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Building a Better Folkeskole: Reforming the Danish Education System

Christine Antorini, a member of the Danish parliament who served as Minister of Education from 2011-2015 talks with Jonathan Supovitz to discuss how the Danish government was able to get support from groups across Denmark and the impact that had on comprehensive reforms.  Antorini and other Danish leaders identified that school system needed reforms in several areas: reading and math skills, addressing the needs of children of immigrants, gifted and talented education, and achievement rates for boys were decreasing.  After gathering input from the local level and other stakeholder groups across Denmark, the government implemented their “new-Nordic” reforms. The school week was lengthened to 35 hours a week, but schools and teachers were given more freedom to structure days and weeks differently. Educators were encouraged to emphasize more “learning-by-doing” model, offer more active learning, and develop partnerships with local organizations and businesses.  However, there was push back from the local school communities.  Listen to how the Antorini and other Danish leaders worked with the local school communities to resolve the issues.