Danish LOSSTT-IN-MATH System

What are the aims of teacher education?

The education is based on a concurrent rather than a consecutive model. We aim at integration between subjects and theoretical, professional and practical teacher preparation.

According to the executive order of June 19, 1998, the objectives of teacher education are:
  • that the student teachers obtain professional insight into the educational theory, subject areas, and educational practices that are necessary for their careers as teachers in the Danish "Folkeskole" and for managing other kinds of tuition and instruction at similar levels,
  • that the student teachers learn to co-operate, plan, execute and assess teaching, employing their theoretical and practical knowledge,
  • that the personality of the student teacher is formed and developed through independent work with the subject matter, through co-operation and through joint responsibility for his/her own education, and
  • that the student teachers' involvement in, enthusiasm and joy of working with children and adults in the process of schooling are furthered.

 What is the structure of the education?

Colleges of Education are the only institutions authorized to educate teachers for the Danish "Folkeskole", a municipal school combining primary and lower secondary education and run on a comprehensive basis for children between the ages of 7 and 17.

The education takes four years. Each study year is divided into two terms with an annual workload of 1,680 hours. The education consists of seminars, lectures, study weeks, teaching practice periods and project periods including tutorials.
The education comprises the following subjects and subject areas: 
  1. Religious studies and philosophy
  2. The educational subject areas:
    • philosophy of education (pedagogy)
    • psychology
    • general didactics
    • educational sociology (school and society)
  3. Teaching practice
  4. Four specialized subjects:
At Skårup we offer the following specialized subjects:


Religious studies
Social science

Natural sciences:

Science and Technology

Practical/aesthetic subjects:

Domestic science

According to Danish "Grundtvigian" tradition, the exchange of ideas is a vital element in all courses; but this on-going dialogue between tutors and students is interrupted by group projects or individual studies.

At present, teacher training is offered at 18 colleges distributed all over Denmark. The colleges are administered by the Ministry of Education and are under ministry supervision both with regard to financing and to the education offered. The colleges of education are the only institutions which are authorised to provide the 4-year programme, which qualifies for teaching posts in the Danish Folkeskole.

Duration and Structure of the Programme

The teacher training programme is of 4 years' duration.

The programme includes teaching practice at a school for a total of 24 weeks, the organization of which is decided by the individual institution.

The programme includes the following subjects:

Common core subjects:

Theory of education, psychology, general didactics, school and society (70%),
religious studies and philosophy (20%),
teaching practice (60%),
thesis (15%)

Main subjects:

Danish or mathematics (70%) and three further main subjects (each 55%) must be chosen by the student.

The four main subjects must be chosen so that at least two of the following three areas are represented: humanities, natural sciences and practical-aesthetic subjects (the percentages indicate the proportion of a student's full-time workload devoted to these subjects during one year).

Admission and Student Population:

The admission requirement for the teacher training programme is one of the following leaving examinations at upper secondary level: the upper secondary school leaving examination (the "Studentereksamen"), the higher preparatory examination (the "HF-eksamen"), the higher commercial examination (the "HHX") or the higher technical examination (the "HTX").

Due to the fact that there are normally more applicants than available study places, it has been necessary to introduce restricted admission to the teacher training programmes.

25% of the study places are awarded on the basis of the leaving examination at upper secondary level. As for the other 75%, it is in principle up to the colleges themselves to decide, but the colleges have agreed on common rules which are administered locally:

  • the result of the leaving examination ("the higher, the better"),
  • practical work experience,
  • folk high school attendance,
  • stay abroad,
  • experience with children (youth center, boy/girl scout movement etc.).
1/3 of the students are men, 2/3 are women.

About 55% of the students complete the programme at the end of the officially stipulated time of study, and 75% in total complete the programme.


Consolidation Act no 608 of 10 July 1997 on the Training of Teachers for the Danish Folkeskole only indicates the general lines of the programme: the duration, subjects, rules regarding the institutions and their management etc.

Ministerial Order no 382 of 19 June 1998 regulates the scope of the subjects, the principal lines of the content of the subjects, and general rules for the assessment of students.

The more detailed regulations are laid down in local curricula drawn up by the institutions.

