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ERIC Number: ED413118
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Sep
Pages: 7
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Education in Small Rural Swedish Schools: An Initial Overview of the Field.
Aberg-Bengtsson, Lisbeth
This position paper focuses on issues related to equal education in small, rural schools in Sweden. Specifically, the report analyzes national statistics, reports from the National Agency for Education, and other research regarding the status of education in Sweden. Data indicate that for the 1994-95 school year, two-thirds of the schools in Sweden had less than 200 students, with a large proportion of schools having less than 100 students. In addition, small rural schools often have less than 60 students. The Swedish education system serves approximately 900,000 students. In 1993, class size averaged 22 students, but classes in rural areas had a mean of 18.9 students. Because of small class sizes, education in Sweden's small rural schools has traditionally been organized in mixed-age groups. The closing of 76 small rural schools between 1985 and 1993 was partly due to the assumption that mixed-age grouping did not offer an equal education nor meet the objectives of the national curriculum. However, research indicates that the academic performance of students from rural areas was equal to that of students in more populated, urban areas. Small rural districts tended to have the highest proportion of teachers untrained to teach specialty subjects. However, small schools have solved this problem by collaborating with neighboring schools in offering special subjects. Sparsely populated rural districts tend to have not only fewer pupils but also a relatively high density of teachers and low average class size. As salaries constitute the greatest costs, the continued existence of small, rural schools is questioned from an economic standpoint. However, the integration of preschool with primary schools in 1994 as part of the new national curriculum has helped to save small rural schools. This report stresses the need for establishing a database for examining the effectiveness of small rural schools in Sweden. Contains 20 references. (LP)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Sweden