is it really beneficial when we constantly argue about homework or stay up late to do our kids’ assignments with them — or for them?”

Read the rest of the story here.

DCG

37 responses to “Sweden school bans homework and tests to “reduce stress”

  1. No wonder the country produced this:


    On March 7, 2017, to show their solidarity with International Women’s Day, the board of directors of Byggnads, a construction workers trade union in Stockholm, Sweden, tweeted this picture of themselves.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. California schools are leading the way for Sweden. Decades ago
    homework was virtually eliminated in most schools in the Golden
    state. The standardized test-score gap between whites and
    minorities must be erased. Making whites dumber by banning
    homework was a start. A bonus for our parasitic elite: it is
    easier to control and rule dumb subjects.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Haven’t we already tried that, in Baltimore?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. “Although there are many contributing factors to increased anxiety among teens — threats to physical safety being one of them — the burden of homework is real.”
    maybe, just maybe, the “stress” students feel will decrease once the govt gets rid of islam from sweden…I say ban migrants from sweden and keep the homework and tests.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Good to here this news.

    Practice is important, but too much of a good thing produces no good results. It’s no different than over-training the body. Too much exercise produces the exact opposite effect of endurance and muscle gains. The same can be applied here.

    Homework does essentially nothing. Calling it substantial is like calling lard nutritious just because it is in fact edible. Most homework is either too much at once of a good thing, or too much of meaningless busywork.

    Of course, the entire public education system is flawed in its own right, and intentionally so, particularly from Common Core.

    I disagree about tests to an extent. But it also be argued that people do not learn from those either. Instead, they learn to memorize and often forget about the subject later. Those who do not simply are smarter in general, have a high retention rate for what amounts to trivia in daily activities, or actually care about their given subjects.

    The capacity to learn requires desire. Eliminating “stress” is an excellent. step. Perhaps eliminating tests all together is a bad idea, but there are alternatives. A test is nothing more than successful demonstration of memory, at least by my understanding of how they tend to be.

    A more comprehensive test of actual skill or capacity in a given subject would be more viable to determine gains in knowledge or capacity. But this would create competent, knowledgeable people, not appropriately will-less sheeple. And so the method of overtaxing the brain is used instead.

    Of course, this goes back to the question of what we are actually trying to accomplish with schools. the original idea was to teach basic knowledge such as reading/grammar, arithmetic and such.

    What exists now is a means of trying to process people through an education. It does not work well and we get mediocre results impossible to truly verify through any Darwinian-inspired grading system unless a given student is severely slanted toward incompetence or genius.

    I daresay, it’s quite petty to assume people who forego homework become pussy-hat wearing liberals. That would require a premise similar to, “if you don’t conduct rigorous paperwork of any kind of intensity, you’re automatically immoral or morally confused.” Shame, Dr. I am surprised at you! There are doubtless plenty of individuals throughout history, including the Scriptures, who weren’t feminists despite their lack of homework and graded tests. You might want to change your analogy to ignorance rather than moral integrity, which is not supplemented nor affected by intellectual knowledge.

    Liked by 1 person

    • How about discipline. The idea of homework is that the subject matter is too exhaustive for simple classroom work. Secondly, students have to be taught an appreciation for, and how to research subjects.

      Lastly, why waste everyone’s learning time in the class room writing an essay, while those can be done on one’s “own” time.

      If you want a generation of lazy, self-indulgent, undisciplined people, fine. I would prefer people who are informed (due to their ability to research and their love of learning), self-motivating (due to the requirements school imposed upon them in their formative years), and capable of concentrating on a task in order to complete it on time.

      Now, tell me those are “negative” attributes.

      Liked by 4 people

      • lophatt . . . . I was enthralled with your comments, particularly . . . “I would prefer people who are informed (due to their ability to research and their love of learning), self-motivating (due to the requirements school imposed upon them in their formative years), and capable of concentrating on a task i order to complete it on time.”

        When I read the above, not only did I whole heartedly agree with it, but my mind went back to the days of high school and “writing term papers.” I remember taking the bus downtown to the huge Multnomah County Library, a beautiful, stately building. I would research whatever my subject was. I would go through the card indexes, have the librarians retrieve books which were kept in the reserve stacks. Because this was before the time when “Xerox machines”, (which is what we called all copying machines back in then,) next I would laboriously hand write any and all quotes that I deemed to be valuable.

