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ECNAIS : European Council of National Associations of Independent Schools

Management Committee Meeting | Seminars

‘Nordic’ light on freedom and independency: the non-public schools in the northern part of Europe

Berlin, Germany | 17 - 19 November 2016

Berlin Seminar

Professionalism in the context of creativity and collaboration

To a large extent the independent schools in Europe owe their right to existence to the acknowledged right of parents to build and to run schools according to their particular values…..values defined by minority groups: groups around the schools and their communities. (The variety of values on which the schools are based enables ECNAIS to talk of “Diversity” as a strength.)

Values do make a difference. But, it is important to understand that values have a practical expression: respect for the human being, respect for the world, for nature and the environment, respect for different opinions and religions and respect for self-discipline. These values are presented within a clear framework defining the expectations, and, most importantly, the professionalism of teaching necessary.

If the school were to be a person, then these values would be their basic characteristics.

Values are important in all the work and activities of a school. For the heads of the schools, the values are “The Red Line”, and their role and their authority are based on them. For parents, values are important criteria when choosing a school for their children. For teachers and pupils, the values form a part of normal everyday life at the school and are, largely, unspecified.

In the seminar, amongst other issues, we will especially ask the following questions:

  • What does it mean to be an independent school in the northern/north European countries?
  • Are there similarities – political or pedagogical – or are there big differences concerning the conditions and settings between independent schools in the northern/north European countries and the rest of Europe?


Thursday 17th November — NORDIC EMBASSY
8:45 Welcome and registration
Simon Steen
ECNAIS ChairmanDCICIS representative
Danish Council for International Cooperation for Independent SchoolsA representative of the Nordic Embassy
on the possibilities of the communityA Danish politician
On a closer examination of the balance between the sovereign institutions, the public and the state. He will elaborate on the freedom of schools versus their responsibility for the community (state and society)
11:00 Brian Degn Mårtensson
Danish pedagogical philosopher and authorA lecture on the confluence of pedagogy and politics. Pedagogy forms the society and by definition is always normative. Yet, upbringing and education are meaningless terms if their aims are not discussed. His speech will be “spiced” with examples from the latest Nordic debate on the subject.
Dialogue included
13:00 LUNCH
14:00 Part one of the afternoon session
Representatives from five Nordic countries will each refer to a specific aspect of the theme of the seminar. They will show how their schools act in relation to the requirements and purposes in their national situation
Dialogue included
16:00 Part two of the afternoon session
19:30 DINNER
Plaza Hotel restaurant
Friday 18th November — FILM HOTEL
9:00 School visit
12:30 LUNCH
Eric Bloemkolk
Director SOFTtulip , The Netherlands
A talk about inclusion in society and how it offers a framework for reflection on inclusion in education.
Dialogue included
16:00 Pavla Katzová
SSŠČMS, Czech Republic
Association of Private Schools of Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia
About inclusion in education as a step up to next year’s seminar in Prague on this theme.
Dialogue included
19:15 DINNER
Restaurant Belmondo
Saturday 19th November — PLAZA HOTEL
9:00 Management Committee Meeting — Open for MCM members only
12:00 Lunch will NOT be served after the meeting

The seminar will take place at the
Berlin Plaza Hotel am Kurfürstendamm,
Knesebeckstr. 63,


Registration can be done on line only, until 04 November 2016:

Berlin photo by Rodrigo Paredes – Licence Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

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