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Denmark: more practice- and application-oriented pedagogies in primary school

In recent decades Denmark has been facing an ongoing challenge of increasing number of young people choosing general upper secondary school over VET. Different national initiatives are addressing this challenge, with a political agreement opening the way to new approaches in lower secondary schools.

From autumn 2018, practice- and application-oriented approaches in teaching are to be offered increasingly in primary schools. This is expected to make more learners aware of vocational education – particularly those with talent for practical skills development – and to improve their professional development and interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Political agreement has been reached on the following five initiatives to be implemented in 2018-20:

  • it will be mandatory for all learners to choose at least one two-year practical elective subject in 7th to 8th grade;
  • the practical elective chosen by the learners can be completed with a practical or oral exam in the 8th grade;
  • in the 9th grade, learners will complete a mandatory multidisciplinary project assignment, which must be published as a report or digital presentation. The practical elements of the 9th grade mandatory project should be strengthened;
  • industrial and/or business practice should give learners a sense of how a workplace works and of the different work functions and education backgrounds in a company. Practice should be further promoted. The existing scheme is expanded, giving learners the right to industrial/business practice for at least one week in both the 8th and 9th grades;
  • a practical academic development project will be initiated to support the school's work with practical skills and application-oriented teaching. Its goal is to inspire schools to strengthen application-oriented, practical and business-oriented elements in primary school education. Closer cooperation between primary and lower secondary schools and vocational colleges is also expected.

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Mor Praksisfaglighed bliver en obligatorisk del af udskolingen