The Independent Academy for Free School Teaching
Situated on the southern coast of the island of Funen in Denmark, the Independent Academy for Free School Teaching was founded in 1949 and has since been the centre for the nurture and development of Free School thinking and practice.
It is a unique institution devoted to training teachers capable of fulfilling the needs of all three categories of Free School. It says something for the strength of the tradition it embodies that to this day the college remains independent, ‘free’ to determine its own curricula, staffing, teaching programmes and methods, to appoint staff and allocate funds, and to evaluate the abilities of students without recourse to examinations. Despite receiving central government funding, the college is subject to no central government control in planning its activities. It is, however, subject to regular assessment and results are monitored.
This is where those wishing to become qualified as Free School teachers develop the
skills and knowledge they will need to do so. The course is residential and lasts for five
years. This may seem a long time by some standards, but students here learn much more than their subjects and the relevant educational theory. They are involved in democratic processes at every level, acquire a deep insight into social dynamics, develop a wide range of what some might see as extra-curricular skills, and are constantly challenged personally, socially and didactically. They also complete three periods of teaching practice, one of which takes a whole year.
This is also where practising teachers come to find new energy, inspiration and ideas.
And this is where knowledge and research about the Free School movement are stored and