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Forskellighedernes fællesskab
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  • Wednesday October 10th 2018:
    8:00 Breakfast
    9:00 School visits (two options):

    1. Free school (primary and lower secondary education)

    2. Efterskole (lower secondary education – boarding school)

    12:00 Lunch
    13:30 Three options: (13.30-17.00)

    1. Contact seminar for schools (primary and lower secondary schools)
    Short introduction to areas of interest for school collaboration: Nordplus, Erasmus+ KA1 and KA2, student exchanges, eTwinning and online cooperation. Participants' project ideas will be presented with a view to finding partners and discussing future cooperation.

    2. School visit to Folk High School

    3. Symposium: The power of belonging in education and beyond
    The symposium will address a) the nature of belonging and issues associated with it, and b) the power that derives from developing a sense of belonging. Discussions will centre around education and children but will not be restricted to them.

    15.00 Coffee break
    17.30 OECD and belonging, Mr. Tue Halgreen, Senior Analyst OECD,
    When students feel that they are part of a school community, when they feel accepted and liked by their classmates and teachers, they are also more likely to perform better academically and are more motivated to learn. PISA – the world’s largest international education survey – measures not only academic outcomes, but also students’ well-being and their sense of belonging in schools as important outcomes in and of themselves. Tue Halgreen, Senior Analyst at the OECD, will talk about the most recent international findings on students’ sense of belonging in school and how it relates with classroom practices and students’ achievement in school.
    19:00 Dinner and cultural event
    Welcome by Mr. Ole Pedersen, Headmaster, The Independent Academy for Free School Teaching

Thursday October 11th 2018 - International Conference

8:30 Registration and coffee
9:00 Welcome
Mr. Peter Bendix Pedersen, Chair of The Independent Academy for Free School Teaching and Chair of The Friskole Association
Moderator Mrs. Noemi Katznelson, Aalborg University
9:20 1st keynote address:

Welcome here, in our world.
‘School’ as practice and technology of belonging to (the) world

Professor Jan Masschelein is working at the Laboratory for Education and Society and teaches Educational Philosophy and Theory at the University of Leuven.

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    In 2006 Time magazine chose “You” as the person of the year. On its front page we could read: “You, yes, you control the information age. Welcome to your world.”

    In my contribution I will indicate how our educational institutions are increasingly transformed into learning environments (personalized learning paths, student-centeredness, competence-orientation, inclusion, talent and needs diagnosis, motivation strategies, emphasis on choice, etc.), which not only translate and transmit this message ever more powerfully but also put it into effect through various technologies of personalization (related to practices of profiling, facilitating, feedback). I will call this the de-schooling of our educational institutions.

    Meanwhile ‘school’, when it actually works as school (i.e. as a pedagogic form), transmits a very different message, saying: Welcome here, in our world. I will indicate how school as pedagogic form implies in itself particular practices and technologies of belonging (so that belonging is no external additional aim).  School is not about choices and needs, not about development, motivation and intention, but about attention and encounter. It is concerned with staging a gathering of beings and things (i.e. a very particular fabricated space-time-matter arrangement) so that (some aspect of the) world starts to attract, to speak, to affect, to demand attention (respect, care), telling us that there is a world of in-between (of ‘inter-est’), a world in which we partake and belong. If we want to revalue ‘belonging’, maybe we are not so much in need of psychological theories of motivation and competence development as of educational theories that sustain the reclamation and re-invention of school as pedagogic form.

10:30 Coffee break
11:00 2nd keynote address:

Belonging in a Digital Age

Dr Kelly Allen, endorsed Educational and Developmental Psychologist and Fellow of the University of Melbourne.

