Grundtvig’s vision of a 'School for Life' points to the idea, that we all need something to live for. As Mr. Kachi Ozumba, a long time folk high school practitioner in Nigeria, summarizes it to educate the youth, not only to make a living, but to live a life. Hereby the ideals of adult education become centered on a school for life; a life that we share with each other.
Today, adult education and lifelong learning sre often outlined by global megatrends, identified by Professor Pasi Sahlberg as the Global Educational Reform Movement (GERM). These initiatives are generally backed by large organizations such as OECD, and they receive substantial funding and political attention. Yet popular education, with its emphasis on democracy, Bildung, and questions of what it means to be human in a shared world, is often overlooked when discussing the future of adult education. We wish to counter this view and put popular education at the forefront of the development of a sustainable future in a global world.
We do not have to agree; we do not have to be alike. But we do need to come together, learn together, and discuss together. It is by this token, that we - as educators across the world - can put forth new and inspiring thoughts and practices aimed at giving people a voice, improving our common world, and building new and sustainable communities.
The summit ensures this by resting on three intertwined pillars:
- A thorough introduction to the ideals, thoughts, and practices in Danish folk high schools.
- Tangible and current topics in thematic workshops.
- Forming an international alliance of schools working with the ideas and practices of folk high schools.
The first pillar will mainly be elaborated at the Pre-Summit. The program at the Pre-Summit is put together to meet the desires of international folk high school practitioners, and will consist of presentations, discussions and several folk high school visits. The Pre-Summit is a great opportunity to meet other international practitioners.
The second will lay the foundation for the main program at the Summit, that will be structured around a progression moving from “why” to “what”, ending in “how”. In this sense, we begin by exploring why the chosen thematic is relevant and urgent. Then, we look at current practices and discuss their potentials and possible downfalls. Lastly the workshops will look to the future and formulate new paths.
The third pillar will be an overarching theme at the Summit, where both plenary sessions and other features will point to the foundational values and political organization, that can bring forth the making of a new international folk high school movement.