Broadening horizons through liberal education
The overall aim of Tore’s Foundation is to create democratically engaged communities, “Tore Communities”, comprised of questioning and demanding citizens. We hope that, through education, collaboration, and debate, we will create in these communities the democratic political environment that Tore envisaged, and that this will have long term economic benefits as well.
Tore believed that any form of economic change must start with liberal education from an early age ; that instilling democratic principles in young people would foster a new atmosphere of fair and thoughtful decision-making, and an attitude of questioning which methods are best. He will always be remembered in Norway, yet we want to ensure that his vision gains a form of concrete memorialisation as well.
We have identified several communities where we believe his ideals will make a great impact. For Tore, practical help through the supplying of resources can only help in the short term, treating the symptoms but not the cause: he believed that the root of the problem lay simply in a lack of knowledge and awareness, and that it was therefore necessary to foster democratic principles in children from a young age which would later inform their communities and nurture a more liberal spirit.
In line with Tore’s thinking, we plan to create a more democratic political atmosphere in our communities primarily through educating people from an early age to understand and engage with such ideas; to change the way young people think, and consequently the way their communities will develop. We aim to bestow them with the confidence to voice their ideas first within their schools, and then within their wider communities. In the short term, we plan to modify the authoritarian character of the schooling system in these communities; in the long term, we envisage that this liberal education will foster social, political and economic development.
How do we aim to foster political engagement through liberal education? We firmly believe that we must begin at the root by educating children about concepts at the heart of a fair and just social and political system. Formal debating, to encourage intellectual curiosity and stimulation, is key to this. We therefore plan to establish debating societies in secondary schools, rendering them microcosms of their larger communities. We will also train teachers to teach democratic ideas, introducing concepts such as free institutions and free speech into their lessons. In the Tore Communities - as Tore firmly believed himself – schools and debating societies will become nuclei for wider political engagement.
We understand, however, that the confidence needed for open and active debate does not come overnight. We plan therefore to teach active and collaborative activities such as sport and music where children learn to discover their particular voice and style - and to respect those who differ. With the confidence granted to them through these non-formal learning activities, students will learn to evaluate evidence fairly and explore larger ethical questions. At the same time we will help our selected communities economically, for example by developing a commercial farm and improving the water supply. Classrooms will be built or improved, books and tablets provided and additional teachers trained and funded. Finally, we will provide scholarships to enable students to study political and social sciences.
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Registered address: 12 Albert Place London W8 5PD. Registered charity number: 1157095
© Tore’s Foundation 2015.