Escuela Nueva: Learning to Learn and Coexist Peacefully Escuela Nueva Foundationwww.escuelanueva.org Vicky Colbert de Arboleda Executive Director
“For more than 100 years, the lack of school management methods has been the cause of countless complaints.But it has been only in the last 30 years that efforts have been made to find a solution to this problem. And what has resulted? Schools continue exactly the same as before.” John Amos Comenius 1632
Latin America´s Basic Education Problems • Low academic achievements • Incomplete schooling; high repetition and drop out rates • Low self esteem of children • Rigid calendars & evaluation and promotion systems • Traditional, frontal, teacher-centered methods
Latin America´s Basic Education Problems • Lack of relevant learning materials and textbooks • Weak school-community relationship • Overloaded, irrelevant curriculum • Untrained teachers in handling multigrade schools; low teacher morale and ineffective, inadequate pre-in service training of teachers
Latin America´s Basic Education Problems • Some progress in access and coverage, but high REPETITION and DROP OUT RATES • 20% enroll late ; 42% repeat 1st grade ; 30% repeat 2nd grade. • Average schooling: 4.2 • 50% of students in 4th grade do not understand what they read • Annually, USD $3.5 billion are spent in 20 million repeaters
Consequences of Repetition High heterogeneity in ages of children limits learning, specially when conventional teacher-centered methods are used.
Basic Education Reforms in Latin America “New paradigms for learning ” • Improving the quality of education implies more than an emphasis on expanding current systems of education More of the same is not enough!! • It implies a cultural change, requiring: • A shift of emphasis from transmission of information to an emphasis in comprehension and collective construction of knowledge. • A new type of school, renovated teaching methods and a change in the role of the teacher.
Previous Efforts: Rural Multigrade Schools • Multigrade schools exist in both, developed and developing countries • Specially in low density and scattered populations • One or two teachers have to work simultaneously with all primary education grades • Multigrade schools are not a second class option
Multigrade Rationale • In Latin America, multigrade teaching was based on the "Unitary School" methodology • Was promoted by UNESCO in the 60’s worldwide • According to education research, the organization of a multigrade school requires more innovation • These schools require the modification of the traditional teaching practices and the promotion of a child-centered learning process
Multigrade Rationale This setting requires: • That students be organized in small group • The development of flexible and personalized strategies • The development of learning guides (interactive textbooks) specially designed for independent learning and cooperative work • Quality teacher training and instructional delivery methods are core of effective Multigrade teaching
Multigrade Rationale Education for All and Multigrade Teaching: Challenges and Opportunities. Angela W. Little (Ed.) Institute of Education. University of London Learning and Teaching in Multigrade Settings – invisible and persistent “Current shortfalls in the achievement of EFA goals are found among communities who live at margin of society and who participate in the margins of the formal education system. At many of these margins, multigrade teaching is involved.”
Multigrade Rationale Education for All and Multigrade Teaching: Challenges and Opportunities. Angela W. Little (Ed.) Institute of Education. University of London Transforming necessity into a positive pedagogy “Multigrade teaching that arises through necessity is often considered to be a second class education. However, in some cases, necessity has been transformed into a positive pedagogy, such as the well known Escuela Nueva system, notable for its proactive strategy.”
What is Escuela Nueva? • Escuela Nueva transforms the conventional school • Basic education innovation developed in Colombia • Set out to address all the nested factors of education simultaneously, rather than ineffectively tackling each in isolation • Systemically integrates curricular, in-service training and follow up, community and administrative strategies • Guarantees access,quality and relevance of basic education • Evolved from a local and state innovation to a national policy -implementation in most rural schools of Colombia (20,000 at the end of the 80´s.)
What does Escuela Nueva promote? • Child centered, participatory, cooperative and self-paced learning • Relevant curriculum based on children's daily life • Flexible calendar, promotion and grading systems • Closer, stronger relationship between the school and thecommunity • Emphasis on the formation of democratic and participatory values
What does Escuela Nueva promote? • Effective and practical in-service teacher training strategies • New role for the teacher as facilitator • New generation of interactive self paced, self directed learning textbooks
Who does Escuela Nueva benefit? Children, teachers, administrative staff and community through its four interrelated components, integrated at the school and community level in SYNERGY Curricular Component Teacher training Component SYSTEM AdministrativeComponent Community Component
It is possible!! It demonstrated it is possible to improve coverage, quality and equality of basic education in low income schools.
270 265 Argentina Chile Brasil 260 255 Average 250 Colombia 245 Mexico 240 Paraguay Bolivia 235 Venezuela 230 Dominican Republic Honduras 225 220 2000 4000 6000 8000 10000 12000 14000 16000 “The quality of education in Colombia is close to the average of education in Latin America“ Score Per capita income USD $ Source: UNESCO. First Comparative International Study on Quality of Education, 1999.
260 Cuba 255 Colombia 250 Argentina Brazil Average 245 Chile Rural Score 240 Dominican Mexico Republic 235 Paraguay 230 Bolivia Venezuela 225 Honduras 220 230 235 240 245 250 255 260 265 270 275 280 “Rural education in Colombia has better quality than urban education” (Except in big cities of Latin America) Rural score Urban score Source: UNESCO. First Comparative International Study on Quality of Education, 1999.