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    Belonging is a fundamental human need, on a par with safety and shelter. It buffers the effects of anxiety and depression and increases motivation, academic engagement, and life satisfaction in school-aged children. However, the amount of literature on the benefits of belonging greatly outweighs studies on how to foster belonging in schools. This is especially concerning because one in four students does not feel a sense of belonging to his or her school. Young people are driven towards antisocial groups in the search for a sense of belonging that is absent from their communities. Elsewhere, we search for ways to help young people connect and belong in the digital age. Given the pivotal role that belonging plays in childhood and adolescent development, and given the powerful research underpinning the importance of belonging, schools are important vehicles for building this capacity in our young people. Modern schools look beyond academic outcomes as the sole measure of success to become multi-purpose institutions that cater for the holistic needs of students.
    This keynote will address the challenges of belonging and how belonging can be harnessed in practical ways by schools as a priority within an ever-changing digital landscape.

12:00 Lunch
13:15 Workshops 1-7:

1. The art of motivating action through public narrative
Mr. Rune Baastrup, managing director Huset DeltagerDanmark

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    Our ability to act together with others on issues of importance to us is the foundation of democratic societies. Some would even say that purposeful collective action is the primary thing separating us from all other species. But how do we encourage people to engage in collective action? One all-important aspect is the telling of stories that help people translate their values into meaningful action. In this workshop we will briefly introduce the concept of Public Narrative as developed by Marshall Ganz of Harvard University, scholar and long-time activist and organiser.

    As teachers, we long for that moment when the light in the eyes of our listeners is turned ON and their Hearts are set in joint motion, inspiring great leaps of learning and maybe even action. Over the past 20 years in differing roles as a student activist, teacher, campaign leader and lately leadership trainer expanding participatory methodologies for adult education programs, I have experimented with the best methods for helping people connect with their deeper calling and build upon that as the foundation for learning and action. Public Narrative helps us to do just that. The workshop will help you briefly try out the craft of translating your own story into a compelling call to action.

2. Making school: on educative forces
Professor Jan Masschelein is working at the Laboratory for Education and Society and teaches Educational Philosophy and Theory at the University of Leuven.

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    In a well-known address to a conference in Heidelberg in 1926 on the subject of 'The development of the creative powers in the child', Martin Buber said of this title that "of the nine words in which it is expressed only the last three raised no question for him". More particularly he stated that education was not primarily about development or about unfolding or liberating the forces in the child, but that it depended largely on the educative forces that meet children and young people. They provoke the bonds and entanglements into which that what unfolds enters and what becomes of it. On them depend whether one will partake and share in an undertaking and be bound into a common world.
    In this workshop, we will explore the conditions under which such ‘educational forces’ might operate, how they might surface under different pedagogical forms and stagings/settings, and their connection to the adventure of encounter and to ‘educational mastery’. In order to do so, we will make use of (parts of) the film ‘The son’ by the Dardenne brothers and practical examples from the Danish Folk High Schools (especially how the students experience these schools).

3. Creating a culture of Belonging
Dr Kelly Allen is an endorsed Educational and Developmental Psychologist and Fellow of the University of Melbourne.

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    Young people live in a connected digital age with multiple and conflicting spheres of belonging. Central to this is their developmental trajectory towards adulthood, which is deeply underpinned by identity formation and psycho-social adjustment. They are moving away out of the parental sphere of belonging into challenging and contradictory spheres that include both actual and virtual realities. This workshop will address how schools can foster a sense of belonging, strengthen identity and promote individual core values without alienating, imposing upon or coercing their students.

Commonity = common + community - It takes a community to administrate and share the common
Mr. Søren Hermansen, managing director Energiakademiet

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    In times of globalization we teach our children old knowledge because things change so fast that we struggle to keep up with changes. But how do we remain in control – and is that what we really want to do? The ‘system’ seems to have more say than does common sense. And what about school systems? How do they respond? How do they respond to children’s errors, for example?
    Why do we not understand that it is human make mistakes? Human error is normal, and therefore we need to be able to see error as part of a learning process. So maybe schools are a perfect place to learn responsibility and understanding for human error – and how to move on. In a small school community there is a much stronger sense of belonging - but it takes a lot of work to make it happen. This we need to relearn all the time. Are we ready for that?

