Education Without Screens

A recent statement from Karolinska University is leading to a political rethink in Sweden about digitization in preschools, according to Diagnose-Funk, an independent environmental and consumer organization that campaigns for protection against electromagnetic fields.

This year, the Swedish education authority presented its proposal for a national digitization strategy for the school system. Among other things, preschools were to be equipped with digital devices on a mandatory basis. This was justified by a goal of promoting the digital skills needed in later life at an early age and improving the quality of education with the help of digital options. Now, however, Education Minister Lotta Edholm has reversed this decision. Preschools, in particular, are to remain screen-free. The reason for this is a statement by Sweden’s Karolinska University, in which several professors of psychology, developmental psychology, neonatology, and cognitive neuroscience criticize the use of screens in young children in no uncertain terms. They point out that the benefits of digitizing schools touted by the Ministry of Education are not evidence-based. On the contrary, they say, a large body of research clearly shows that the use of digital devices has a negative impact on students’ acquisition of knowledge. The authors also refer to a report published in 2022 by the Swedish Media Council, which describes a direct link between screen time and reduced mental health. As a conclusion to the statement, the professors recommend a return to a focus on printed textbooks and teacher expertise in educational issues.

Source diagnose:funk

Translation Laura Liska
Photo Jonathan Borba

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