Sunday, July 14, 2013

What are the ten principles at the Colegio Fontån in Colombia? Here is a tour of the school and a guide in English

Start here:  For more info:

Please note:  Todos los derechos reservados por Colegio Fontán Envigado, Colombia

I hope the school will eventually post its website in English so that more schools can benefit from their philosophy.

The phrase Time is a variable is used in Colegio Fontán in Colombia.

Here is a rough translation of the Colegio Fontán's site  (done with Google Translate)


• Respect for the individual learning pace.

• Flexible Promotion (start and finish grade at any time of year).

• Excellence for all.

• Methodology individualized based on self-learning technology.

• Tutorial support smaller shops.

• permanent qualitative academic analysis.

• Development of autonomy and responsibility.

• Systematic development of intelligence.

• Level ICFES: Very superior.


Fontán College was the first educational innovation adopted in Colombia, in 1985 (Resolution 6963 of the Ministry of Education). But at the time of approval, the school Fontan was much more than a new school with a new proposal for education. It was actually a test center with a history of investigations of nearly 30 years of experience, from when doctors Ventura Fontan and Fontan Emilia Garcia, Catalan immigrants arrived in Colombia in 1953 and specialized in psychology, founded in Psychotechnical Center Medellin.

During the nearly three decades that preceded the emergence of educational innovation that first passed in Colombia as an institution of formal education, Psychotechnical Center conducted research in psychology of learning, looking for a scientific study of school learning process. For that he used scientific methods most renowned experimental psychology. The astonishing results that were emerging about the educational reality not only in Colombia but worldwide (called by Dr. Fontan's "contemporary educational catastrophe") led the Fontan husbands to initiate investigations in this direction: design and construction of new educational founded on principles radically different from those used in the world today.

During the years after its founding, the College Fontan operated as an experimental or laboratory of a new education system that has failed to prove to the world the perfect feasibility of radically different systems of traditional education, based on self-learning, flexible, and privileging the traditional written language on through oral class using interactive texts specially designed for it, and they can achieve unexpected levels of performance and intellectual motivation. Dr. Fontan, who sadly died in 1993, knew he was targeted at basic format of intellectual education of the next millennium. And Colombia had touched stay ahead of that current renewal. The idea was to provoke a genuine educational revolution that transformed from its very foundations technical and humanistic education throughout the world.
In the years after the death of its founder, his descendants have continued in the fight for the ideal of educational revolution, the new method in very diverse as corporate training systems and private education. But the basic ideal remains the same: Ultimately the Educational Revolution is inevitable. It's a question of the vision of our leaders which is Colombia, one of the places in the world where she came on their own, who uses it to overcome its serious ailments.

* The only real revolutions in the history of mankind were made in education. *

Steve's comment:  The English Speaking world would do well to visit Bogotá, Colombia and learn more about this school.

Here are the principles:
The aims of the College Fontan go beyond offering a new educational service. The College Fontan has been for many years a laboratory school, a test of experimental pedagogy designed to build the methodologies and tools that give support to the ideal of the "Education Revolution" sounded by its founder, Ventura Fontan.

In the Fontan system, the student is not in a classroom with a teacher teaching a subject. Nor is the student placed in grade groups (the group of sixth, ninth group), nor will anyone be giving explanations on a board. Work on the system is individual and self-study. The student is done with a self-study texts we call tau.
From Learning 1 to 1 Foundation
The taus are the main tool used by students to achieve excellence in every subject. Texts are designed specifically for personal work. The taus are not questionnaires. The taus are not for "study" nor to "learn them" is to make them well done, to work them. So the student must learn and practice.  All students work a specific methodology in tau, which helps you meet your goal in the shortest time possible.

Fontan System Principles

The principles of our system have been adopted one by one in response to demands theoretical or experimental findings, not denial (or in opposition a priori) of the principles of the traditional system.

a) Time varying and consistent performance
Natural learning is guided by this principle. What matters is to master knowledge, not simply "see" or "understand". We must reach the level of excellence required. The time is used to achieve secondary thing.

In the traditional school system, the student works with constant and variable performance time. In our system, the opposite: it works with variable and constant performance.

b) Principle of individualization
The student progresses at their own pace forever, not other. Use the time you need for optimum performance excellence. You can make a grade in four months, or maybe 15, or 23. It begins to work when you want and ends when known.
The student decides what subject studied and what time. What subjects choose, when examined, at what pace progresses. Each student receives the educational attention they need.

c) Transmission of knowledge written

The true university of our time is a collection of books, Carlyle said. That is, our civilization is a literate culture. The student of today must immerse yourself in that culture written, not only in primitive oral cultures. This "culture of knowledge" in which the world is made of knowledge lives logical, structured, apofánticos (of apofanio, show). And written language is much more effective than oral transmission of this kind of knowledge. We have to give priority to this culture written educational.

