One of the
earliest contacts in Denmark was Troels Johansen of Herning Seminarium
through a Jordanhill conference in the late 70s. Because of that
connection a number of visits and exchanges followed involving
students, teachers and politicians. At this time Storyline was
not a particular focus of study but rather a general pedagogical
interest in the differing school systems.
1983 when the LEGO company in Billund set up its new Educational
Products Department (now called LEGO Dacta) I was invited to act
as a consultant to help design the proposed new topic sets for
schools. LEGO was well known for its retail construction sets,
each with a set of bricks that could build a required model. Now
it was proposing to provide topic sets to help children in schools
build a variety of environments to be used for educational purposes.
The first set, aimed at 5 to 7 year olds, contained teaching material
mainly written by me based on Storyline experience. This collaboration
continued for some years and in 1986 LEGO made a prize-winning
video of a Storyline Topic in action in Gordon Primary School
featuring Barbara Frame, the headteacher. Gordon is a small village
near Kelso in the Scottish Borders. Storyline tutors are still
regularly using the video, called Space Abduction, so many years
Also in 1983
I made a presentation at the 8th International Conference of the
Association for teacher Education in Europe (ATEE) held in Aalborg
Seminarium. The paper, jointly written with Fred Rendell was entitled
"The importance of Methodology in relation to Inservice Education")
In 1987, Kirsten
Meldgaard, an Assistant Director of Education in Farum, Copenhagen,
attended one of the Storyline workshops being given in Pinneberg,
Schleswig-Holstein. Her experience as a participant on this course
encouraged her to introduce it to Denmark. So, the first Storyline
course in Denmark was run in Mogenstrup Kro, Naestved, in 1988
and had Skole Start as a focus. An outcome from this was the publication
in 1990 of the Felix series of books.
second course in Ry Hotel had Finn Mosegaard of Skive Amtscentret
as a participant and he quickly became very involved in adapting
the approach to suit the needs of the teachers with whom he was
working. Over the years he has designed and published many Danish
topics. More recently he has become the international webmaster
for the site of the European association for Educational Design,
Danish publication describing the Storyline approach was produced
in 1994. Entitled Storyline Metoden-Den Scotske Metode it was
written by Cecilie Falkenberg, Eric Hålkonson, Nils Jaegerum,
Sigrid Madsbjerg and Finn Mosegaard.
Jørgensen and Anelise B Rasmussen, as advisers in Gladsaxe
and friends of Kirsten quickly became involved in working with
Storyline or Den Skotske Metode as it was called at that time.
In 1995 they were instrumental in the production of a Storyline
book entitled Storyline Pædagogikken. They have also more
recently visited the American Storyline summer institutes held
in Oregon and California.
language teachers in Denmark began to see the possibilities of
using an approach that creates a context and an audience and gives
purpose to second language development. Jette Kock of Haderslev
is one example and she and three colleagues have also been actively
engaged in spreading the ideas of Storyline through their newsletter
'Den Røde Tråd'. Anne-Marie Schæffer is another
second language teacher who has worked hard to spread interest
in the use of Storyline.
It would be
difficult to list all the many educators who were instrumental
in affecting the development of Storyline in Denmark but I should
mention the importance of colleagues in the Danmarks Lærerhøjskole
like Cecilie Falkenberg and Erik Håkonsson who have used
their research skills to analyse critically the process involved
in adapting and implementing Storyline for use in the Folkeskole.
with colleagues they were responsible for publishing the first
Danish book on the approach, Storyline Metoden. Then in the Spring
of 2000 Cecilie and Erik edited and produced a beautiful publication
called Storylinebogen, published by Kroghs Forlag and with 15
authors. Each chapter is written with a purpose: for example to
describe a typical Storyline in a classroom or to link Storyline
with educational theories or to describe the use of Storyline
with Maths etc.
and Sigrid Madsberg, an adviser in Bornholm, have also made two
educational videos with teachers' books - "Man Ska' Ku' Laese"
and "Med Venlig Hilsen 3.@." Other professors like Vagn
Oluf Nielsen, Søren Breiting and Jens Jacobsen have been
enthusiastic in their involvement as they bring their own critical
awareness to explore this strategy.
doubt the biggest change in Denmark came with the introduction
of the School Law in 1991 which laid down the main principles
which should be followed by teachers in the Folkeskole. These
include an emphasis on holistic teaching, co-operative learning,
learner centredness, problem tackling, active learning and differentiation.
All of these strategies are exemplified within the Storyline approach.
In 1998 Danmarks
Laererhøjskole published a review of Storyline in the form
of interviews with three teachers - Sven Lundberg, Jette Kock
and Karen Aagaard Rüberg entitled Hvad Gør Vi Med
conferences like 'Catch the Future' organised by Laila Vang Andersen
and her colleagues for Hirtshals Kommune with 750 delegates from
19 countries have had quite an influence. Many, many study tours,
organised annually by colleagues like Finn Mosegaard, Karen Margrethe
Sørensen and Laila Vang Andersen have been made to Scotland.
now, arguably, the 'Storyline Centre' of Europe if we think of
the numbers of teachers and tutors who are actively engaged in
developing their own adaptations of Storyline. So it was an obvious
venue for the First International Storyline Conference held there
from 6th to 8th November 2000. This event attracted over 300 participants
from 22 countries and proved to be a wonderful celebration of
'Silver Circle' group of Danish Storyline enthusiasts has been
formed, meets annually and has recently been visited by a similar
organisation from Schleswig-Holstein. A typical focus for such
a conference was on how to develop a book-based Storyline which
would enable students and teachers to undertake an in-depth study
of a piece of literature with Sallie Harkness as the guest speaker.
Other courses on book-based Storylines have followed.
Thread" Newsletter (in Danish)