H.C.Andersen Information



Andersenfellowship for primary education in European context


1993   (Andersen Fellowship)







Good education is linked up with the changing processes in society. It is not sufficient for the school to limit its activity to the development of new systems for improvements in theory and instruction. The school can play various roles within society, for example in the local area where it is situated. Also the school can take part in various activities organized on a regional or national level and can join up and form a friendship with one or more schools in other countries. This provides education with the impulses, which then lead to an enrichment of the whole school culture.

Many schools are discovering the challenges that are arising from the disap­pearance of European borders. They realise that even in young children the development of an European or even global vision of man and society is important, also in primary education, although this has to fit into the child's capacity of understanding.

The Andersen Fellowship offers an unique opportunity to make education truly international. The fellowship is meant for all primary schools within the twelve member countries of the European Community. The fellowship's primary aim is to enrich the art of story-telling within the normal educational programme.





The fairy tales and stories of the famous Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen (1805 -1875) form a remarkable highlight in European culture. This master storyteller is famous the world over .

Fairy tales such as "The Little Match Girl", "The Tinder Box", "The Ugly Duckling", "The Tin Soldier" and many others have made a deep impression on children.

The fellowship owes its name to this storyteller .





Kindergartens, schools for special education and primary schools are invited to join the fellowship. Obviously they will sympathise with the aims. We ask them to make the membership public, for instance by adding "Member of the Andersen Fellowship" onto their letterhead.

Various bodies in the twelve member countries of the EC will be able to link up too, so long as they are in some way active in the field of the promotion of reading and creative use of language. These could be (semi-) government bodies, writers' organizations, publishers and book-selling concerns.



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The processes which the fellowship commences in schools will gain extra meaning if they are supported on a national level. A snowball effect can occur . The fellowship starts the ball rolling and the size of the ball is dependent on the country's snowfall. Real success is to be expected if one respects one's own national story-telling traditions which, in most countries, have their roots in the distant past.

 It is recommended to let other existing Andersen clubs in the member countries join. This cooperation can prove fruitful.

 Therefore, the Andersen museum in Odense, Denmark, will also play an important role. The museum provides the Fellowship with basic information.

Every member country has a national organization for internalization of education. Hopely these platfarms will play an initiating and coordinating role.





1. Making education international.

Openness and knowledge of other cultures enriches one's own national identity and enables one to respect international cultural differences. A wealth of cultural value is hidden in each country's story-telling traditions. Exchanging these values can help children in their awareness of Europe in a way that captures their imagination and so prepares them for the future in a more and more intercultural society.


Encouragement of teachers to promote a European dimension in education.


The international cooperation will stimulate teachers to greater feeling for the Europe of the future. Active involvement with the aims of the fellowship and the possibility of participation in exchange programmes for teachers will not only promote insight in other educational systems and practices, especially in the field of story-telling, but will also increase motivation to make education more international. The teacher plays a key role.


2. Development and stimulation of the art of story-telling.

Let pupils learn about the impressive results of story-telling in the EC member countries and help them learn to enlarge their own creative use of language.

As stated earlier, the teacher plays a central role in this. He obtains information through the fellowship's bulletin and eventually from contacts which the schoollays with other schools within the fellowship.


The fellowship's activities are as follows:

  • a. To obtain and pass on information on story-telling in the member countries:

    1.famous story-tellers, past and present: a generalreview of the children's literature which is currently enjoyed;

    2.other story-telling traditions such as verbal and other means of  communication: cartoons, musicals, theatre, film, etc.  


  • b. Information obtained and passed on about storytelling in education in member countries:

    1.  the meaning of story-telling, measured in available time, related to other  teaching areas;

   2. the ways in which attention can be paid to story­telling. Certain traditions and   special ( Iocal) activities. Attention  for story-telling in a receptive way (reading, listening) and as a creative activity (writing and telling stories oneself) ;

   3. attempts by other educational institutions to promote reading and storytelling in schools. The effects on education  and pupil development;

   4. attention for foreign children's literature. The most important preferences for  types and writers.  

