Founded in 1987 in Colombia, Fundación Escuela Nueva (FEN) is a nonprofit committed to improve the quality, relevance, and efficiency of education by rethinking the way we learn and promoting active, participatory, cooperative, and personalized learning, centered on the learner.
For the past 33 years, FEN has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of children and their families through quality education that empowers them as individuals. Their pedagogical approach nurtures an ethos of peace and participation where children, teachers, and communities are the main actors of change. The goal of FEN is for all children, regardless of their context, to have access to quality education and opportunities to fully develop their human potential and achieve outstanding outcomes.
Through work with students, teachers, educational administrators, and communities, FEN transforms the conventional, teacher-centered approach to learning into a child-centered, cooperative learning approach that equips and empowers students to learn to learn. FENÂs work and educational approach has benefited more than seven million children across 16 Latin American countries, Vietnam, East Timor, and Zambia.
When schools systems fail students, nations miss the opportunity to build effective citizens of the future.
Escuela Nueva is a child-centered model that improves basic education.
Vicky Colbert sees all children achieving academic performance, escaping poverty. and contributing to the civic life of their communities.
Escuela Nueva's teacher training model has been replicated in Latin America and Asia.
All children, regardless of their context, develop their full potential to thrive and live prosperous lives through a quality education that equips them and empowers them to be contributing individuals of a flourishing society; reducing inequality and combating poverty.
FENworks mainly in public schools and with educational authorities, as they are the primary vehicle to scale impact and influence public policy. To ensure quality and sustainability, FEN also partners with other actors and stakeholders that support systemic uptake of programs, research, evaluation, and replication.
From an early age, Vicky Colbert was convinced that achieving sustainable democracy required that all children be educated to become future citizens of their country. In her twenties, she followed in the footsteps of her mother as an educator, and was moved by the civil conflict that decimated communities and families in Columbia, leaving a large void in quality education for the country’s poor. As a result, in 1975 she co-designed the Escuela Nueva pedagogical model to reach and empower poor, rural children in Columbia through quality education methods. After completing her undergraduate Sociology degree at Javeriana University in Colombia and earning two masters degrees--one in Sociology of Education, and the other in Comparative International Education from Stanford University--she started the Fundación Escuela Nueva (FEN) in 1987. She has been the Executive Director of ENF ever since, sharing and adapting the Escuela Nueva model in Columbia and internationally, as well as continuing to innovate and enhance the model through new developments and programs.
In addition to becoming a fellow at the Schwab Foundation and Ashoka, she has received numerous awards, including: World Technology Award in Social Entrepreneurship (2005), Revista Semana’s 100 Most Influential Women of Columbian History Award (2005), Clinton Global Citizenship Award (2008), WISE (World Innovation Summit in Education) Award (2009), Kravis Prize in Nonprofit Leadership (2011) and WISE Prize Education Laureate (2013).