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Nonformal Education

An Adult Education Act was introduced in the Althing in 1979 as an effort to organize and coordinate the various educational programs available for adults in Iceland. The Reykjavik School of Adult Education was founded in 1939 and is operated by the city. A variety of afternoon and evening courses are offered. Similar schools run by local authorities have been established throughout the country. In addition, there are private adult education schools devoted to adult education in foreign languages, fine arts, and music.

A few compulsory school and upper-secondary institutions have courses open to mature students. These schools have evening classes with programs comparable to those offered during the day in traditional schools and designed to meet the needs of adults with daytime commitments. Upper-secondary schools generally have educational counseling available to assist students in the selection of programs of study, design of a plan of study, and with academic and personal problems.

Distance education has a relatively strong presence in Iceland. A number of college courses and a few college programs are offered using only network communication. For example, the College of Education at the University of Iceland offers a B.Ed. distance education program. Available data gathered from both lecturers and students suggest some discrepancy in their views regarding the efficacy of the program. The majority of the lecturers felt that all of the aims of the curriculum were equally well-served in the distance program and the traditional program. However, students expressed a need for face-to-face courses as a supplement to the distance learning. A few secondary schools in Iceland have likewise adopted distance learning programs. For example, one program evolved in a rural school based on widespread adult interest in evening courses. When the interest spread beyond commuting distance, correspondence courses and a distance learning program were instituted to fulfill the need.

The Adult Education Center is located in Reykjavik with annexes in other locations throughout the country. Students range in age from 17 to 67 years and the center provides short courses for people who do not have access to other educational opportunities. The courses provide training for independent or semi-independent living to people possessing widely varying physical and psychological handicaps with the goal of enhancing their quality of life. The curriculum is divided into basic living skills training, reading, writing, arithmetic, computer skills, physical exercise, swimming, home economics, arts and crafts, music, and drama. The format of education is very flexible and the each student has his or her own curriculum that is constantly evaluated and modified. As is characteristic of other forms of education in Iceland, there is a strong emphasis on values and needs of the individual.

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Education - Free Encyclopedia Search EngineGlobal Education ReferenceIceland - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary Education, Secondary Education