The Early Years series uncovers the successful Swedish approach to education in Motala.

Sweden's attitude to teaching one to six year olds appears incredibly relaxed. There's little formal learning and play is paramount. Most of the children who leave pre-school at the age of six can&'t read or write.

Yet within three years of starting formal schooling at seven, Swedish children lead the literacy tables in Europe. Could the absence of testing and inspection combined with a strong emphasis on play and relaxation be why?


  • swedishLP.xls
  • swedishevidence.doc

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Created: Mar 15, 2010

Updated: Nov 17, 2012

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3 Reviews

  • 5
    user avatarTakethat115 years agoreport

    I really like this approach to Early Years. Fantastic!

  • 4

    All looks great but would not work in UK because of governments conflicting strategies such as EYFS and SATS conflict. Parents into work but no full time education and cutting of after school clubs. Watch the video again the ratio of children to adults is fantastic no 1 - 13 like out nursery classes. I went to school in the 70s where there was no curriculum and vertical grouping and I never learnt to read or write well There must be a balanced approach out ther that treats childrens individual needs and not government targets, tests and comparison of schools.

  • 5

    A brilliant system which is truly child-centred. I feel that our children really would benefit from an education system which values the Early Years as much as the Swedish do.

    It would take a lot of time, effort and money to successfully run it in our schools because of our long standing traditions in education and also our ways of thinking. However, it would be extremely beneficial to our children.

    The main idea is not to push children who are not ready to fulfil age related expectations but to make early years education truly child-centered- to work with the child! Perhaps our children are too young to be working towards goals. Perhaps they should be having fun, enjoy being children, learning to socialise and work cooperatively with their peers.

    In this way, they will be excited about school, about learning to read and write and be happy at school leading to good progress overall!