Deputy Vice Presidents Elisabeth Wåghäll Nivre, Henrik Cederquist and Yvonne Svanström. Photo: Anna-
Deputy Vice Presidents Elisabeth Wåghäll Nivre, Henrik Cederquist and Yvonne Svanström. Photo: Anna-Karin Landin, Niklas Björling and Ingmarie Andersson

The Department of Teaching and Learning was founded in January 2022 with the aim of gathering education and research in subject-specific pedagogy under one large department instead of being spread among three smaller departments. This was a major organisational change which has meant, among other things, that both teacher education and its administration for the Department of Child and Youth Studies, the Department of Education, the Department of Special Education and the Department of Teaching and Learning are now handled by the Academic area for Human Science and the Office of Human Science. Much work is also being done in subject-specific departments in both areas. Most of our subject-specific teaching students have specialisations in the humanities and social sciences, while far fewer aim to become teachers of mathematics or one or more of the science subjects. The latter is problematic given that there is a severe shortage of qualified teachers in these particular subjects in schools. There is also a clear shortage of teachers in the language subjects.

Teacher education remains a joint responsibility of Human Science and Science. It is therefore crucial to have representation from the Faculty of Science in the preparatory bodies for teacher education programmes, which have been under the responsibility of the Board of Human Science for over a year now. Last autumn, we Deputy Vice Presidents introduced regular meetings with the Chair and Vice Chair, who represent the Faculty of Science, and the Second Vice Chair of the Teacher Education Preparatory Committee. We meet twice a semester to exchange information and discuss area-wide issues in terms of both the purely administrative issues and more content-related and strategic issues. These are important meetings that help us to understand and make the right decisions regarding teacher education, which is highly regulated by the Government and ministries.

Stockholm University has the most comprehensive teacher education in the country, with programmes, continuing professional development and courses for prospective and practising teachers from pre-school to upper-secondary and adult education (including vocational teachers). Several thousand teaching students study at our university each year, and we have now also expanded our collaboration with the Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences (GIH). However, it is important that the organisation is also given the opportunity to consolidate after a period of many changes.

For many people, the fact that we are constantly being asked to train more teachers seems rather pointless if we cannot at the same time fill the programme places with motivated and well-prepared students. Quality and the importance of good subject knowledge must be given greater weight in the decisions taken by the Government and Parliament regarding all teacher education. Stockholm University has many teachers whose talent drives and contributes to our various teacher education programmes and courses. There is a strong interest in teacher education issues within the university’s two academic areas, their administrations and the Senior Management Team. The future school teachers, their commitment to knowledge, and the practices they impart will be of crucial importance for Sweden’s development as a knowledge nation. This is why teacher education is so important and why we must be able to offer high quality training for future teachers in all subjects in schools.

This is a text written by the Deputy Vice Presidents Elisabeth Wåghäll Nivre, Henrik Cederquist and Yvonne Svanström. It appears in the section ”Words from the University’s senior management team”, where members of the management team take turns to write about topical issues. The section appears in every edition of News for staff which is distributed to the entirety of the University staff.