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ERIC Number: ED261131
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1984-Dec
Pages: 11
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
From the Bottom and Up. Flexible School Reform in a Decentralized System. The Case of Denmark.
Florander, Jesper
Over the last 10 years, Danish schools have made a rapid transition from a selective system to a comprehensive system. By 1990, it is estimated, practically no schools in Denmark will differentiate between "basic" and "advanced" students. Although most Western European countries have attempted comprehensive schooling, few have had Denmark's success. There are at least six reasons for this development: (1) Denmark is decentralized by tradition: crucial decisions are left to the local authorities, not the government. (2) Obligatory schooling has an exceptionally long tradition in Denmark. (3) For many years, Denmark has had a small number of students per class. (4) As a result of decentralization, there are few specific experimental schools or research and development centers. Reform is allowed to come from teachers themselves. (5) Denmark's innovative strategy is unsystematic and perhaps confusing, but it is pragmatic and it works. (6) This pragmatism, built in to every Danish school, permits deviation from government regulations and allows schools to respond to parents' opinions, pupils' home background, and the composition of the teaching staff. Innovations developed at schools often spread to other schools with little bureaucratic administration. Educational legislation is then changed to bring it more in line with daily school practice. The future of non-differentiation has yet to be decided politically. But equal education depends on non-differentiation, education of the individual to become a sound member of society. Teaching must be differentiated, not pupils. (KH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Denmark