Vittra runs 30 schools in Sweden and wants learning to take place everywhere in its schools, so it threw out the “old-school” thinking of straight desks in a line in a four-walled classroom. They eliminated all of its classrooms in favor of an environment that fosters children’s “curiosity and creativity.” The schools are non-traditional in every sense: there are no letter grades and learners learn in groups at their level, not necessarily by age. Admission to the school is free, as long as the child has a personal number (like a social security number) and one of the child’s parents is a Swedish taxpayer.
Vittra opened Telefonplan School, in Stockholm where Architect Rosan Bosch designed the school so children could work independently in opened-spaces while lounging, or go to “the village” to work on group projects. All of the furniture in the school, which looks like a lot of squiggles, is meant to aid learners in engaging in conversations while working on projects.
Vittra schools reach kindergarten through twelfth grades. So why do we say “schools without classrooms?” One thing is clear from Vittra is that opening the walls, moving furniture or changing the furniture and allowing flexible places encourages creativity. It works for all ages.