An argument that’s being heard more and more states that innovation of the kind that creates wealth and adds to the GDP comes in the form of technology. Because of that, they argue we shouldn’t waste resources on teaching kids about topics like arts, literature, history or human behavior. We should teach as much science (natural), technology, engineering and math as we possibly can. These are the only skills that the industry and the economy benefits from, the argument goes.
Something that caused quite a bit of a stir a while ago was the revelation that Sweden had dropped considerably in OECD’s international PISA school rankings. Politicians were eager to get media attention, pointing fingers at the opposition for this and that, turning it into yet another left versus right blame game. A common theme was a call for more order and a more strict school. I think the explanation is not whether teachers need to seen as authoritarian figures but rather as to whether they help students believe in themselves.