270 Cuba 260 Colombia 250 Argentina Brasil 240 Mexico Bolivia Paraguay Chile 230 Dominican Republic 220 Venezuela Honduras 210 210 215 220 225 230 235 240 245 250 255 260 “In mathematics, only Cuba's scores are above Colombia's” ( In rural education) Mathematics Language Source: UNESCO. First Comparative International Study on Quality of Education, 1999.
It is possible!! Escuela Nueva challenged massively the traditional teacher-centered frontal model and promoted active, child-centered, participatory and cooperative learning
“Child centered” “Frontal, teacher centered”
It is possible!! The multigrade situation forced the whole system to innovate in: • Pedagogical practices • Evaluation procedures • Textbook policies • Teacher training policies • Inspired the New Law of Education of Colombia
Escuela Nueva is one of the longest bottom-up innovations that has survived and sustained, despite changes in political policies
Results from different statistical analysis confirm: • Superior achievements of children of Escuela Nueva • Significant reduction in drop out and repetition rates • Improvement in self-esteem and civic behavior • The National Planning Department of Colombia concluded: “Escuela Nueva compensates for socio economic limitations when comparing children of Escuela Nueva of socio economic level 1 with socio economic level 2.”
It is possible!! It demonstrated that cooperative learning can initiate positive changes in democratic behavior. Skills, values and attitudes for peaceful social interaction can be developed at the school.
“Pedagogical routines that are oriented to group work, participation, self-learning, have a better chance of forming a democratic ethos than those that are merely directive” José Bernardo Toro
80 70 60 50 NEU % 40 EUT 30 20 10 0 Turns Lead Feedback Evaluations Global Results of the Study on Democratic Behavior in Guatemala Comparative Study on Demoracratic Behavior in Guatemala – AED/Juarez and Associates (R.Chesterfield)
Evaluations Research on Democratic Behavior in Colombia** • “The school influences the development of democratic behavior and peaceful social interaction skills in children.” • “The school's impact is significant and goes beyond the general violence environment.” ** Research led by Universidad del Rosario & Fundación Escuela Nueva Volvamos a la Gente. 2002. Published in Education for All and Multigrade Teaching: Challenges and Opportunities. Angela W. Little (Ed.) Institute of Education. University of London
Evaluations Research on Democratic Behavior in Colombia** • “Escuela Nueva demonstrated significant results in the formation of democratic behavior and peaceful social interaction in comparison with conventional schools.” • There is an important direct impact of the schools system on the practices of the families of students and this is where Escuela Nueva and Conventional schools differ. ** Research led by Universidad del Rosario & Fundación Escuela Nueva Volvamos a la Gente. 2002. Published in Education for All and Multigrade Teaching: Challenges and Opportunities. Angela W. Little (Ed.) Institute of Education. University of London
Evaluations Research on Democratic Behavior in Colombia** “The probability of parents perceiveing and impact of the school on home practices grows as the level of implementation of Escuela Nueva increases.” ** Research led by Universidad del Rosario & Fundación Escuela Nueva Volvamos a la Gente. 2002. Published in Education for All and Multigrade Teaching: Challenges and Opportunities. Angela W. Little (Ed.) Institute of Education. University of London
Adaptation of Escuela Nueva to Urban Populations • 1987: Escuela Nueva Foundation (ENF) began a pilot project, supported by IAF, to adapt EN to the urban marginal setting: Escuela Nueva Activa™ • Implemented in low-income schools of Bogotá with the poorest academic performance in a local standardized test • After two years of intervention, an evaluation led by National University of Colombia confirmed an increment in language skills of 40.36% and in math of 69% • These schools, with lowest ranking in the city among 2,500 centers evaluated, performed better than the city's average
Adaptation of Escuela Nueva to Urban Populations • Evidenced improvement of 45% and 83% in the development of basic competences in math and language, respectively.
Escuela Nueva´s Adaptation to Displaced, Migrant Populations • In 2001, ENF began the process of adapting Escuela Nueva to serve displaced, migrant populations through the Escuela Nueva Learning Circles Program™ • They are spaces of learning within local communities comprised of groups of max. 15 children and a community youth tutor to ease the transition to the formal school • 5,745 indirectly benefited, including parents and community members • As it began, 55% of the children were excluded from the school system; after one year of intervention there was a 100% enrollment
Escuela Nueva´s Adaptation to Displaced, Migrant Populations • Results from UNESCO tests showed how children of EN learning circles obtained the highest level of improvement in both language and mathematics • (36.1% for language and 30.4% for mathematics.) • 5th grade children of the learning circles are 17.3 points above the national average, with a score of 69.3 in math and 13.9 in language. (83.6% and 69.7% respectively.) • Children’s self esteem was improved by 18.5 %.
Escuela Nueva´s Adaptation to Displaced, Migrant Populations
Escuela Nueva´s Adaptation to Displaced, Migrant Populations
Self esteem TAE Test Escuela Nueva´s Adaptation to Displaced, Migrant Populations