Vittra International: Personalized Swedish Network on a Mission

Vittra International is a network of high tech elementary schools in Sweden. Architecturally and academically it’s clear that there is an underlying design–a clear intellectual mission that makes these schools a great place to learn and work. Vittra expresses the design principles through six promises:

  • To find the best approach for them: Children play and learn on the basis of their needs, curiosity and inclination in the best ways possible.
  • To learn based on experience: Children’s learning is based on their experience which increases motivation and inspires creativity.
  • To understand their own learning: Children are equipped with the tools to acquire new knowledge and increase understanding of ‘How I learn’, which enables them to learn more easily and effectively in the future.
  • To have faith in themselves and their abilities: Children become more self-aware, aware of their strengths and potential for development which means they dare and like to be challenged.
  • To develop their ability to communicate and engage in respectful interaction with others: Children understand and are considerate to the needs and interests of others, they can express and stand for their own views as well as take responsibility for their actions.
  • To be equipped for study and work in an international environment: Children develop effective bilingualism in English and Swedish while experiencing and creating international contacts through networks and exchange programmes abroad.

For 20 years Vittra students have been guided by a Individual Development Plans (IDP). Starting in 2010, Vitta made the shift to personal digital learning.  Vitta has 12 schools were every student has an Apple laptop.  The IDP is now incorporated into a web-based learner profile, called the Vittrabook, is used to document and evaluate each student’s development and achievement throughout their schooling. Plans to improve student learning are spelled out in Vittra’a commitment to quality.
If you’re interested in school design, just search for images for Vittra International–you’re in for a visual treat.
Add Vittra to Internationella Engelska Skolan and Kunskapsskolan (reviewed in July) to a list of networks to visit.

Tom Vander Ark

Tom Vander Ark is the CEO of Getting Smart. He has written or co-authored more than 50 books and papers including Getting Smart, Smart Cities, Smart Parents, Better Together, The Power of Place and Difference Making. He served as a public school superintendent and the first Executive Director of Education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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