Escuela Nueva Model
What is Escuela Nueva?
Escuela Nueva is an educational model designed in Colombia in the 1970’s by Vicky Colbert, Beryl Levinger, and Óscar Mogollón to improve the quality and effectiveness of the schools in the country. The program was initially aimed at rural multi-grade schools where one or two teachers simultaneously taught all of the different grades. Schools like this were typically isolated, and in great need of help. Escuela Nueva is a globally recognized and proven social innovation that raises the quality of education. It benefits children, teachers, administrators, families, and the community through four interrelated and structured components: the curriculum and classroom, community, training, and management and evaluations.
With simple and structured strategies, Escuela Nueva promotes a classroom environment where students actively learn, participate, and collaborate. FEN also works to strengthen the relationship between the school and community. It is a flexible model tailored to meet the needs of each individual child, allowing students to complete units and advance to higher grade levels at their own pace.
The Escuela Nueva model focuses on the child, and is customized to his or her socio-economic environment. It improves learning retention and academic achievement, lowers the dropout and grade repetition rates, and promotes values of democracy and peaceful coexistence.
In the eighties and nineties, Escuela Nueva had a significant impact on education in Colombia. According to an international comparative study conducted by UNESCO in 1998, other than Cuba, Colombia provides the best primary education in all of Latin America to children living in rural areas. Also, with the exception of some major cities, Colombia became the only country in which rural schools performed better than schools in urban areas.
In 1989 the Escuela Nueva model was recognized by the World Bank as being one of the three most successful public policy reforms in developing countries around the world. Additionally, in 2000 the Human Development Report by the United Nations selected EN as one of the three greatest achievements in the country.