From Learning 1 to 1 Foundation
According to this principle, students who work in our educational system never learn "in class", hearing a teacher. Learn always reading. Now, students enter our ability to read very little, because the traditional system taught them to read mentally. To compensate for this deficiency, we began improving reading ability mentally. After working each subject by reading special texts (the tau), designed by us, which are consistently applied learning principles. In this way, continuously improve their mind-reading ability.

d) principle of excellence

The principle is this: excellence is for everybody. Not only for an elite. Everyone can achieve excellence: a matter of time. Mediocrity is not acceptable.
From Learning 1 to 1 Foundation
Our students have exams all working issues. The asking when they feel well prepared. The exams are difficult. In each must achieve excellence. The level of excellence is symbolized with numbers. The theoretical minimum to be achieved by the student is 9 points (out of 10). If you arrive at 10, a field analyst sends a written analysis that guides you on what to do. The student is then working on the issue to re-prepare. Reorder examination and so continues until it reaches the unequivocal excellence.
e) Emphasis on processes

The important thing is that students acquire functional capacity that allows the home study for life. It is important that you store "content", as these are always at your fingertips in one source (book, encyclopedia, atlas, database, etc..). The important thing is to refine their mental processes (cognitive or motivational) for the autonomous acquisition of knowledge.

f) intellectual pleasure principle

Education should be based on the experience of intellectual pleasure, not the concept of effort, duty or sacrifice. This is perhaps our favorite principle, which we consider as the basis of all the others.

g) Student Learning Initiative

In our system, the student learns always on their own initiative. Example: the student is given the statement of the theorem of Pythagoras to learn it. On the contrary, he "reinvented" the theorem based on their experience, by a process of induction.

h) Compliance with the laws of learning

The student learns always according to the natural laws of learning.

i) Principle of learning motivation

You can lead a horse to water but you can not make it drink. The student will learn only good when you want to. For this, the educational system must provide the proper motivation. Ours provides a motivation based primarily on intrinsic positive reinforcers. The student learns "for the sake of learning" as a true intellectual.
j) Principle of autonomy

The student must be "promoted" to a state of autonomy, not needing the teacher, to work and learn on their own, to be intellectually mature, etc.. Our system consistently applied this principle.

k) Accountability Principle

Fontan System trains the student to bear the responsibility for their learning, in all aspects. To do this, we continuously exposed to decision making, to make commitments, to analyze their performance, to self-assess, plan, etc..

Let's all learn a little Spanish... repeat the words below...

Los fines del Colegio Fontán van más allá del ofrecimiento de un servicio educativo novedoso.  El Colegio Fontán ha sido durante muchos anos un laboratorio educativo, un banco de pruebas de pedagogía experimental destinada a forjar las metodologías y herramientas que le dieran el soporte al ideal de la “Revolución Educativa” sonado por su fundador, Ventura Fontán.
En el Sistema Fontán, el estudiante no encuentra salones de clase con un profesor dictando una materia.  Tampoco encuentra grupos por grados (el grupo de sexto, el grupo de noveno), tampoco verá a nadie dando explicaciones en un tablero.  El trabajo en el Sistema es individual y autodidáctico.  El estudiante lo realiza con unos textos autodidácticos que llamamos taus.
Los taus son la herramienta principal que utilizan los estudiantes para lograr la excelencia en cada tema.  Son textos disenados expresamente para el trabajo personal.  Los taus no son cuestionarios, no son tests, no son exámenes.  Los taus no son para “estudiarlos”, ni para “aprendérselos”: son para hacerlos bien hechos, para trabajarlos.  Por eso el estudiante debe aprender y practicar toda una metodología específica del trabajo en los taus, que le ayuda a cumplir su meta en el menor tiempo posible.
Principios del Sistema Fontán
Los principios de nuestro sistema han sido adoptados uno por uno en respuesta a exigencias teóricas o a hallazgos experimentales, y no por negación (o por oposición a priori) de los principios del sistema tradicional.
a)   Tiempo variable y rendimiento constante
El aprendizaje natural se rige por este principio.  Lo que importa es dominar un conocimiento, no simplemente “verlo”, o “entenderlo”.  Hay que llegar a la excelencia en el nivel requerido.  El tiempo que se emplee en lograrlo es cosa secundaria.

