Teacher(s): Julie Shackelford
What is a Danish folk high school, really? How does it differ from other, more formal adult educational institutions? And what makes IPC unique among them? Are there other educational systems elsewhere in the world like the Danish tradition? What sort of impact can such schools have on the world today?
These are just a few of the questions that this course seeks to investigate. Beginning with an introduction to the origins of the Danish folk high school movement in the 19th century and the educational ideas of its founder, N.F.S. Grundtvig (1783-1872), the course follows the footsteps of the movement to the present day and explores the impact that it has had on Danish society. Following this, our focus shifts beyond Danish borders to trace the contours of the folk high school idea on the global stage and, in particular, how it has influenced and merged with other progressive educational philosophies and social movements (e.g. Brazilian Paulo Freire, Bengali Rabindranath Tagore, Indian Mahatma Gandhi, the U.S. Civil Rights Movement, etc.).
The pedagogical approach employed in the class is active, experimental, and dialogical with learning opportunities ranging from: field trips, archival research, conversations with global leaders in the field (in-person or via Zoom), hands-on activities in various pedagogical approaches, and lively debates and discussions.