        How I loved being in that old building, and just the thrill of being downtown (now, there are bums all over, and it just isn’t the same, nor do I get the thrill I did when I was a teenager. I would take all the “quotes” I had hand copied. Because we did not have “word processors” back in 1962-1964, I devised my very own system of putting the various quotes into an order that would go along with the narrative. My system back then was I would come hope, type up all the quotes. Then I would cut all the quotes that I had typed into separate slips of paper. I would then lay them out on my bed in the order that I wanted them to appear in my written paper. On the final draft of my paper, I would write my own thoughts, then enter the quotes wherever they best fitted my written scenario.

        It was in high school that I learned that I really, really love to write. Once I became proficient in using my system of writing term papers, I got a grade of “B+” on the very first one, because it was too brief . . . after that I always earned an “A” Wow! I look back on those wonderful, carefree days, and I am so grateful that I was forced to create term papers. It truly was a wonderful part of my teenage years. I absolutely loved every aspect of the research, and compilation of papers that I wrote.

        Liked by 4 people

        • Lulu, that was wonderful. I too spent many a happy hour in a library. In fact, when I was little we lived right across the street from the county librarian. My parents and her were good friends.

          She would bring me books every day and take back the ones that I’d read. I know that you are aware that there is no substitute for reading if one wants to be a good writer. Obviously, a teacher does not want to waste their class time with their students to read when their job is more about teaching how to benefit from what we read.

          If we can read well we can learn anything. Anything in life worth having takes effort. I’ve been a lifelong musician and I practice every day. With discipline one can learn to enjoy life’s requirements. Without it one becomes a directionless wreck.

          Somehow, encouraging people to revel in their ignorance doesn’t appeal to me.

          Liked by 3 people

    • “Shame, Dr. I am surprised at you!”

      Well, the sentiments are mutual.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. “Swedes don’t want to be teachers anymore due to dangerous school environments”
    https://voiceofeurope.com/2018/04/swedes-dont-want-to-be-teachers-anymore-due-to-dangerous-school-environments/

    Liked by 3 people

    • MomOfIV . . . . What a horrible situation for the native peoples of Sweden. When it becomes evident that you cannot teach those who are non-Swedish speaking immigrants, you can be assured that those who are proficient in Swedish will end up “carrying those who are ignorant and unable to perform tasks necessary to the society of Sweden.” This will happen due to the fact that taxes will be extracted from those who do work, and be paid out to those who are so inept that they cannot hold a job.”

      I cannot blame anyone who does not wish to enter a classroom and put themselves in jeopardy. Until the Swedish government turns things around by stopping the invasion of these hoards of immigrants who never intend to assimilate into the Swedish population . . . there will be no peace in the land!

      Liked by 3 people

      • I agree 100% Auntie…but the unfortunate reality is that what is going on in sweden the libtards want here in america and they are pulling out all the stops (even convincing and using children as propaganda to try and convince adults to give up their Constitutional rights)…we are arriving at the same crossroads many teachers and parents are being forced to consider:
        to not be a presence in the public school system…it is becoming (if not fully realized already) a cancer of indoctrination, domination, and institutionalized fear for safety on the hearts, minds, psychology, and souls of children and teachers alike and those who remain in the public school system will foolishly run to the govt for assurance….this is the goal of communism (satanism in disguise) ripening before our eyes.

        Liked by 3 people

  7. I don’t really have a problem w this. I went to an off the wall boarding school in Italy. We weren’t allowed TV, instead, I chose to read, or we had to talk to each other at night about our feelings. We had daily group sessions on each of our introspective interactions w each other, ourselves (what was going on in our minds, hearts,) etc.. and we never had homework. We had to clean our surroundings, and, “acceptable,” music played in the villa all the time (we weren’t allowed Walkman’s, etc.). Being as we were in Italy, there was a huge focus on art history. Art through the ages, etc. (actually, we’d sketch in our art history journals, or sketch in general, a Botticelli – for example, as, “homework.”), and field trips played a huge role (going to see Caravaggio’s work in small chapels, Etruscan, etc.). This all helped in understanding humanity.

    Now, not to toot my horn, but, compared to many of my American contemporaries, private and publicly schooled, I’m in a different universe (which, don’t get me wrong, has its pitfalls).

    I guess my point is, we put too much emphasis in school here, yet, we are teaching kids garbage. Schools aren’t places of MIND EXPANSION, rather, they are nothing more than glorified, Indian boarding schools.

    School should be about wanting to learn, expanding your mind, which takes all kinds of exercises. Not, shutting it down (the mind), and boring it to the extreme -which is what is done here.

