Norway’s Education Minister Torbjørn Røe Isaksen is promising a major renewal of Norwegian schools’ curriculum. His aim, he says, is to make students as best prepared as possible to meet the demands of the modern working world.
Isaksen rolled out proposals this week that will streamline school subjects, provide more time for deeper concentration within certain subjects and less “superficial learning.” He said too many teachers feel they have to rush through course material as they try to cover too many themes before students have absorbed them.
“We need fewer and clearer goals,” Isaksen said. He wants to concentrate on math, Norwegian and English, with obligatorisk exams in those three subjects for all 10th graders. “For every student that we can help improve in math, for example, we increase the chances they’ll finish high school,” Isaksen said.
His proposals face challenges from educators resistant to change, and students themselves. Isaksen is prepared for a battle, and conceded that a new curriculum won’t be ready for at least two to three years.