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Kunskapsgården in Falun

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.

Kunskapsskolan is Sweden's largest non-governmental school, with 22 elementary schools and ten gymnasium schools.[1]

General Idea[edit]

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 "Kommunikationspass" (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[edit]

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[edit]

In the UK Kunskapsskolan sponsors three academies through the Learning Schools Trust. The Learning Schools Trust has operated three academy schools in England. Hampton Academy [2] and Twickenham Academy [3] are located in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, while Ipswich Academy is located in Ipswich, Suffolk.

In March 2014 Learning Schools Trust was banned from taking on any more academies.[4] Hampton Academy was inspected in 2014 and behaviour was found to require improvement, "pupils were off task and talking over the teacher in the majority of lessons".[5] Ipswich Academy was put into special measures.[6] Twickenham Academy was rated as requiring improvement when it was inspected in 2013.[7] A fourth academy, Elizabeth Woodville School joined in December 2012. In 2014 its GCSE results had dropped from 70% to 51% [8] [9][10][11][12][13]

In March 2015, the Department for Education removed Ipswich Academy from LST's trusteeship after an inadequate Ofsted report.[14]

Kunskapsskolan USA[edit]

In the United States, Kunskapsskolan operates as a for-profit corporation.[15] They currently run one charter school in New York City, called Innovate Manhattan Charter School.[16] 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.[17]

Kunskapsskolan India[edit]

In India, Kunskapsskolan operates a school in Gurgaon, Haryana, under Kunskapsskolan Eduventures[18] – a joint venture between Kunskapsskolan Education and Gyandarshan Eduventures.[19] Kunskapsskolan Gurgaon[20] follows the CBSE Curriculum for classes Nursery to Grade VIII and became operational in 2013.[21]


  1. ^ http://www.kunskapsskolan.se/foretaget/inenglish.4.1d32e45f86b8ae04c7fff213.html
  2. ^ http://www.hamptonacademy.org.uk/
  3. ^ http://www.twickenhamacademy.org.uk/
  4. ^ http://news.tes.co.uk/b/news/2014/03/20/problem-academy-chains-not-focusing-on-learning-say-experts-as-14-are-banned-from-expansion.aspx/
  5. ^ http://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/provider/files/2420617/urn/136103.pdf
  6. ^ http://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/provider/ELS/136453
  7. ^ http://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/provider/ELS/136104
  8. ^ http://www.education.gov.uk/cgi-bin/schools/performance/school.pl?urn=139100
  9. ^ http://www.ipswichacademy.org.uk/
  10. ^ http://www.learningschoolstrust.org.uk/download/18.514b581212ce8007983800018051/Minutes+9th+Board+Meeting+15th+March+2011+DRAFT.pdf
  11. ^ http://www.hertsdirect.org/mm/15529307/15744647/item3edskills010411.doc
  12. ^ http://1222855639.web1.sitemove.co.uk/_includes/attachments/P56/February%202011.pdf
  13. ^ http://www.hemeltoday.co.uk/news/school_considers_new_academy_status_1_2388895
  14. ^ Hunter, Matt (11 March 2015). "Major shake-up at struggling Ipswich Academy with new sponsor and boss due in September after damning Ofsted report". Ipswich Star. Retrieved 19 June 2015. 
  15. ^ http://appext9.dos.ny.gov/corp_public/CORPSEARCH.ENTITY_INFORMATION?p_nameid=4023133&p_corpid=4020293&p_entity_name=kunskapsskolan&p_name_type=A&p_search_type=BEGINS&p_srch_results_page=0
  16. ^ http://www.innovatemanhattancharterschool.org/about
  17. ^ http://insideschools.org/middle/browse/school/1752
  18. ^ http://kunskapsskolan.edu.in
  19. ^ http://www.business-standard.com/article/press-releases/kunskapsskolan-launch-in-gurgaon-set-to-rewrite-educational-standards-112063000073_1.html
  20. ^ http://kunskapsskolan.edu.in/gurgaon
  21. ^ http://www.thestatesman.net/news/36383-the-swedish-connection.html

External links[edit]