  • c. Systematic provision of information on the many ways to promote reading.  

  • d. Systematic provision of information on the art of story-telling, aimed at teachers and pupils. Making a sort of instruction book on thinking up stories oneself, on writing technique and on verbal presentation.  

  • e. Selected presentation in the fellowship' s bulletin of notable proofs of talent in story-telling by children.  

  • f.  Asking for and provision of information on projects carried out and suggestions for new projects

  • g. Bringing to the attention not only the most famous but also the less well-known stories of Andersen. These are the starting point for many activities. Analysis of these stories with two aims: for adults, an intelligent literary ex pianation, and for children, in such a way that it is possible to show how a good story is put together. It would also be possible to give an analysis of Andersen's whole oeuvre for adults, as seen through the eyes of Andersen en­thusiasts from the various member countries.  

          Specific information on Andersen's life and work can come from the Andersen museum  or, if  necessary, be authorised by the museum.


          To show Andersen's influence on others by having prominent or interested Europeans           write about  him.





 The fellowship's bulletin (Andersen Bulletin), which appears a few times per annum, plays a key role. It is the main factor binding the member schools. Apart from this schools are free to link up with other member schools.

As a guarantee for the largest possible readership, it is desirable that the Andersen Bulletin appears in the language of the land of destination: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Greek, Danish or Dutch.

Ouality and appearance must be first class but production costs must be far below those of professional printwork. Good software can help.

 In suitable cases articles from the journal could be formed into a book such as "The Art of Story-telling in the Countries of the European Community", " Story­telling in Education in a United Europel ", " Handbook for Future Writers" (course for talented young writers), "  Andersen in the United Europe" .





Exchanging teachers provides a stimulus towards the Fellowship's goals. Visiting partner schools demands good preparation and a duty return to make the most of experience gained to the advantage of education at one' s own school.

Exchange is possible in Holland thanks to the availability of subsidies from the Teachers Exchange Scheme and PLATO. It is not possible to subsidise exchange of pupils in primary education. The fellowship does not include this form of exchange in its activities. The various possibilities for teacher exchange within the twelve member countries should be listed .




An annual congress should encourage and promote the links between teachers and facilitate decision- and plan-making in achieving the fellowship's goals. Representatives of one school per country take part. The participants play a coordinating role in their own country; in Holland, the National European Education Platform in Alkmaar. In the experimental stage every school will be able to send a delegation to the congress. International coordination is in the hands of the European Community. The congress wil1 take place in a different country each year. That country will be responsible for the practical organization of the congress.

 The first congress will take place in Odense (Denmark) during three days in October, in all probability: 28th till 31th October 1993.




The proposal to establish the fellowship was made known to the Minister of Science and Education on 12 March 1991. On 3 April 1991 a positive answer was received. Since then all member countries have been approached in order to ascertain which schools have the name "Andersen". The list is not yet completed.


The following have not vet responded: Luxembourg, France, Greece, The Walloon community in Belgium and the south-eastern provinces of Germany. These countries have been approached again. According to our information there are primary "Andersen" schools in: Italy (1 ), Spain (3), Holland (3) and Germany (8); 15 in total. One Andersen school in France we discovered ourself . There appear to be no Andersen schools in Ireland, the UK, Portugal, the Flemish community in Belgium, and Denmark.

Other schools than Andersen schools showed already great interest, for instance in the UK.

The Andersenschool in Woerden, Holland, together with the Spurvelundschool in Odense, Denmark, is preparing for the foundation of the AndersenFellowship. A committee has therefore been formed for this purpose.

Gontact will be established with the European Commission in Brussels with a proposal to adopt the Andersen Fellowship to a certain degree, both financially and at an organizational level.

Towards the end of 1992 and lateron the first schools were invited to join the fellowship; a modest start with a maximum 17 schools foreseen.

At the experimental stage it is important that TES or PLATO enables teacher exchange. The success of the experiment is largely dependent on the actual in­volvement of the participating schools.