En el sistema escolar tradicional, el estudiante trabaja con tiempo constante y rendimiento variable.  En nuestro sistema, todo lo contrario: trabaja con tiempo variable y rendimiento constante.
b)   Principio de individualización
El estudiante avanza siempre a su propio paso, no al de otros.  Emplea el tiempo que necesita para su rendimiento óptimo, de excelencia.  Puede hacer un grado escolar en 4 meses, o quizá en 15, o en 23.  Comienza a trabajar cuando quiere y termina cuando sabe.
El estudiante decide qué tema estudia y a qué hora.  Qué materias escoge, cuando se examina, a qué ritmo progresa.  Cada estudiante recibe la atención educativa que necesita.
c)   Transmisión escrita del conocimiento
La verdadera Universidad de nuestro tiempo es una colección de libros, decía Carlyle.  Es decir, nuestra civilización es una cultura escrita.  El estudiante de hoy debe sumergirse en esa cultura escrita, no sólo en las culturas orales primitivas.  Esa “cultura del conocimiento” en la que el mundo vive está hecha de conocimientos lógicos, estructurados, apofánticos (de apofanio, mostrar).  Y el lenguaje escrito es mucho más eficaz que el oral para la transmisión de esa clase de conocimientos.  Hemos de dar prioridad educativa a esta cultura escrita.

De acuerdo con este principio, los estudiantes que trabajan en nuestro sistema educativo no aprenden nunca “en clase”, oyendo hablar a un profesor.  Aprenden siempre leyendo.  Ahora bien: los estudiantes ingresan en nuestro sistema sabiendo leer muy poco, porque el sistema tradicional no les ensenó a leer mentalmente.  Para compensar esta deficiencia, comenzamos mejorando la capacidad de lectura mental del estudiante.  Luego trabajan cada materia leyendo en textos especiales (los taus), disenados por nosotros, en los que se aplican sistemáticamente los principios del aprendizaje.  En esta forma, mejoran continuamente su capacidad de lectura mental.
d)   Principio de excelencia
El principio es éste: la excelencia es para todos.  No sólo para una élite.  Todos pueden alcanzar la excelencia: es cuestión de tiempo.  La mediocridad no es admisible.
Nuestros estudiantes presentan exámenes de todos los temas que trabajan.  Los piden cuando ellos se sienten bien preparados.  Los exámenes son difíciles.  En cada uno deben alcanzar la excelencia.  El nivel de excelencia se simboliza con números.  El mínimo teórico que debe alcanzar el estudiante es de 9 puntos (sobre 10).  Si no llega al 10, un analista de materia le envía un análisis escrito, que le orienta sobre lo que debe hacer.  El estudiante sigue entonces trabajando sobre el tema hasta volverse a preparar.  Vuelve a pedir examen y así continúa hasta que alcanza la excelencia en forma inequívoca.
e)   Énfasis en procesos
Lo importante es que el estudiante adquiera una capacidad funcional que le permita la autodidaxis de por vida.  No es importante que almacene “contenidos”, pues estos están siempre a su alcance en alguna fuente (libro, enciclopedia, atlas, base de datos, etc.).  Lo importante es que perfeccione sus procesos mentales (cognoscitivos o motivacionales) para la adquisición autónoma de conocimientos.
f)    Principio del placer intelectual
La educación debe basarse en la experiencia del placer intelectual, no en el concepto de esfuerzo, deber o sacrificio.  Este es quizá nuestro principio preferido, el que consideramos como base de todos los demás.

g)   Aprendizaje por iniciativa del estudiante
En nuestro sistema, el estudiante aprende siempre por su propia iniciativa.  Ejemplo: al estudiante no se le da el enunciado del teorema de Pitágoras para que se lo aprenda.  Por el contrario, él mismo “reinventa” el teorema partiendo de su experiencia, por un proceso de inducción.
h)   Cumplimiento de las leyes del aprendizaje
El estudiante aprende siempre de acuerdo a las leyes naturales del aprendizaje.
i)     Principio de motivación del aprendizaje
Puedes llevar el caballo al agua, pero no puedes obligarlo a beber.  El estudiante sólo aprenderá bien cuando desee hacerlo.  Para ello, el sistema educativo debe brindarle la motivación adecuada.  El nuestro ofrece una motivación basada sobre todo en reforzadores positivos intrínsecos.  El estudiante aprende “por el gusto de aprender”, como un auténtico intelectual.
j)    Principio de autonomía
El estudiante debe ser “promovido” a un estado de autonomía, de no necesitar al maestro, de trabajar y aprender por su cuenta, de ser intelectualmente maduro, etc.  Nuestro sistema aplica sistemáticamente este principio.
k)   Principio de responsabilidad
El Sistema Fontán adiestra al estudiante a cargar con la responsabilidad de su aprendizaje, en todos los aspectos. Para ello, lo expone continuamente a la toma de decisiones, a adquirir compromisos, a analizar su desempeno, a auto-evaluarse, a planificar, etc.
Please give some hits to the videos about Colegio Fontán and the school's website  Thank you.
Visit this video about Learning 1to1

Learning 1 to 1

There is a similar "one to one" video here
These clips are the portions of the video that show Colegio Fontán.  There are also views of a school in South Africa and a school in Scandinavia.

The Link to the video

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Give a click.  Let's make this video hit one million by 2015.

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