Qualifications of the Teachers at the Colleges of Education:

The teachers at the colleges of education may have three different kinds of qualifications:

  • A university degree (Master's level) in humanities or in natural sciences subjects,
  • An academic degree (Master's level) from the Royal Danish School of Educational Studies,
  • A Folkeskole teacher qualification supplemented with in-service training (mostly in non-academic subjects such as textile design, wood/metalwork etc.).

The Competence of Danish Folkeskole Teachers

A Danish teacher's certificate obtained at a college of education is based on a leaving examination at upper secondary level, and the programme is of 4 years' duration.

The colleges of education are the only institutions which are authorized to provide the 4-year programme, which qualifies for teaching posts in the Danish Folkeskole.

Danish colleges of education offer a programme which in scope and level can be said to correspond to certain types of university programmes in the English-speaking world. The qualification which students obtain on completion of the programme can most aptly be compared to a UK/US Bachelor's degree. All the colleges are under ministry supervision. The quality of the examinations is controlled by external examiners appointed by the ministry.

In theory, a teacher's certificate qualifies the graduate teacher to teach all subjects to all forms (1st-10th forms), but in fact the teacher is generally considered competent to teach the 1st to 10th forms in the four main subjects taken.

In practice, the authorities responsible for the appointment of teachers (i.e. the municipalities, including the school board and the headteacher of the individual school) take the final decision with regard to the question of competence.

Mathematics teacher training in table form


Upper secondary leaving examination (studentereksamen) or equivalent

Duration of
Teacher education take four years
Each study year with an annual workload of 1680 hours.
The four years gives 240 ECTS.


After ending teachers college they have permission to teach children in the age of  7 to 17 ( Folkeskolen) in four subjects.


It is compulsory to choose between Danish or mathematics (subject 1).
Subject 1 gives 42.0 ECTS.

Duration of math.

Normally it takes three to four years

Number of lessons in math.

220- 395

Number of Weekly
Lessons in math.

4 in average

Numbers of students


Numbers of teacher

18 in Denmark




One written examination. Common for the whole country.
An oral examination in which the student are examined in mathematic, didactic, and practical- pedagogical aspects.


There is written one system for teachers education in mathematic.
A lot of teachers are using only there own notes supplied with copies from elsewhere.
Many teachers are using a Norwegian book of didactic.

The teacher

Are educated at the university or are at first educated at a teachers college  and afterwards at a pedagogical university.

Size of class

Normally we are teaching in a class with 20 - 30 students.


Mostly we have no specialization. We teach in all aspects of mathematics.


24 weeks of teaching practice.

Our role in practise

We give guidance before starting practice. Are visiting the students while they are in practice and discuss it afterwards. 

Examples of the

We are trying to variate the forms:

  • Normal classrooms activities
  • Experimental works, both in groups and single work
  • Working with IT in the classroom
  • Working with other activities like story line and learning tables  with the hole body etc.

For mathematics teachers training:

Common for all teachers training colleges 


That the student acquires: 

  1. Knowledge in subjects, central in mathematics and in math teaching in school.
  2. Knowledge in using argumentation, experimentation, investigation, organizing and generalizing in mathematics.
  3. Knowledge in development children's of  concept formation in mathematics.

Central Knowledge and Proficiency areas.

1. Numbers

  • Numbers, scale, cardinal numbers.
  • The basic arithmetical operations and their hierarchy.
  • Reasons for selected general rules in arithmetic.
  • Formulas and generalizing.
  • Representation and working up data.
  • Fundamental concept of statistics.
  • Probability and testing of hypotheses.
  • Models, growth and simulations.

    2. Geometry

    • Plane geometrical fundamental concepts and demonstrations.
    • Analytical geometry.
    • Spatial geometry and its representation in the plane.

      3. Didactics

      • The reasons, contents and historical development of the school subject.
      • Determination of objectives, choice of content and planning of a delimited course of teaching.
      • Choice  and preparation of teaching materials.
      • Use of information- and communications technology.
      • Differentiation in teaching . Evaluation.
      • Views of learning providing the background for different kinds of mathematics teaching.
      • The language of mathematic as a means of communication.

      This page comes from the LOSSTT-IN-MATH Project website