Kunskapsskolan (translates as the knowledge school) is a Swedish school that provides education for students from grades 6 to 9 (ages 12 to 16) in elementary school. They also offer a gymnasium schools for grades 10 to 12 (ages 16 to 19) in different areas of Sweden. They function differently from the public schools in Sweden, usually offering more freedom in studies than the public school system does. It focuses on the pupils' own abilities to take responsibility.
In contrast to most of Sweden's other schools, Kunskapsskolan functions in a way that more closely resembles the system in the Swedish gymnasium and university. It puts much more responsibility in the hands of the pupil by removing classrooms and letting the pupil choose when, where, and what to participate in. Also, the pupil works on his own level, which is measured in "steps" ranging from 1-35.
The pupils typically work by themselves with support from the teachers in forming their own educational plan. Even though the school at first sight does not appear to be organized, the pupils have a very strict plan to follow recorded in a logbook. Every morning the pupils have to take up their logbook and plan their day, in the form of a to-do list. Kunskapsskolan, in most cases, does not put their students in classes with a teacher lecturing the pupils.
Even though the planning of the day is flexible, there are some things that are compulsory. Among these is the "Kommunikations pass" (Communication pass), this is like an ordinary class in any school in Sweden. The WS (Workshops) are not compulsory like the Communication passes but are chosen by the pupil.
The education at Kunskapsskolan is very IT based; instead of giving the pupils books to work with, they have to find the steps on a website called kunskapsporten and print out the step they are working with.
Kunskapsskolan not only has steps the pupils have to work with but also adds kurser (courses). In those courses, one studies, for example, social studies, science, and technology. The largest difference between courses and steps is that courses are set in the school schedule, with pupils working at the same time and often in groups. In the courses, the different subjects blend to create an overlapping study on a certain subject. For example, when students do a study on the world wars, they would not only cover the history but also explain the science of the period, the social changes, and the causes of the events. The key word is analysis.
Some examples of courses
Jagkurser (Me courses): In these courses, one generally studies biology, working on human anatomy, people, and, most notably, oneself.
Europakurser (Europe courses): Though the name suggests otherwise, these courses are not just about Europe. In these courses are almost exclusively social studies, mostly about economics, geography, politics, and such.
Trådkurser (Thread courses): These are about the history of the world and universe. In these courses, one studies history from the Big Bang to modern time and also science, mostly related to about what is read in the history part. These courses follow a chronological order, starting as previously mentioned at the Big Bang, through early human civilization, past the World Wars, and then straight into the future, following, at the same time, the development of civilization, arts, and science.
People and Places
All Kunskapsskolan schools are built by the architect Kenneth Gärdestad, brother of the Swedish pop singer Ted Gärdestad. The architecture is very open, with glass than the colourfully painted walls. The founder of Kunskapsskolan was Anders Hultin.
There are a total of 25 Kunskapsskolan schools in Sweden. The elementary schools lie in Saltsjöbaden, Enköping, Skärholmen, Botkyrka, Fruängen, Nacka, Kista, Täby, Spånga, Tyresö, Enskede, Lund, Landskrona, Helsingborg, Västerås, Norrköping, Nyköping, Ystad, Göteborg, Trelleborg, Uppsala, and Borås. The gymnasiums lie in Globen, Kista, Orminge, Saltsjöbaden, Västerås, Uppsala, Norrköping, Stockholms international, Malmö, and Göteborg.
Kunskapsskolan in the UK
In the UK Kunskapsskolan sponsors three academies through the Learning Schools Trust. The Learning Schools Trust operates three academy schools in England. Hampton Academy  and Twickenham Academy  are located in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, while Ipswich Academy is located in Ipswich, Suffolk.
In the United States, Kunskapsskolan operates as a for-profit corporation. They currently run one charter school in New York City, called Innovate Manhattan Charter School. It is the last school to be authorized (by SUNY) under the expired New York State charter school law, which allowed for-profit company involvement in charter schools.
- The Learning Schools Trust: Kunskapsskolan in the UK
- The Independent
- Lessons from Scandinavia, Kunskapsskolan (Kenneth Gärdestad, Chief Kunskapsskolan Architect)(video)