Fundación Escuela Nueva (FEN) believes that poverty, injustice and exclusion can be addressed through quality education. Thus, FEN provides a cost effective, replicable and scalable solution to improve the quality of education. Through its child-centered, active, participatory and collaborative learning approach we transform the conventional school and learning model into one where the child is the protagonist of its learning process and the teacher is a facilitator. FEN’s innovative model has impacted public policy and has been adopted in 16 Latin American countries with different names, reaching more than 5 million children.
We have proven results improving academic achievements and fostering civic and democratic behaviors in students; and promoting social and entrepreneurial skills necessary for the 21st century. Escuela Nueva has been adapted in 16 countries of Latin America, benefitting more than 5 million children. In Colombia alone, between 2006 – 2010, we trained over 15,000 teachers and reached more than 600,000 students.
- Boys and girls, ages 6-15 approximately, of low income schools, mainly in developing countries.
- Their families and communities.
- In-service teachers, teacher trainers and education administrators.
Over the last 20 years, the Escuela Nueva model has benefitted over 5M children in Latin America and the model has been adopted in 16 countries.
As part of our sustainability strategy, we use licensing models and a partnership approach to build capacity and transfer knowledge to local NGOs and governments. Our online community of EN practitioners share latest developments and proven best practices. Numerous case studies and academic publications have highlighted our work. We share our experiences in transforming and improving education, and how it has been scaled, replicated and been sustainable over time at major conferences.
Three key effective teacher training strategies that contribute to the lasting impact of our organization:
- MICROCENTERS, spaces where teachers come together to interact, share ideas and experiences
- ‘HANDS ON’ WORKSHOPS: Teachers are trained the same way they will later work with students.
- TEACHER’S COLLEGES where pre-service teachers are trained and introduced to the pedagogics of EN.
The Escuela Nueva model is all about innovation. Thus, at FEN we are constantly innovating the model adapting its strategies and materials to new contexts and populations, researching and developing new products and services to enhance the model.
We want to be perceived as an integral educational solution that provides systematized, high quality products and services (educational material and training) that give concrete responses to the needs and expectations of our clients, partners and beneficiaries. We are distinctive because we offer a proven, high quality solution to the problem of low quality education that works and can be replicated easily. Our work is systemic, cost-effective and very “hands on”, and takes form in products and services that operationalize our processes and accumulated learnings.
Through very concrete curricular and classroom strategies, experiential and effective teacher training, and community and administrative components, we work with students, teachers, administrators and the community to transform the conventional school and learning approach.
Over the last 20 years, learnings and experiences have been constantly systematized and documented. There are proven, easy to use and “practice-focused” teacher training manuals, standard workshop materials, detailed algorithms of the model and the learning guides for students, which follow a thought out learning process.
Standardized processes and materials have also been a key success factor in scaling up Escuela Nueva. Many education models are based on the same principles but have failed to fully implement them, due to the lack of a “motor inside” and a systemic approach. Escuela Nueva tackles educational issues (low teacher morale, high repetition and dropout rates, innefective teacher training, etc.) systemically and simultaneously, rather than ineffectively tackling each in isolation.
An important characteristic of our program that is important to have in mind in relation to scalability and replicability, is it began as a local innovation in a few pilot schools in Colombia (1975) but, its results where such, it gradually expanded throughout the country reaching more than 20,000 rural schools. One of the most important achievements of the program is having been able to impact public policy; it was adopted by the Ministry of Education becoming a national educational policy for the rural sector in the mid eighties.
Source of funding
It is important to highlight that the sale of our products and services has constituted the majority of our source of income for the past 5 years.
We are currently expanding our product offer:
- Designing and producing a new Collection of Escuela Nueva materials (curriculum development) for grades 6th – 9th, both for the rural and urban sectors.
- Complementing our offer of the four basic subject areas (Science, Math, Language and Social Studies) with “complementary areas” for all grades to expand our product offer to the public school system. These include: technology, entrepreneurship and ethics.
- Updating our teacher training manuals
- Diversifying our consultancy services and enriching our teacher training workshops, including cross-cutting topics such as information and computer technologies as tools for enhancing learning.
Besides our learning materials and technical assistance services, we will continue to partner with leading private sector organizations, multilateral and international organizations and other NGOs. These partners provide funding and/or help mobilize additional resources from the public sectors to strengthen or expand our programs.