Choice of Education in Sweden

Students in Swedish primary schools have very limited choice regarding their curriculum. Students cannot usually make any decisions about their education until the fall term of the sixth grade, where students can choose a foreign language (most often Spanish, French, German, and sometimes other languages such as Russian, or extra English or Swedish) and which handicraft course the student wants to take, where carpentry or sewing is offered. A similar situation applies to most other subjects. This is the result of a concerted effort to streamline curricula, in the hope that this will favor students from families with lower levels of educational attainment. Critics claim it has lowered results significantly among talented students without raising them within other groups.

All students between 12-15 years old take mathematics, English, Swedish, a foreign language, "Naturorientering" science (physics, chemistry, biology, technology), "Samhällsorientering" social science (social studies, history, religion, geography), physical education, art, music, carpentry or sewing, and a course in home economics. In many schools the course "Elevens Val" ("The Student's Choice") is offered, which can include, for instance, drama, an extra foreign language, or help in different subjects.

The Swedish School Plan also highly encourages an individualistic education in which each student has their specific needs met. The students are also encouraged not only to participate in student councils but also to actually form the education they desire together with their teachers, choosing which books to read and how to balance practice with theory depending on which the individual student finds most enjoyable to learn from.

Homeschooling is very restricted in extent and heavily regulated.