Education and learning

The school system’s fundamental values

Aktiv elev

Equality and the freedom of the individual to make his or her own choices are fundamental values of Norwegian society. These values are also important in education. Instruction and activities in schools aim to teach the pupils that all human beings are of equal value. The pupils have the opportunity to influence their everyday school life and learn early on to take responsibility for their own learning. The schools in turn are obliged to offer all pupils instruction at the appropriate level for the individual pupil.

The objective of schools is to educate independent individuals who have developed good social and academic skills.

In a modern democracy, people are expected to have both knowledge and independent opinions and to actively participate in the labour market and community life. Schools are responsible for providing children with good general knowledge. This means that children learn about a wide variety of subjects. They learn language and mathematic skills and about society and the natural world around them.

Schools have a variety of tasks in addition to providing children with good basic knowledge, such as teaching children to:

  • search for information and evaluate this information critically
  • form their own opinions based on information and their own assessment
  • argue their opinions


The objective of education and training (the Education Act)

  • Education and training in schools and training establishments shall, in collaboration and agreement with the home, open doors to the world and give the pupils and apprentices historical and cultural insight and anchorage.
  • Education and training shall be based on fundamental values in Christian and humanist heritage and traditions, such as respect for human dignity and nature, on intellectual freedom, charity, forgiveness, equality and solidarity, values that also appear in different religions and beliefs and are rooted in human rights.
  • Education and training shall help increase the knowledge and understanding of the national cultural heritage and our common international cultural traditions.
  • Education and training shall provide insight into cultural diversity and show respect for the individual’s convictions. They are to promote democracy, equality and scientific thinking.
  • The pupils and apprentices shall develop knowledge, skills and attitudes so that they can master their lives and can take part in working life and society. They shall have the opportunity to be creative, committed and inquisitive.
  • The pupils and apprentices shall learn to think critically and act ethically and with environmental awareness. They shall have joint responsibility and the right to participate.
  • Schools and training establishments shall meet the pupils and apprentices with trust, respect and demands, and give them challenges that promote formation and the desire to learn. All forms of discrimination shall be combated.


The schools shall:

  • give all pupils equal opportunities to develop their abilities and talents, individually and in cooperation with others
  • stimulate the stamina, curiosity and desire of pupils to learn.
  • stimulate pupils to develop their own learning strategies and critical-thinking abilities
  • stimulate pupils and apprentices/trainees in their personal development, in the development of identity and ethical, social and cultural competence, and in the ability to understand democracy and democratic participation
  • facilitate for pupil participation and enable pupils and apprentices/trainees to make informed value choices and choices relating to their education and future professions/occupations
  • ensure that the physical and psychosocial working and learning environments promote health, well-being and learning
  • facilitate for cooperation with the home and ensure the co-responsibilities of parents and guardians
  • promote adapted teaching and varied work methods
  • stimulate, use and further develop each teacher’s competence
  • ensure that the local community is involved in the education in a meaningful way