A school in Stockholm has made headlines after introducing compulsory Minecraft lessons for 13-year-old students, with teachers hoping the Swedish computer game will encourage the children to develop their thinking.
"They learn about city planning, environmental issues, getting things done, and even how to plan for the future," Viktor Rydberg teacher Monica Ekman told English-language The Local."
My 12 year old loves Minecraft. This makes me feel better!
Sweden sure is into things being compulsory. I don't care if it happens to be something I like, I just dislike the mania toward compelling people's choices away. Sweden and Germany have also both made homeschooling illegal, so public school is also compulsory. Lovely, eh?
I think we (homeschoolers and US citizens) have an aversion to the word compulsory. But a "compulsory" class is just another way of saying "part of the curriculum." US schools typically give very little class choices before the high school level. It's all compulsory.
And just as some kids don't like Minecraft, there are those that don't like Art, Music, etc. It's nice to have the educational value of Minecraft recognized though I'm just as happy to not have any more educational requirements than possible, either:-)
"Compulsory" is a loaded word. It makes me think of kids miserably toiling away at their desks for hours on end.
We lived in Sweden a few years ago and my children attended school. Homeschooling was not illegal, but very unusual and we wanted our kids to be immersed in the language and culture. School in Sweden was absolutely brilliant for my children. We have often thought about moving back simply for the schools -- my kids loved them! And I loved them.
In our experience, school was very gentle there. There was a terrific emphasis on learning through play. My kids were exposed to multiple subjects ranging from basic reading and writing to wood working and creative story telling and ice skating and language and more and more and more. I don't remember anything being pushed hard.
When I hear that they have Minecraft in schools there, I imagine that it is simply another available subject to the children.
Not to derail the debate, but I did think that a bit more first hand experience was needed.
Making something compulsory sort of goes against what is beneficial about Minecraft to begin with.
There many amazing thing my kids learned and now love only because like good Russian mother I forced them into it. My older son is a wonderful techno music DJ because I insisted on music lessons from age 7 on. I am an adult and I have experience and education my kids do not. Yes, until they are 13, many thing in my household are compulsory.
Sweden is amazing country with the well developed social safety net. I felt very warm and fuzzy when I was there.