Residential folk high schools in Eastern Europe and the Baltic states
This article, based on the manuscript 'Grundtvig's educational ideas in Central and Eastern Europe and the Baltic states', is concerned with the genesis and development of the residential folk high schools inspired by the Nordic folk high school model(s) in Poland, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. It is Poland that has the longest, although several times interrupted, history of the folk high schools. The first such school was established there in 1900 and folk high schools exist there today. In Hungary, the folk high schools existed from 1925 until the early 1950s when they were closed down by the Communist government. These institutions were reborn in the 1980s and in the late 1990s were recognized by the government. In the Baltic countries, in the time between the two world wars, there were residential folk high schools only in Estonia. After the three Baltic countries regained their independence in 1991, there were attempts to establish folk high schools in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Although the residential factor is being recognized everywhere as important and desirable, the current economic and social conditions in these post-communist societies make it difficult to operate residential folk high schools.
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