Five principles that make Danish schoolchildren the happiest in the world
The main aim of the Danish education system is to develop curiosity and self-development.
Schools try to inspire confidence in each student that they are valued for their own qualities and skills. This means that everyone can count on a place in society and an the opportunity to do what he/she loves.
Knowing how to be yourself is important
The Danish school system is primarily aimed at developing an independent personality – the Danish Education Act stipulates that the primary education system should not only provide children with basic knowledge and skills, but also should develop the personality of schoolchildren. Preschools (kindergartens and preparatory classes) have several tasks: to expand a child’s vocabulary, to acquaint him/her with school rules, to teach them tolerance and to prepare them to live in society.
Cramming is not encouraged
Pupils are encouraged to obtain information by themselves at schools – to set up experiments and to analyze sources. It is more useful to be actively involved in the learning process than simply to listen.
Schoolchildren are taught to doubt statements and to develop their personal opinions – thus cultivates self-respect. Creativity, critical thinking and initiative are considered more useful than simple cramming.
The well-being of the student is more important than a result
High school students suffer the most: they need to study well, to prepare for exams and to think about the university entering.
The Danish education system works in such a way that high school students are not terrified because of the upcoming entering to the university. The Danish education system includes post-secondary schools (Efterskole) for young people who are not sure what they want to do or who have difficulties in socializing.
Equality of opportunity
Only 11% of Danish consider high salary an important factor when they choose a job. In Denmark where citizens pay almost the highest taxes in the world, it is not customary to look for enrichment. A profession chosen only for profit may not be really interesting – this is what children are told about at schools.
A well-developed system of career guidance helps to choose a profession that will bring satisfaction. Special social services help high school students to choose an educational institution that corresponds to their ideas about the future. In high school there are regular meetings where students discuss their plans individually with their teachers.