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Danish "efterskoles" are "continuation schools" following elementary school--residential schools that allow students aged 14-16 to defer going to high school while they make choices about their educational future. Efterskoles are based on the principles of N.F.S. Grundtvig, who started folk high schools in about 1850 to educate Danish adults for participation in democracy, and on the principles of Christian Kold, who applied Grundtvig's ideas to children's education. Kold and Grundtvig believed that schools should give enlightenment for life rather than formal or vocational training; key elements of education should include equality in the teacher-student relationship, dialogue, freedom from examinations, freedom to shape one's own life, responsibility to the community, and equal value and dignity for all children. Until 1970 most students came from rural areas, but recent years have seen growing enrollment of children of salaried employees. All efterskoles are small (average 80 students). Efterskoles enjoy complete freedom of curriculum, and school goals are reflected in their physical structure. The government provides 50-85 percent of operating costs but does not interfere in curricula, providing general education requirements are met. Although no formal teacher credentials are required, most teachers have both teacher training and practical skills. The fastest growing educational program in Denmark, efterskoles provide an alternative to the regular public school process and an opportunity to experience a holistic approach to life and learning. Arthur Morgan School (North Carolina), funded in 1962, operates on similar principles. (SV)

Descriptors: Boarding Schools, Educational Environment, Educational History, Educational Practices, Foreign Countries, Free Schools, Holistic Approach, Junior High Schools, Middle Schools, Nontraditional Education, Open Education, Participative Decision Making, Private Schools, Role of Education, Small Schools, Teacher Student Relationship

Author: Johnson, Joyce Dinwiddie

Source: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=12530&id=ED414138

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