Teacher Education

SFS has no opinions on specific programs, as we believe that student demand should govern which educations are offered and where the universities' freedom is great in terms of the design of the content. However, as teacher education has in recent years been the subject of many political reforms and is part of the 56th paragraph of the January Agreement, SFS has often been consulted as a reference body and expert body. Due to this, the SFS board has also decided to regard teacher education as a national matter. In addition, a working group within the Swedish Association of Universities and University Colleges (SUHF) has been appointed for teacher education, of which SFS is a part. 

The working group will i.a. discuss the dimensioning of teacher education, where the purpose is to try to solve the existing teacher shortage. As stated, SFS believes that it should be the students' demand that should guide the dimensioning of the number of study places. There is no point in creating more places unless enough students are interested in applying for the places. When students' demand is allowed to control the supply of education, it is also usually adapted to the needs of the labor market, according to Lars Haikola in Higher education for twenty years (SOU 2015: 70). Politicians need to have realistic expectations of which parts can be solved by the higher education institutions and which parts are best solved by other actors. 

However, higher education institutions can work to increase the attractiveness of education and thereby reduce dropouts and increase throughput. Work-based education - VFU - is included as a compulsory element in teacher education, but at many higher education institutions, VFU often entails long commuting distances or costs for double accommodation. Another shortcoming within the framework of VFU is that it is not always possible to find trained supervisors in the company-based education. One way to increase the attractiveness of teacher education would therefore be if the conditions for VFU improved. 

SUHF's working group will also discuss admission requirements and aptitude testing, where SFS has opinions on eligibility, selection and aptitude testing. SFS believes that aptitude tests should not occur because they are not legally secure and risk preventing people with the right prior knowledge from studying. Instead, the selection should be made based on the applicant's knowledge and skills. It is important that admission should always be considered legitimate and meet the requirements of transparency, predictability and fairness. 

Recently, new degree goals have also been added to teacher education, including for teachers to learn more about ADHD and other neuropsychiatric difficulties, as well as better sex education for young people. SFS believes, however, that it is important that politicians do not introduce further elements in education that place increased demands on teacher education, but to meet it with corresponding resources.