DNS is a non-traditional boarding school with an international student body. At DNS, students and teachers study, travel, work, cook and share their lives together for the duration of the programme. DNS can thus be described as an intentional community with an educational twist.
From the very first day of DNS in 1972, it has been a place where people were living together; sharing their time, resources and visions. Due to this mix of cultures and nationalities, the people at DNS have developed a unique place. The pioneering spirit of this unique education can easily be felt even today.
What does it mean?
Community life means living and sharing life together. It includes daily life like preparing meals, cleaning, gardening, studying together, gaining experiences – for example by travelling together, preparing for and passing exams, arranging major events such as Peace Justice Conference, or harvesting potatoes.
Being a student in DNS, you are not only responsible for yourself, but also for the functioning of the community. Each student has responsibilities, such as for example organising “school management”, where all of us spend a morning together, doing maintenance on our buildings, mowing the lawns, polishing the windows or something else. Others are in charge of the income and expense economy of the team.
Together we take care of cleaning common areas, recycling, repairing, study material and food shopping, helping the cook, gardening in the school’s organic garden and deciding on improvements. And most of the responsibilities involve more than one person at a time.
The responsibility areas are discussed at common meetings and divided between the students. The students’ responsibilities with respect to the running of the school are part of what makes DNS Another Kind of School.
Develop your humanity by practising it on the campus
DNS shares the Tvind campus with several care homes where humans shaped by different life stories live and grow. For the most part, these people living i these carehomes struggle with personal or developmental challenges which prevent them from living independently. They need a stable and sheltered home space – and that is why they have their home in Tvind. The care homes have professional staff, but the students and teachers at DNS have always played an essential part by practising their humanity at the campus.
This means creating a inclusive atmosphere at the campus, where everyone is welcome. It means extending your humanity beyond your personal needs and sharing it with those who could benefit from it. It means being that friend who is willing to take responsibility for the development of a friendship. It means playing sports together in the evenings, or sharing important football moments in front of the television. Or sharing a passion for chocolate cake, donkeys, or making fantastic Instagram posts.
The DNS students play an important part in enriching life at the campus by simply being the best version of themselves – and in that process develop their personal skills, their communication skills, their interest in others and their HUMANITY, for the benefit of all. Including themselves and their future students. It is a skill you will be able to use in almost any workplace.
Power of community: If not us, then who?
While contributing to all of this, the students realise how much they can reach together while tasks are shared between them. Another realisation is that “to make a difference” for real, is hard work. Things don’t happen unless SOMEONE decides to get them done. During the training at DNS, the students have the opportunity to practice how to bring about change, and to experience the power of community, by being part of an intentional community of shared values.
DNS started in 1972 and have trained another kind of teachers ever since.
The more you do,
the more you do.
and motto of the DNS 12 team
“A healthy social life is found only, when in the mirror of each soul the whole community finds its reflection, and when in the whole community the virtue of each one is living.”
philosopher and founder of Anthroposophy