Christen Kold was a Danish teacher who, unsatisfied with the Danish education system, established his own school at Ryslinge in 1851. This school became the model for the Danish Folk high schools and part of the wider folk high school movement which built up across Scandinavia, other parts of Northern Europe, the USA and Canada.
Folk high schools emphasised adult education for agricultural workers and peasants, without necessarily leading to academic qualifications. Workers attended school between November and March when there was less need for labour on the farms. The curriculum focused on national identity, history and folk tales, music and traditions. The folk high school movement was seen by the establishment as a radical step towards popular education.
There are now around 70 folk high schools in Denmark. The principal subjects of instruction vary from the creative arts such as music, arts, design, writing, to intellectual courses such as religion, philosophy, literature and psychology.