Students want more variation in their school day

Survey reveals that students support notion behind government’s ‘activity time’, a key aspect of school reform that has lost its political backing

With political opposition parties and the teachers' union, Danmarks Lærerforening, voicing displeasure over a key element of the government's school reform plans, a new survey shows that students largely want what the government is proposing. 


Opposition parties Venstre, Konservative and Dansk Folkeparti last week made it clear that they wanted the government's proposed 'activity time' scrapped from the reform plans. The stated intention of the 'activity time' hours is to add five to nine hours a week of alternative methods of education that will engage students and compliment their traditional learning. 


Venstre's school spokesperson, Karen Ellemann, however, has dismissed the proposal as "hula-hoop time". 


But a new survey from the national children's council, Børnerådet, reveals that students in lower secondary education crave more activities and variety in their education. 


The survey, carried out among 1,900 students in grades seven through ten (13 to 15-year-olds) in Roskilde Council, showed vast support for the addition of variety into the traditional school day.


Some 69 percent of the students want education that would include more movement and physical activity, 68 percent would like to have more field trips to local businesses and 60 percent said they would like to be taught more lessons outdoors. 


In short, the students wanted more variation in their education. Some 43 percent of respondents said that their current education is too monotonous, while 35 percent said that the teaching they received was either always or often boring. 


The results of Børnerådet's research should be considered as politicians discuss the proposed reform, the council's chairman, Per Larsen, told Politiken newspaper.


"We want to avoid that a decision is made without remembering that the students have an opinion, which we think should be taken in to consideration," Larsen said. "I would anticipate that responsible politicians would listen to a reasonable, unbiased presentation such as this one."