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K2K - Kongsberg to Korea

K2K - A think tank of young minds on the issues in communication, technology and the global marketplace.


Our mission was to form a yearly delegation of students who wanted to travel to Korea and explore significant issues in technology, communication and culture. This ‘think tank’ of young minds was expressly focused on their role in Norway’s future, in the global marketplace, and the students were considering in depth what they, as the future, had to offer a changing world.


Background: In pedagogical thinking, the balance between what is relevant and meaningful to young people is a critical foundation for learning. What is relevant and meaningful to adults guiding young people into the future is often quite different. At its worst, adults and young people oppose each other on what is of value; at its best, learning is a collaboration with a shared purpose, respecting different perspectives. At its best, teaching raises the bar so that young people can see the path from their own interests to a future they envision, with competencies that give them access to a dynamic and practical reality.

The K2K project was conceived at Kongsberg International School from our students’ desire to study the Korean New Wave. Though their interest in pop culture was the impetus, the opportunities for broader learning in communication and technology were immediately apparent, and the focus of the project emerged. By the spring of 2012, the mission statement had been formed and the project had garnered sufficient support to schedule it for a pilot run in the 2012-2013 school year.


Development: At the heart of our thinking about K2K was the concept of Kongsberg as a global knowledge hub, a center of competence in the technology industry. Seeing K2K within the KIS curriculum, it was clear that KIS was positioned to serve the needs of the community and industry out of which the school was formed. In keeping with the idea of the Kongsberg knowledge hub, the KIS curriculum has been refocused on innovation as a guiding concept, with competence in communication and technology at the core. K2K is now a cornerstone of that vision.

In October 2012, eight students were chosen to be the first delegation, understanding that their focus was student-led curriculum design. In May, 2013, those students and three teachers were the first delegation to visit Korea. Following this success, three more delegations has travelled to Korea in the consecutive years, to both deepen this inquiry and to explore how far we can push the outcomes.


Our Partners

  • NCE Systems Engineering

  • DresserRand AS

  • Kongsberg Automotive (Both in Kongsberg and Yangsan)

  • Kongsberg Maritime (Both in Kongsberg and Gijang)

  • Aker Solutions and Aker Drilling Technologies (including DSME Shipyard)

  • Mac Gregor, previously Aker Mooring and Loading.

  • DNV GL

  • ENI Norge and Hyundai Heavy Industries (Hyundai shipyard)

  • The Norwegian Consulate in Busan

  • Dwight School of Seoul

  • Busan International Foreign School

  • SM Entertainment

  • Bukchon Hanok Village

  • Asian Art Museum

  • Seoul Olympic Park and Soma Museum

  • War Memorial of Korea

  • The Royal Norwegian Embassy in Seoul

  • Innovation Norway, Seoul


Outcome: The K2K project has first and foremost left us with competence. Both students and teachers have achieved competence in navigating and collaborating within the Korean culture, testing our knowledge and values in an intercultural setting. We have explored the connection between factual concepts and significant global interactions, mainly in the area of technology, communication and global marketplace. The students have gained competence in curriculum planning and taking responsibility for their own future learning. The teachers have gained competence in relations between the classroom and the industry outside, exploring the interactions, and letting this new knowledge and understanding inform our educational choices from here.


In the final year of the K2K project, the K2K delegation in collaboration with all students and staff at KIS, fully formalized the student-led curriculum design. The delegation group was responsible for designing a broad range of teaching and learning units that aim to support purpose-filled education for the future in a global marketplace. This sample collection contained both disciplinary and interdisciplinary units, with a common denominator of linking schoolwork at an early age with industry and NGOs both locally, nationally and globally. Through K2K not only the technology and design curriculum went through a re-design, but other subjects like individuals and societies, languages and the arts also changed due to the agency of our students.


To sum up, K2K was highly successful for the school in many ways, some are: enabling systematic innovation,  increasing active student participation and student-leadership, fostering international mindedness, increasing the ability to transfer knowledge and competence, tying education and industry in a natural way, creating authentic and global learning situations, and not forgetting, demonstrating how capable young minds are when being trusted to follow their own curiosity and to act on it.

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