    This is just my opinion.

    Liked by 3 people

    • solejahway . . . . Excellent comment. I agree with you, the schools here are only there to indoctrinate the youth of this country to be “good little serfs.”

      Liked by 5 people

    • I’ve never allowed myself to be bored. I see absolutely no excuse for it. I too spent countless hours discussing things. I still had homework. I didn’t mind it. School was easy for me.

      By my Senior year of high school I had already completed all my requirements. They asked if I were interested in U.C. Davis, as they had an extension program for computers and I accepted.

      That was a long time ago. For me at least, I was responding to the subject as I understood it. I realize that some went to “better” schools than I did. That’s alright. I don’t feel substandard to anyone. That is based on my objective observations of others I’ve known that “had all the advantages”.

      Teachers make a big difference. A good teacher makes their subject interesting and even exciting. I have not had many of those. The ones I have had stand out in my memory. The rest I took upon myself to fill the voids.

      I have been much happier choosing my own path. But, I could not have done that without the basics. There are several factors that play into how and why a person chooses the paths they do and where they find themselves along the way. Not all of them are academic.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Lophatt, I did not mean to offend. And, after sitting on this, I’m going to take the risk and say it.

        From our interaction, I could be wrong, however, I take it that you’re older than me (I’m 42), and that you’re Caucasian. So, dare I say, you were in hs in America before the contrived, democrat education draft to stifle the American public schools (I forget what it was called, but the lady who became it’s whistle-blower was from the Reagan WH). You were in, before all of this nonsense was implemented.

        Now, I never a had public school experience for myself, but have some as a parent, and found, that where we lived, as there was an elementary, middle, hs, and next door to the hs was a state college, most of the people teaching never left the small town! They had literally gone to the elementary, all the way through to the college than back to teach in one of the three!

        So on top of the already watered down education, there were teachers teaching, who never LEARNED anything, other than what they were told, and what little they experienced. You can imagine how my kids and I were treated (1 of the many reasons I sent my son to military school). Many now too have those signs on their lawn, saying, “no matter where you’re from, I’m happy you’re my neighbor,” written in Arabic, English, and Spanish. I’m all three, American and they’re all still AHs to me, but I’ve digressed.

        OK. I’ll put it to you this way, and what my original post intended to say, learning should expand a person’s mind, never stifle. And sitting in a classroom can stifle. Can you imagine if Charles Lindbergh didn’t have the childhood he had, which allowed him to roam free, play in his creek, listen to the wind, stare at the stars, be inside him mind – DREAM. Today, we don’t do that for our kids.

        You know, I don’t fully agree w Sweden, (bc homeschooling is shunned upon, which I am a proponent of), but they’ve got some things right (imo), such as their nature and forest schools for kids. Sort of, Charles Lindbergh style.

        I’m happy your experience was a good one, it just seems to me that you were in at the right time, in the right place, etc..

        Links

        ^^that is the whistle-blower and author of, the deliberate dumbing down of America, and surprise, surprise, none of the links work. But watch the video snippet if you can.

        https://www.google.com/search?q=sweden+outdoor+school&oq=sweden+outdoor+sc&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j0.6214j0j7&client=ms-android-att-us&sourceid=chrome-mobile&ie=UTF-8

        ^^ that’s just a link to a google search on Sweden’s nature and forest schools. Too many links to choose from.

        Alright, many blessings, & goodnight.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. This reminds me of the video I saw recently on how Finland has changed their curriculum and have gone from non producing, high stressed students to the happiest students in the world and are thriving. Schools from around the world are sending teachers there to assess the change. Really positive reports are coming out.
    I do think saddling kids with hours and hours of homework is wrong. Many students have some heavy responsibiities at home and time isn’t there.
    Just like I always wondered why when in training why they made doctors work 24-36-48 hours straight with little sleep, making them vulnerable in making terrible errors. Who actually benefitted from that?

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Pingback: Sweden school bans homework and tests to “reduce stress” — Fellowship of the Minds – NZ Conservative Coalition

  10. this is foolishness; children will always play after school and they will do homework; it has worked for decades why wouldn’t it work now…..

