Our school, DNS, is based in a community called Tvind which is a big place where different people live together. At Tvind, besides DNS, we have four other different units which are PTG, Dayschool, ITP and Villas (the so-called Heart Chambers). The Heart Chambers and DNS share the same common facilities, have meals together and participate in some of the same weekly activities.
Because we are another kind of school, we think that the best is that teachers and students live together thus, DNS teachers also live in the same place as the DNS students. We think that people are more powerful if they are together and use their potential to build something bigger that alone they possibly can’t. This is one of the biggest advantages of living in community, to create and sustain something bigger! Other advantages are the minimisation of used resources, the saving of time and the rich social life created by everybody living together. When asked why we share our time, space and lives, we use to answer that “Alone the world changes you, and together we change the world”.
Sharing the same space and our lives together, comes with great benefits and also with many big responsibilities. In order to make everything work there is something very important that everybody needs to do, to take ownership over the place!
At DNS, students and teachers share the ownership of the school. That means that together we can make sure that everything works, from the practical daily running to the most theoretical and organisational tasks. We think that by learning how to take ownership over the school, the students are much more able, and better prepared, to also take ownership over the world, and its issues carrying in their hands the power to change things – and that is the main step to improve the global situation, and the lives of the many people that are currently living in poor conditions. Teaching people to manage their responsibilities, to take initiative, to assume leadership positions and to know that they are able to take big challenges with their own hands are part of our pedagogy.
Despite the daily running, the sharing of time and the common life itself, everybody in DNS in also united by other aspects such as, the Frames (No alcohol, No Drugs policy), the common economy and also the participation in Common Meetings.