Good news: I just found a coherent and proven concept for personalized education.
Bad news: it’s in Sweden, offered by Kunskapsskolan, which means “the knowledge school.”
Good news: the KED (Kunskapsskolan Education) program is coming to the United States.
I first met Peg Hoey after she helped launch and run a charter school in the Bronx, and now she is the U.S. Project Manager for this initiative. Peg is my kind of person; she loves getting new ideas out there, and she has the initiative and expertise to turn an idea into reality.
To quote their new global site: Kunskapsskolan owns and operates 33 schools in Sweden, is the sponsor and founder of the Learning Schools Trust in the United Kingdom and provides support and curriculum to schools and educators around the world.
Peg and her colleagues hope to open a middle school in New York based on the KED program, ideally in 2011. In addition to moving through the formal application process now, they are also starting to create a US version of the learning portal their schools use in Sweden.
Peg explains, “We want to create a model school for people to see. We start with the student, not the adults, the shape of the building, or a traditional school schedule. Our core tenet is that everybody is different.”
Kunskapsskolan is a private company, but they are not looking to build and manage schools. Instead, they are seeking to work in partnership with schools, providing the tools and proven system for personalizing education.
So, for example, they might provide the KED pedagogical program for a charter school or partner with a private school or public school system who wish to deliver a more personalized approach to education.
Their approach literally starts with the student. Every student has a personal coach, a teacher who works with them throughout the school year and meets with them weekly to review their goals and the steps necessary to achieve them. These are not just loose “check in” sessions; KED includes a formal program for coaching each student.
The curriculum example from the U.K. pictured below includes both “step” and “thematic” courses, both of which allow students room for individual differences in both learning approach and pace. I urge you to take a closer look. Their website does an excellent job of explaining the KED program.