The experimental stage takes place between now and January 1994. An extension to July 1994 is possible. It must be possible to start up all the fellowship's planned activities within that period, including publication of the bulletin. In the meanwhile contacts will have been established with various supporting bodies.

The trial period will be closed with an evaluation which must demonstrate whether it is desirable to establish the fellowship on a permanent basis. If this proves the case, all primary schools, kindergartens and schools for special education in the member countries can, in principle, be invited to join. The number of members will have to be limited, depending on manpower and available budget. Entry criteria will be adjusted annually.





During the initial or starting period the affiliated schools will be acting as pioneers.

They can play an important part for the fellowship both nationaly and internationaly.

The aims, the activities and the desired organization of the Andersen Fellowship are la id out in broad terms in this brochure. The detailed work out of the organization will be made with the affiliated schools during the initial period. Their contribution will be decisive for the final set up and construction of the fellowship. Therefore this is a creative challenge.

Some activities during the initial period are:

  • to make an inventory of the possibilities in each country of setting up an exchange programme for teachers;

  •  to make an inventory of suggestions about the working methods and the organization of the Andersen Fellowship;

  • the realization of the first edition of the fellowship's bulletin;

  • the realization of the first Andersen congress that, in all probability, will be held in Odense, from 28th till 31st October 1993.




During the first year the committee will be responsible for the organization. Their aim is that the organization of the Andersen Fellowship will be taken over, at the end of this period, by an authority from the European Community, which will be supported by the national European educational platforms.

This take over can only succeed if the fellowship is viable. Much, therefore, depends on the inset and involvement of the affiliated schools. Anyway we are expecting strong political support during the first half of 1993 when Denmark is chairman of the European Community.





Schools can apply for membership by completing the application form and sending it to the foliowing address: Andersen Fellowship, c/o Gerrit Luidinga, Andersenschool, Heemskerklaan 1, 3445 CM Woerden, The Netherlands.

Vou can also write, phone or fax to this address for further information.

During the initial period there are no costs for membership. After that school membership will cost 50 Dutchguilders a year .

 We have to inform you that there can only be a limited reimbursement of expenses when attending the first Andersen congress.It is possible that, in the future, part of if not all of the ex penses can be paid by a governmental body of your own country. Further investigation into this will be made, either by us or by the school converned .








1. Primary schools in 6 or more member countries (spring 1993); in 12 member countries (after the       initial period)

2. Pilot schools (in the initial period all participating schools)

3. Various supporting bodies in the member countries

4. Andersen museum in Odense

5. Annual Andersen congress

6. The National European Platforms coordination and initiation

7. An European Community authority for partial coordination and finance




The initial year will run from now until halfway through the next academic year, i.e. January 1994, or until the end of that academic year, July 1994, depending on the progress on various activities which must result in the founding of the Andersen Fellowship.

 During the initial year only the Dutch Ministry of Science and Education lends a grant. The outgoings this year are expected to amount to f 20,000 in respect of a first newsletter, an international convention for member schools, and for organization expenses.

 Annual finance (global) for the following year:

 A. Outgoings

  1. Organization costs                                     5,000

  2. Congress                                                 10,000 

  3. Newsletter bulletin                                    15,000

  4. Contingency                                              5,000

Total                                                                f 35,000

  IB. Income

 1. Fees for member schools                                    2,500                               

2.Grant from European Community countries           20,000

3. Grant from European Commission                       12,500

 Total                                                                  f 35,000




Our strive is for a good start on a small scale. This may be the beginning of a series of international activities that could lead to an enriching of the quality of education in an European dimension.


Flemming Andersen , Odense, Denmark

Lars Bjørnsten (Bjoernsten, Bjornsten),  Odense, Denmark

Keld Hansen, Odense, Denmark

Jan Willem Hollanders, Woerden, Holland 

Ton Kwakkernaat , Woerden, Holland 

Gerrit Luidinga , Woerden, Holland (president of the committee)

Martien Sikking , Woerden, Holland 

Jørgen Toft Jespersen, Odense, Denmark


      Kilde. Lars Bjørnsten



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