DNS is not just a school
DNS is not just a school, but a program that becomes your life for 4 years and stays with you 4 ever.
It is difficult, demanding and challenging. One thing for sure, things will never be served on a silver plate for the participants. The demands are high and the program puts the students out of their comfort zones. Because of the intensity, the close proximity and interconnection between the global, the common and individual, whoever becomes part of this journey, gets quite concerned about the school and its program as it his or her life.
Change it or leave it!
Complaints are not a rare thing to hear from DNSers. BUT! Only a small fraction of people would spend 4 years of their lives just complaining and either not quitting or starting to act. You either Change It or Leave It! The whole framework of the program encourages the students to become active in shaping their own environment, program, school and by that their own lives.
Having Common Meetings to run the school, where teachers and students discuss, comment, propose and decide together, is one of the ways to plant the seed for an active, initiative and participative attitude towards DNS. However, just by participating on Common Meetings is not enough. It is necessary to reach a deep understanding and feeling of ownership for the school. That is when the real changes and the real shaping process of DNS starts.
Gaining skills throughout the program in becoming able to take initiatives, act and change is not just about creating a better school somewhere in Denmark, but by transmitting these skills, it helps students to become conscious, self-reflective and responsible human beings. And that is what school can also be about. “Education is not preparation for life, but is life itself”
Practicing active citizenship at the school is a step towards becoming in our everyday lives active citizens of our world. A world that is in need of people who can act and build together with the values of humanity and solidarity for others.
Practice your humanity
The DNS program encourages the learner in various ways to become aware and practice their humanity. It takes the students to parts of the world where they meet the Poor, who are experiencing the lack of necessities that most of us never had to fight for. Students realize the need of humanity and solidarity when traveling in Africa, when going to work with refugees, when creating projects for marginalized parts of society, when living together with disabled or challenged adults and youngsters.
Recognize human beings around you
From a different perspective, living and working closely together with people, sharing program and life together also helps to develop solidarity. It is rare or at least not usual in today’s mainstream society to have a kind of relation that teammates have amongst each other. When going to school, going to work, going to supermarket and hairdresser, bank or post office…living everyday life, human beings rarely get close enough to each other to have the opportunity to observe the other person and recognize the human beings behind a role in society.
The shop assistant, the businessman, the conductor, the man who sweeps the streets, the bartender, the politician. They are all humans. Being part of a team puts you so close to each other that it becomes uncomfortable, annoying, but at the same time extraordinarily valuable in the sense that you can recognize the human being inside of each of your comrades. You hear and experience the thoughts, concerns, needs, successes, growth, pain and happiness of each other and practice your humanity on a deep level.
DNS gives a wide perspective on the needs of people in the world and it awakens the capacity of practicing humanity as future teachers and active citizens of our world.
Written by Amanda, 3rd. year student at DNS