    Liked by 2 people

  11. This movement was going on at the university where I taught 20y ago. The popular professors, who ended up with the best evaluations from both students and dept. chairs & deans, were those who went along with it. The kids were happy, and the school was getting lots of tuition to renovate the campus. Those of us who pushed textbook readings, research, writing, and problem solving (even when it was minimal) got squeezed out. Some were threatened with lawsuits by students demanding great grades even if they didn’t do well, take exams, or show for classes (or pay attention, take notes, etc.).
    Besides scamming the whole system, this has the effect of producing “graduates” who have barely any knowledge of their fields of study, let alone the ability to perform even menial functions without being told and shown exactly how to do everything on their jobs when hired. So employers have begun not hiring our graduates, which results in them complaining about no jobs, or low wages, when they really think they deserve being hired in at top positions from day one at 6-figure salaries… chickens coming home to roost.

    So yeah, you want to ruin the system of education leading to better lives? Go ahead and prohibit studying and testing. See where it gets us as a society. Just give everybody a “fair working wage” of $15 an hour or whatever. Better yet, give everyone $1,500/mo without requiring them to work. Screw hard work & exceptionalism; we’re all the same; nobody’s better than anyone else. And yes, there are folks advocating this, right now (and they have been for a long time).

    Liked by 4 people

    • Yes, what was that old Soviet saying? “They pretend to pay us, and we pretend to work”? So learning is about “happiness”? Effort and diligence can create “happiness” too. It even has the advantage of enabling one to actually do something useful.

      Liked by 4 people

  12. I hated homework when I was in school. And I never did it at home. There’s a lot of wasted time in school. I did ALL my homework, at school, when everybody else was wasting time. After school I went to my part time job at a gas station. And then when I got off I went to my part time job at a pizza parlor. And then when I got home I did my chores. I’ve always had two jobs unless I had three. All of you snowflakes SHUT THE HELL UP, get a job, or two. Learn to take responsibility for your decisions and yourself and quit blaming everybody else for your problems. Your problems are YOUR OWN. Sit down, shut up, conform to what society wants. And remember you are one of six billion occupants of this planet and NO ONE in charge cares what you think or want. You have freedom of speech and I have the freedom to mock you for your perceived injustices, and I will.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Great idea, banning stress by banning all rules and standards except feelings. Conspiracy nutcase that I am, I smell a rat boring from within, because, in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man will be king. Grammar, spelling, conceptual thinking, math, etc, are vestiges of paternalistic oppression that inhibit expressing one’s feelings—except of course for the children of people like Barbara Spectre Lerner who’ll be spending hours every day on that stuff.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. So how does society measure how much stress is too much when each of us is different and can handle different levels? Whether it is academics, playing sports, music endeavors, participating in the arts, working for others, owning your own business, etc. there will be stress depending on one’s level of engagement. Dealing with moderate amounts of stress while growing up prepares one to handle very stressful difficult situations more easily as an adult because you’ve had practice. I’m grateful for experiencing stress in my formative years…….it has made me a more resilient adult.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. i miss my days school! hey Sweden ,look for you i can show u a shortcut:ban the school!!…always sed Sweden is one step further in this bs masonic evil nwo,proving myself i not wrong

    Liked by 1 person

  16. It’s an interesting theory. Almost definitely swinging too hard in the right direction, however. America’s education system has born out that excessive levels of homework and standardized testing produces neither the smartest or best students, nor the most prepared for the workforce. We have simultaneously cut arts programs while also eliminating good vocational training, leaving us with this dense chewy middle that forces teachers to teach to the test, not what is useful, important, or opens up new pathways of learning.

    And elimination of homework could definitely work in a small system with rigorous oversight – especially if there are occasional mandatory field trips outside of usual school time, to everywhere from art galleries to local foundries and factories. But complete elimination of tests does seem silly. We really need to radically rethink how we do tests – a small enough school could achieve the best solution – individually crafted tests per students. But that just isn’t feasible in any but the most well funded small private schools.

    In 11th grade, I took the PSAT. I had not taken any science that year after a disastrous experience in Chemistry the previous year, so I skipped High School Physics. The PSAT’s science section was predominately on High School Physics, with a teensy bit of throwback to Chem and Bio. I actually knew from my brain maybe 15-20 percent of the correct answers. I ended up placing in the 90th percentile, because standardized tests don’t really test knowledge – they test test-taking. I am good at reading and gaming a test, seeing where the question is guiding me without having the expected prior knowledge. I didn’t cheat, but I essentially guessed and got a quite good score because my brain happens to be the type that deals well with that specific situation.

    But that skillset isn’t actually that applicable outside of standardized testing. It doesn’t help with long form answers, with crafting a good essay, with public speaking, with making a good impression in an interview, with writing a cover letter, with creating a beautiful piece of art, with learning a good work ethic or social skills.

    Like

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