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Case study: The World is Burning (Krogerup Højskole), DK

Research output: Working paperResearch

  • Marcella Milana, Denmark
  • Tore Bernt Sørensen, Denmark
  • Department of Educational Sociology
  • Komparativ uddannelsespolitik
Informal education for democratic citizenship is embedded in the philosophy of the Danish Folk High Schools, which host primarily young adults, who are temporary out of the formal education and training systems but willing to continue their formal education at a later stage. This is particularly true in the tradition of the Krogerup Folk High School, which emphasise European humanism, human rights, democracy and politics since its establishment in 1946. Furthermore Krogerup is an active participant in the public debate on culture, democracy and public participation in decision making. The course The World is Burning, which is being the specific objective of an in-depth case study, is, to the authors? acknowledgement, a unique example of non formal learning activity aimed at rising political awareness among well-educated young adults in Denmark, which is worth special attention for several reasons. First and foremost the course represents an explicit attempt to link formal and non formal education ? e.g. high school and folk high school?s experiences - as well as education and active engagement in promoting developmental projects in favour of less economically developed countries ? e.g. knowledge sharing on the political situation effecting less economically developed countries at local and national level. Secondly the course seems to respond to the need of enhancing internal political efficacy among the young population. In fact, as a recent research report on political efficacy1 has pointed out, Danish youth, even though well knowledgeable about democracy and the functioning of political processes ? i.e. high level of external political efficacy -, do not perceive itself as competent in political matters ? i.e. low level of internal political efficacy. In its concluding remarks, the report stress that the Nordic democracies are thus facing the challenge of making the youth realize that they are competent in participating in political processes. Last but not least both the curriculum and the pedagogical approach are strongly linked to research activity carried out at national and international level by scholars engaged in the field of political engagement as well as adult education for democratic citizenship such as Ove Korsgaard (Danish University of Education, DK), Jørgen Gleerup (University of Southern Denmark), Erik Amnå (Goteborg University, SW) and others. The case study here presented is based on results from desk research and field work carried out in spring-winter 2006. In particular, desk research activity was carried out already in spring-summer, when direct contacts with the organizer were also established; while field work activity took place during the autumn edition of the course in question (28 August - 14 December 2006). Empirical data were collected through a combination of qualitative methods: participant observation (n. 9 sessions for a total of 36.5 hours), semi-structured interviews (n. 3 of 1 hour each) and focus groups interviews (n. 2 of 1 hour each). Most of the empirical data were audio digitally recorded.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2007

    Research areas

  • adult education for democratic citizenship, Denmark

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