teach for sweden

IDA KARLBERG GIDLUND, CEO, TEACH FOR SWEDEN

“We want Sweden to continue being a leading knowledge nation”

Teach for Sweden wants all children to be able to choose their own futures. They believe in a world where everyone has access to equal education, regardsless of their background. Giving every child equal opportunities for success in the classroom will allow for a strong, democratic society going forward, driving Sweden forward with diversity, knowledge and creativity, all marked by strong leadership.

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER AND PROVIDES THE RIGHT OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE FUTURE

It should be possible for every child to be their best self and choose their own future. This provides the starting point for the work of the Teach for Sweden Foundation, which helps talented graduates to become teachers. Hundreds of graduates have completed Teach for Sweden’s leadership programme to date and are now qualified seniorlevel teachers.

Students need talented and qualified teachers if they’re to achieve and enjoy positive future prospects. But even so, the number of qualified teachers has been steadily declining over the last few years, which means fewer students are leaving school with upper secondary-level qualifications. Teach for Sweden is recruiting graduates for a two-year leadership programme, culminating in a teaching degree, with the aim to reverse this trend.

“Teach for Sweden is aware that having motivated and qualified teachers in the classroom is a must for all children, no matter what their background, so that they all have the same opportunities for an equal education. That said, many teachers will be retiring in a near future. The Swedish National Agency for Education estimates that the country will see a shortage of about 12,000 qualified teachers by 2035. We want our leadership programme to be part of the solution and help Sweden to go on being a leading knowledge nation”.

MORE THAN 400 TEACHERS APPOINTED

This training course combines theoretical and practical elements so as to provide graduates with the very best conditions and enable them to develop. For the most part, the theoretical element focuses on tools and methods for personal and effective leadership. Graduates will combine their studies with working as teachers at secondary schools in dire need of talented teachers, including schools in districts that are defined as particularly vulnerable.

Teach for Sweden works in partnership with more than 30 local authorities at present, and there is a great deal of interest in the education offer. A total of 400 graduates have completed the programme or are currently enrolled, and every one of them is a major asset to the school system. The programme attracts a broad selection of talented people with a variety of experience and expertise.

“The people who apply to join our leadership programme have held a variety of positions previously. We have someone who was a development engineer in the food industry, a deputy chief of staff at the Government Offices and a synthetic chemist who worked on pharmaceutical research. They all have one thing in common: an excellent academic qualifications, a passion for leadership and a desire to help out with the school system”.

MORE SCOPE FOR MATHS AND SCIENCE

The COVID-19 pandemic in 2021 and the resulting restrictions had a major impact on schooling among students. Nevertheless, Teach for Sweden was able to maintain and run all elements of its operations. Students who completed the leadership programme continued with their work experience at schools, both online and in the classroom. This year, Teach for Sweden will be focusing on providing more of an understanding of the role played by maths and science in the future of Sweden.

“We’ve always aimed high here at Teach for Sweden. In 2021, our organisation produced one in four of all graduate senior-level teachers teaching technology and one in five teachers teaching physics or chemistry. We’re aiming to go on recruiting maths and science teachers for the future, but we’re also planning to raise awareness of their significant position in society.”