New School

Implementing institution: Fundación Escuela Nueva

Country: Colombia

Source: WISE

Execution period: 1976 - in progress

Plataforma de Prácticas Efectivas:
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To transform the pedagogical experience in the classroom and rethink the way of learning.


A comprehensive school model that promotes active, cooperative, student-centered learning.


Children are more likely to participate in a social organization and increase their proactive capacity with respect to politics and life in society. They are more respectful of the opinions of others and more likely to discuss in order to reach consensus.

The Escuela Nueva Activa (New Active School) model is a methodology aimed at vulnerable children that seeks to reverse the logic of the conventional teacher-centered educational model to focus on the student. We then speak of a new pedagogical paradigm based on cooperative, personalized, participative and constructivist learning.

The program began in 1976 in rural areas, being extended in 1987 to urban areas, thanks to the support of the Inter-American Foundation FIA. Today, its sponsors include the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Its work logic seeks to connect with primary schools to advise them on the implementation of the Escuela Nueva Activa model. For this reason, Fundación Escuela Nueva takes on a role of support and technical assistance.

As a system, the program promotes comprehensive intervention, including a standardized curriculum, accounting management techniques, community involvement, and teacher training. Through all these components, principles, criteria and theoretical concepts of educational planning are applied, following a common thread that takes into account the reality of the school in which the program is implemented.

The pedagogy method uses student learning guides with interactive features that induce cooperative learning and the use of supportive media (learning corners, classroom instruments, classroom library, among others). The implementation process includes both the promotion of internships and teacher training workshops on different topics (initiation in Escuela Nueva, classroom transformation, learning guides, reading and writing, among others), monitoring and follow-up (classroom and micro-centre visits with teachers), provision and use of learning materials, and collection of information for monitoring and evaluation of the process.

Fundación Escuela Nueva is also strongly committed to forming a network of collaborators to promote a learning community. To this end, they organize “International Congresses of New Schools”, in order to connect partners to generate interactions and exchanges, systematize experiences and good practices, create publications and promote academic events.

Although Colombia has managed to improve several of its social and economic indicators over the past 20 years, the education system still has significant gaps between rural and urban areas. Of 100 students entering school in urban areas, 82% complete their education, while in rural areas, only 48% do so (UNICEF, 2012). On the other hand, net participation rates at the primary and secondary education levels have tended to fall since 2011 (4 and 2% less respectively), with significant gaps between rural and urban areas. Therefore, since 2000, the Colombian Ministry of Education has started the Rural Education Program (PER) to increase educational quality in these areas and improve the retention of children in the formal system. A new methodology based on constructivism and student-centred is promoted (PER, 2013).

The evaluation of the program is done continuously through a monitoring process that includes questionnaires to beneficiaries. Once data are collected, the results are compared with the experience of conventional schools in the country.

The analysis has shown a notable impact on families where students live, increasing parents’ perception of parenting strategies and the way children participate in activities at home. Also noteworthy is the impact of the program on individual behaviours of children, as they are more likely to participate in a social organization and more proactive capacity with respect to policy. In turn, they are more respectful of women’s opinions, and more likely to discuss in order to reach consensus.


Link: http://escuelanueva.org/portal1/es/

Report: Ver informe

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