In my presentation, I will give an overview of the history and tradition of the Nordic concept of liberal adult education, called “folkbildning”, which is quite similar to the German term “Volksbildung”. I will present the history and profile of the Nordic folk high schools (started in Denmark in the 1840s), the study circles (started in Sweden at the beginning of the 20th century) and describe the development and present situation of this tradition. I will further on give a comparison between the “folkbildning” (liberal and non formal adult learning and education) and the formal system of adult education, with emphasis on vocational training and basic skills. I will relate the strength and weakness of the adult education field with the labor market situation and the political trends and situation in Scandinavia – previously, present and in the near future.
Sturla Bjerkaker: Seit 1997 Direktor and Generalsekretär der Norwegischen Gesellschaft für Erwachsenenbildung.