Efterskolens Særlige Fællesskab - fra et elev-perspektiv

Anders Emil Wulff Kristiansen & Nathasja Louise Preus

Studenteropgave: Semesterprojekt


”My stay at the efterskole was the best year of my life.” This type of statement is heard quite often from people who have spent a year at a Danish ‘efterskole’, a term that cannot be translated in any direct way, as it is a type of school that one does not really see outside of Denmark. A Danish efterskole is a particular type of boarding school, where the students enjoy a freedom that is very uncommon for what most foreigners would associate with a ‘boarding school’, or just a ‘school’ in general. Nevertheless, this is precisely what this project focuses on – the particular type of community that seems to arise at this type of school. Our interest in the particular type of community that seems to be associated with the efterskole, was piqued by the almost lavish praise that seems to be bestowed upon it from many of the people who have attended such a school. In order to gain an insight into this community, we have used Critical Pscyhology, which has been developed, mainly, by Klaus Holzkamp and Ole Dreier since the 1960’s, in combination with the theories on situated learning and communities of practice developed by Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger, to form a theoretical perspective, which looks at the dialectical relationship between the subject and the social contexts in which he participates. Furthermore, we have used the methodology suggested by critical psychological practice research to study this particular type of community, by participating in the practice of a Danish efterskole, where we positioned ourselves with the students, by mainly using them as our co-researchers. In our research we had two specific students as main co-researchers, and thus primarily saw the efterskole from their point of view. Because of this theoretical and methodological scope, we have focused our analysis on the trajectories of participation of the two particular students, where we have elucidated the social contexts of these two, which, of course, includes the efterskole as such. However, it does limit us in a way, since it means that we have not been able to look at the social contexts, and communities of practice, that these two students do not participate in, or have much contact with. Nevertheless, we feel that we have been able to get some insight into the particular type of community that seems to be attached to the Danish efterskole. Thus our main conclusions have been the discovery of a community, where the teachers participate in a way that is quite different from how teachers are usually seen in most school settings, that is based on a combination of freedom and structure, or discipline and permissiveness, which seems to be the foundation of this particular type of community. However, we also found an interesting conflict for the students in renegotiating their more general trajectory of participation to accommodate the efterskole in their lives, as the efterskole demands that they allow themselves to be fairly marginalized in respect to their participation in the social contexts and communities of practice that lie outside the sphere of the efterskole.

UddannelserPædagogik og Uddannelsesstudier, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Bachelor el. kandidat
Udgivelsesdato16 jan. 2013


  • fællesskab
  • efterskole
  • situeret læringsteori
  • kritisk psykologi