two key concerns. Firstly, they argue that questions of methodology, the “How”- question should be a part of the didactical scope and not be seen as separate from questions of What and Why. Instead, they formulate a broader scope and definition of didaktik as “The theory and practice of teaching and learning” (Jank & Meyer, 2010: 17, our translation). Secondly, they argue that sound didactical practice can- not only rely on philosophical normative inquiry but must be empirically informed. Thus, didactical practice informs research and vice versa.
The two positions highlighted here are not in direct opposition but can be viewed as foregrounding certain questions and backgrounding others, as becomes ap- parent in the articles collected throughout this issue.
Dannelse (or Bildung)
The German notion of Bildung has no di- rectly correlating term in English. The Rus- sian образование (Obrasowanije) the Italian creazione or educazione, formacao in por- tuguese and bildning in Swedish all appro- ximate the notion more or less. In French it can be referred to as culture générale while in English it is often translated to a liberal education or self-formation (Johansen, 2002: 5). Often, however, it remains in the German original, untranslated, as attempts to do so often reveal implicit cultural biases. In Danish, Dannelse closely correlates with Bildung, comprising the same notions of construction, shaping, forming and, in ge- neral, moving towards a state of competence and independence. The main pedagogical rationale behind Dannelse is that being hu- man is not something that you are, but something you become.
Like Bildung, Dannelse is about under- standing oneself in relation to the surrounding world. This understanding is in fact so commonly accepted, that it ap- pears in the first paragraph of the Danish Folkeskole Act (Børne- og Undervisnings- ministeriet, 2020), which states that the Danish Folkeskole should contribute to the pupils’ understanding of “human in-teraction with nature and promotes the individual pupil’s versatile development ” (§1, 1), “create a framework for experience, immersion and desire for action, so that pupils develop cognition and imagination and gain confidence in their own opportu- nities and background for taking positions and acting.“ (§1, 2) and “prepare pupils for participation, co-responsibility, rights and duties in a society with freedom and de- mocracy” (§1, 3). In this way, pupils’ Dan- nelse, and the Danish Folkeskole’s role in their Dannelse, is central to children in Denmark growing into competent citi- zens, participating in and shaping the de- mocratic society in which they live.
While the word Dannelse is a central concept in the Danish Folkeskole, and its use is common in both practice and appears in formal policy documents, how to ope- rationalise the term is often challenging and leads to central pedagogical discus- sions. Throughout this issue of Unge Pædagoger, different views on Dannelse and how to address it are raised, either directly or indirectly.
The first article in this issue, titled Social change, political interests, and educational ideas: The Danish Folkeskole 1960 – 2010, by Kathrine Degn, Sidse Hølvig Mikkelsen & Hans Dorf elaborates on how policy and pedagogy in the Danish Folkeskole have developed in the last 50 years, and provides an introduction to the context of the Danish Folkeskole. The authors make the point that: “The school is bound to mirror the relationship between social development, political interests, and educational beliefs. Views of how the school ought to contribute to the qualification and socialization of future citizens are permanently in flux, however, and school politics can be visualized as an arena, in which diver- gent educational views and interests clash and educational conflicts are fought out” (This issue, p. OBS – sidetal kendes først når første opsætning er lavet!). This is ela- borated on in detail throughout the article, and gives the reader a thorough overview of the political and pedagogical historical context for the Danish Folkeskole.