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January 15, 2012

Henningsen-Ikeda Dialogue Published in Denmark

Henningsen-Ikeda Dialogue

Danish edition of Henningsen-Ikeda dialogue

COPENHAGEN, Denmark: SGI-Denmark recently published a Danish edition of Asu o tsukuru kyoiku no seigyo (tentative title: Shaping the Future: The Sacred Task of Education), a dialogue between Danish educator Hans Henningsen and Daisaku Ikeda. Mr. Henningsen served as principal of Askov Folk High School from 1980-1993 and was also chair of the Denmark Association of Teachers' Training Colleges. Among the topics the authors discuss are the synergy between education and dialogue, and how this synergy contributes to peacebuilding and the fostering of global citizens.

Another key theme of the dialogue is the comparison of the educational philosophy established by N.F.S. Grundtvig (1783-1872) and his protégé Christen Kold (1816-1870) to the value-creating pedagogy developed by Tsunesaburo Makiguchi (1871-1944). Mr. Grundtvig is known as the ideological father of Denmark's folk high school system which promotes such attributes as wisdom, compassion and equality over rote learning and exams.

The authors first met in Japan in September 2000 and have been instrumental in facilitating academic exchanges between Askov Folk High School and Soka University and Soka schools. In 2003, the Askov Folk High School established the Askov-Ikeda Study Group with an aim to advancing peace and promoting education that enhances both personal responsibility and personal empowerment.

The dialogue was originally serialized by the Japanese women's monthly, Pumpkin, in its March 2007 to May 2008 issues.

[Adapted from an article in the January 15, 2012, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]