LDP! 011: Esben Wilstrup: Education, Play, and Environments for Learning

Esben Wilstrup is co-founder and Assistant Director of the Danish boarding school “Epos.” In this unique setting, students ages 15-17 learn the mandatory state curriculum, but through play, performance, and role-playing games (called “edularps”). Esben provides us with a transformative way of creating learning and development environments for our younger populations. Doing so, he offers us ideas for how we as adults can do life differently.

Who is Esben Wilstrup?


  • Subliminal space. [3:03]
  • Hope for the audience. [4:02]
  • What questions can people working in schools benefit from asking more often? [5:42]
  • Current approach to learning and education. [7:13]
  • How do people learn outside of educational institutions? [7:46]
  • Giving up on students. [8:48]
  • Learning: Divided and out of context [10:04]
  • Children’s free play in Denmark before starting school. [11:37]
  • How education is done now and its alternatives. [12:41]
  • How to train teachers or pedagogues in different approaches. [13:43]
  • How can we improvise with the current education system? [14:53]
  • Esben’s journey, school psychology, and educational consulting. [18:05]
  • Starting Efterskolen Epos. [21:29]
  • Leadership and organizing of Efterskolen Epos. [25:27]
  • What is Efterskolen Epos and what does it look like? [27:10]
  • Education in Denmark. [29:52]
  • More about Efterskolen Epos. [31:05]
  • A day in the life: What does education look like at Efterskolen Epos? [33:18]
  • Staying in game: Theme weeks and learning through games. [34:41]
  • Law and order versus engaging students. [37:53]
  • How are curricula created and how are teachers hired? [39:31]
  • Sustaining a developmental alibi. [44:05]
  • What do students learn at Efterskolen Epos that we can benefit from? [45:25]
  • How can teachers embody the Epos practice? [51:23]
  • Emotions in education. [52:29]
  • What does building community in the classroom look like? [53:48]
  • What would you want all of the world to know about your work? [59:37]
  • Who are you becoming? [59:56]
  • Where can people find Esben? [1:05:12]

Leave a Reply