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150 years of experience in Danish free schools

»What is a free school? «

This video explains the Danish free school tradition as well as the current state of the free schools.

Lene Tanggaard, professor in educational psychology at the Department of Communication and Psychology, contributes to the film. She points out that the free schools provide three important ingredients; »a respect for the child, an opportunity to vary the educational form and an opportunity to adapt to the time in which they are part of«.

The managing director of the Grundtvig-Academy also contributes to the film and points to the importance of the free schools for a free democracy. »A society marked by intellectual freedom is a society in which ideas can fly freely. And when one is so lucky to be able to form a school on an idea, then you might even be so lucky that others are inspired by that idea. So the bare thought of intellectual freedom is crucial for a society that want to be free and open«.
The video is produced by The Danish Friskole Association, FRISKOLERNE.

FRISKOLERNE - Free Schools In Denmark from Dansk Friskoleforening. Watch on YouTube. (Subtitles availble in english, corean and arabic)

International conferences:

Global Citizenship Education

International conference, Denmark 2021

The power of belonging

International conference, Denmark 2018

Togetherness as motivation

International conference, Denmark 2016

Traditions and facts

Where did the idea of free schools come from?

The free schools were built on the ideas of N.F.S. Grundtvig and Christen Kold 150 years ago. 

In their perspective, learning takes place in many other places than in the books and in the school; learning is instead lifelong, and the individuals' responsibility, not the state's. This started a long tradition of free schools.

The tradition for free schools

The Danish free schools have existed for more than 150 years.

Current challenges

The Danish free schools are challenged in different ways

Economy and structure

Get an overview of the free schools' economy and structure


Read about the free schools' limits and options within Danish legislation

Facts on free schools

Get your facts on free schools straight

Get an introduction to the diversity of free schools in Denmark, historically, economically and culturally.

If you have any questions or further interest in free schools, please contact us. 

Download booklet about the free Danish school tradition (Højskoler, Efterskoler, Friskoler and The Independent Academy for Free School Teaching)

Contact the Danish Free School Association

Ring til Friskolernes Hus
+45 62613013
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