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Clara Victoria Colbert

Vicky Colbert is a pioneer of educational innovation. Vicky is the Founder and Executive Director of Fundación Escuela Nueva Volvamos a la Gente and a Sociologist at Javeriana University in Colombia. Prior to her position, Vicky was the National Coordinator in the Ministry of Education, Director of Open University at Javeriana University, Vice Minister of Education of Colombia and UNICEF´s Education Adviser for Latin America and Caribbean Region (LAC). She has been recognized with several awards in the fields of leadership and social entrepreneurship including Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, Clinton Global Citizenship Award and Kravis Leadership Prize. Vicky is a graduate of Stanford University and co-author of the worldwide renowned Escuela Nueva (EN) model.

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Fundación Escuela Nueva Volvamos a la Gente
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Model
Hybrid Social Enterprise
Sectors
Civic Participation; Education and Skills; Entrepreneurship
Headquarters
Colombia
Areas of Impact
Latin America, Africa, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Dominican Republic, Zambia, Timor-Leste, Maldives, Wallis and Futuna Islands

Fundación Escuela Nueva Volvamos a la Gente

Fundación Escuela Nueva (FEN) provides a systemic, cost-effective, replicable and scalable solution to improve the quality of basic education, by transforming conventional schools and reshaping the roles of teachers, students, community and educational administrators through the Escuela Nueva (EN) model. This approach to learning integrates curricular, community, administrative and teacher training strategies in a systemic way, instead of tackling each in isolation. As part of the EN model, students learn in small groups, promoting active, participatory and cooperative learning. Its flexible grade promotion feature allows students to advance from one level to another at their own pace using interactive, self-directed and reusable learning guides designed to encourage dialogue, interaction, critical thinking and application of knowledge to family and community.

Through this approach to learning, FEN is contributing to unlocking students’ social, emotional and entrepreneurial skills, behaviours and attitudes necessary in the 21st century, encouraging leading processes, initiative taking, teamwork and decision-making. FEN encourages a new role for teachers, shifting their responsibility from being transmitters of facts to managers and facilitators of the learning process of their students. For this mind-set shift to happen, conventional teacher training practices must also shift. Teacher training is experiential, whereby they exchange and support each other and promote positive change through microcenters (learning circles) and local networks. International organizations and leading researchers document results demonstrating improvement in academic achievement, self-esteem, girls’ participation, democratic behaviours and peaceful coexistence.

The approach has inspired educational reforms worldwide and has been studied by educators from more than 40 nations who are interested in applying it in their countries. To date, the Escuela Nueva approach has been implemented in 16 countries, reaching close to 7 million children.