Practitioners' note: Living interaction

Nikolaj Frederik Severin Grundtvig’s concept of ‘living interaction’ in student-teacher relations is not only a didactical principle about equal, eye-level conversation. It also encompasses a mutual way of life sustained and developed by conversation, which ideally flourishes at at informal education institutions.

Teaching in a folk high school isn’t easy. You are suspended between a series of unavoidable paradoxes, where the teacher acts as both teacher and boarding school resident. On the one hand, you must be able to administer higher level teaching with strict adherence to scientific standards and professional authority. On the other hand, and often simultaneously, the folk high school teacher is obliged to be a personal, friendly substitute mom/dad nurturing and framing the homeliness that characterizes folk high schools.