The folk high-school is a unique Nordic contribution to global education. The purpose of this study is to explore antecedents of Norwegian folk high-school teachers’ fostering of student effort. We tested a structural model based on social exchange theory by using cross-sectional data (questionnaire). The study provides strong support for the importance of relational trust for social exchange and, indirectly, for teachers’ fostering of effort involved in lifelong learning. Goal-oriented leadership – emphasised by the new forms of educational management – seems to play a minor role for teachers’ fostering of effort in the folk high-school context.

Keywords: folk high-school, social exchange theory, teacher’s behaviour, fostering of effort