What do you learn at Elverum Folk High School?
Throughout the year at the folk high school, you get to challenge yourself, collaborate with others in a democratic way and participate actively in the community. Personal development and formation takes place through all the subjects and the program you take part in. The Folk High School Act provides the framework for this formation process.
In meeting other people, we want to give you the opportunity to learn from others in the same way that others will learn from you. We want you and your talents to develop in such a way that it also strengthens the community, so that you become confident in yourself and can take part in society in many areas. Getting a profession, caring for others, being involved in voluntary organizations and taking part in the democracy that our society is governed by, is something that is important for having a meaningful life. It is also about having a richer life by taking part in cultural activities with music, theater and sports. Through discussion in and outside the subjects, we will shed light on questions about life - faith and philosophy. We want to give you ecological awareness by looking at the consequences of our lifestyle for the environment we live in. We call all this education.
Education is also about mastering practical chores in everyday life such as laundry, cooking, cleaning, managing your own finances and much more.
This general formation process takes place through challenges and experiences you will gain in our subjects, - through student evenings, morning meetings, program evenings, the boarding school, practical work, study trips and in conversations and gatherings with other students, teachers and staff.
What competence does folk high school provide?
Written by Tor Grønvik.
If you talk to a folk high school student on her way to her school year, you will hear a lot about the exciting subject offer she has chosen. Which «line» she should go on. When you meet the same students after the school year, it is "everything else" they most often tell about. The following article is taken from folkehøgskole.no, and is about what the schools have in common, across a large, academic diversity.
Folkehøgskolen is a free school type. The teaching is largely activity- and experience-based and uses many different learning arenas. Pleasant learning in a community provides professional development, better collaboration skills and more active participation in society.
Folkehøgskolen provides professional development
In the last three years, students' satisfaction with the school offer has been examined by the independent analysis agency EPSI. The results are also compared with similar surveys for other higher education, and the folk high school scores best on almost all indicators. The students give good feedback on the academic content and even better on the teachers' competence. The students have chosen both the school and the subjects themselves. It obviously provides a good motivation as a starting point for learning.
Folkehøgskolen provides joy of learning
The opportunity to choose subjects based on interest, together with the absence of grade and exam pressure, provides a safe and stimulating learning environment. Towards the end of the previous school year, a survey was conducted among the students at 25 folk high schools in Norway. About three out of four answer that they have a more positive attitude towards learning, and an even higher number says that they get "a lot of new knowledge" in the subject.
Every year, folk high schools experience that students who had dropped out of previous schooling get their motivation back and embark on the next stage in education or working life with renewed self-confidence.
Collaborative skills and social competence
The Folk High School Act presupposes that the schools have a boarding school, that the vast majority of pupils must live there and that the boarding school must be «integrated into the total school work». Boarding school is something more than a practical solution for board and lodging, it is a learning arena.
In 2010, NTNU Samfunnsforskning AS conducted research on students' benefits from the folk high school. The report emphasizes in particular self-confidence, social competence and "mastery expectation" as an effect or benefit of the folk high school year. It is also interesting that there were small differences in whether the respondents had attended folk high school thirty years ago, or quite recently. During the same period, the folk high schools' subject offerings have changed significantly.
Social understanding and democratic participation
In connection with the constitutional anniversary in 2014, all the country's folk high schools have participated in one or more «democracy projects». This has also been part of the folk high school in Norway celebrating its 150th anniversary. Enabling people to take better part in both rights and duties in the emerging democracy was a stated goal when the first folk high schools were started. In the survey among last year's students, a large majority agree that teaching is a good example of democracy.
The folk high schools' academic and pedagogical freedom provides good opportunities to involve the students in decision-making processes that can concern both academic priorities and interaction and development of the community in a school life that is 24/7. Democracy is not first and foremost something you learn about, but something you must be invited to and practice in. Here, the folk high school offers good opportunities.