5. Trust in Schools
Professor Gert Tinggaard Svendsen, Aarhus University

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    The Nordic countries enjoy the highest levels of social trust in the world today. Here, more than 70 percent of people confirm that “most other people” can indeed be trusted. In fact, ‘Getting to Scandinavia’ can be used as a metaphoric catchphrase for well-functioning rich states with high levels of social trust. Yet, it is a great puzzle how states accumulate social trust.  Schools, however, may as a physical meeting place play a crucial role in the creation and maintenance of social trust in a society. In this way, schools serve as important ‘transmission stations’ for norms such as trust and decent behavior that are passed on between generations. Furthermore, it may arguably be a great advantage for schools to employ trust-based leadership and minimize necessary documentation. New Public Management, for example, has often been accused of resulting in excess control, which is both more expensive and less enjoyable for the employees. Lenin once said that trust is good, but control is better. I have rephrased his statement as: “Control is good, but trust is better!” Overall, this workshop will in particular explore the link between social trust and schools, and will include a comparative perspective.

6. Embodied experiences – Embodied integra
Morten Andersson, head of Ryslinge Free School

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    This workshop takes the practice of body psychology and pedagogy from an asylum school to present movement activities as a central element in promoting integration. The workshop will be grounded in both theory and activity and will address the following: What are the preconditions for integration? What are the preconditions to take part in democratic fellowship? How can low arousal activities work as rehabilitation? Can we work with a ‘transcultural identity’ through movement activities? How can movement counter ‘existential boredom’? The theoretical basis of the workshop is: Body and phenomenology – Maurice Merleau-Ponty; Rule-based and pattern-based learning – Reinhard Stelter; Sensory integration –Jean Ayres; The generalized other – G. Mead. While experiences from an asylum school form the basis of the workshop, its range and theoretical framework cover all areas and processes that work with ‘encounters’, with setting up groups and with movement in practice. The workshop will also involve some movement. Basicly the workshop will question: Is it possible to teach democracy and integration – without asking if the preconditions are present?                                                          

7. Creating Schools as Places of Belonging: The Art of Possibilities
Professor Kathryn Riley and DancePoet TioMolina

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    ‘Belonging’ is that sense of being somewhere where you can be confident that you will fit in, and be safe in your identity. Bringing together Education with Art to harness the skills & talents of schools, & build new partnerships with communities around common purpose. A school is just a building. Whether the spaces in the school are transformed into places of belonging & learning is down to the people in and around it, particularly the leaders. Schools are one of the few shared social institutions which can create a sense of belonging or exclusion. In a global context of change and uncertainty, this workshop builds on pioneering work on place and belonging to ask: How can we create schools that are places of belonging & possibility? 
    Workshop Questions:
    1. What does belonging   mean to you: personally and professionally?
    2. Why is belonging important today for children and young people?
    3. What happens when you look at schools through the prism of place and belonging?

15:00 Coffee break
15:30 World café

Debate in smaller groups and summary
Moderator Mrs Noemi Katznelson, Aalborg University

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    The theme of the conference The Power of Belonging will be discussed in smaller groups in the format of a ‘World Café’. This engaging method for stimulating dialogue offers you the chance to compare your views on the concept of belonging. 

    There will be three rounds of conversation in small groups seated around tables. In this intense yet intimate space, we invite you to listen out for thought patterns, to make connections and to share insights and creative thinking. 

    At the end, we will glean a selection from these mini-fora and share discoveries, collective knowledge and possible emergent action in plenum.

17:00 Final comments

Chairperson Mrs. Lisbeth Trinskjaer, The Folk High School Association and acting chairperson Mr. Torben Vind Rasmussen, The Efterskole Association

18:30 Dinner and cultural event

The international conference is a result of close cooperation between the free schools in Denmark.   
If you have questions please contact:

Jakob Clausager Jensen
+45 22361153

Programme (pdf)

Contact information:
Jakob Clausager Jensen
+45 22361153
Jakob Clausager Jensen
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