In the garden of content #rhizo15

Earlier this week OECD presented their latest study and report of the Swedish school system. Our government have asked the experts for the help to analyze and come with some suggestions of how we should stop the dramatic decline of our schools, student results and status of the teachers. And Andreas Schleicher mused ”It was in the early 2000s that the Swedish school system somehow seems to have lost its soul, […]”

Swedish school system somehow seems to have lost its soul…

And the solution is to get the schools more in line, more centralized governance with emphasis on equality and collaboration between schools, principals and teachers. The students needs to respect their teachers, show up in time and put some grit into their studying. As a former example to the world our school have dived down way below mediocrity and is now we act more of an warning example.

Improving-Schools-in-Sweden (pdf)

But is this what you get when your country’s attitude is self-centred and individualistic? Check the top right corner in The World Value Survey. Way up there…


In our curriculum their is a emphasize on individualization and growth, and the students should have the opportunity to test their knowledge in different ways, at separate times and get regular feedback on their progress. In our Law of Education we state our desire to give our students ”a lifelong desire to learn”, how do we live up to that statement?

§4 Education in schools aimed at children and students should acquire and develop skills and values. It shall promote
all children’s and students’ development and learning and a lifelong desire to learn. The training should also teach and establish respect for human rights and fundamental democratic values ​​on which Swedish society is based.

The program shall take into account children’s and students’ varying needs . Children and pupils should be given support and incentives so that they can develop as far as possible. An effort should be to compensate for differences in children’s and students’ capacity to benefit from the education.

The program also aims in cooperation with the homes promote children’s and students’ all-round personal development of active, creative, competent and responsible individuals and citizens.

Choice and entrepreneurship have been key elements for many politicians and civil servant for decades. However, that freedom sounds like freedoom now, when you read and digest the report from OECD. Growing up in a society of choice, freely available content, and with tools that unlock information and connectivity abundance – can you go back? In what way? Can’t we have both?

When we are raising Swedish kids in navigating, consuming and learning in a world of Youtube, Netflix, Spotify, Steam, Minecraft – on demand, no downtime, on a time, pace and in a way that you like on a platform of your choice – how can a world of straight lines and regulated pace compete with that?

I ponder a lot on just that remark. ”Swedish school system somehow seems to have lost its soul content…”

Are we fighting the flowers or the rhizomes in the Garden of Content, when we instead could focus on and harness that aggressive metaphore to build a better tomorrow? Below here is a clip of my kids fighting the rhizomes of liliacs, in vain and as aggressive as the roots I´d say.

But how do we do with the content in the classroom? Can you plant aggressive seeds in other people/students/kids/spouse? Could that be a way of combining choice with energy and empowerment? A way to find relevant and engaging content?

Combining choice with energy and empowerment

Below is my broadcasts with Bambuser, where I tried to capture the feeling and the learning taking place in the classroom. We started to just cut our course material to pieces, and the student had to puzzle it all together, in an order and in a way they all agreed upon and with a touch and the content they liked. And the result was their own TV-show. I especially like this scene where my former students laid a puzzle with material that they earlier been bound by – now felt a freedom to explore.


My bambuser channel where I´ve documented my rhizomatic classroom

…and on the theme of aggressive learning, here is to TAGSExplorer and where I planted a seed of Edcamp in the minds of 14 people.

Aggressive content creation.