Chapter VI. Pedagogical Model
The pedagogical model is understood as a form adopted by the Gimnasio to select, organize, build and evaluate the way to reach and develop knowledge in the teaching-learning process. It is also understood that building knowledge is a particular way of generating impact on culture, environment, science, technology and, in general, on transformative and innovative thinking. The Gimnasio welcomes a different perspective to that of the individualistic classical school, decontextualized, which fragments knowledge and separates it from the world and experiences. Instead, it proposes a contextualized learning, loaded with experiences, with the active and enthusiastic participation of the students and the connection of these in the community where they interact.
Thus, the teaching and learning processes in the Gimnasio aim towards helping the development of the capacities, competences and human qualities required by a contemporary citizen. To this end, it is essential that students understand the world they are in from a critical position and, taking into account their potentialities, contribute not only to their progress but also to the improvement of their environment and, therefore, of society.
These ideas that shelter the educational project are based on the self-structuring model and recognize the principles of constructivism, the Active School, and interactionism. These principles frame a way of conceiving the educational act and serve as a compass in the moment of thinking about how the development of the students is promoted, how they learn, how they teach and which are the most appropriate methodologies and didactics for the formation of the citizens of the 21st century.
Each of these perspectives provides conceptual references that provide a general framework for the approach developed by the Gimnasio. From this point of view, the student is understood as an active “builder” of his or her knowledge structures, without denying the teacher’s activity and the social and cultural context as mediators that make the student’s progress and development possible.
The role of the teacher is no longer that of “transmitter of information” in the traditional sense of teaching. He or she is, above all, a generator of possibilities who stimulates curiosity and helps students develop their abilities. It is recognized that learning means, above all, entering a world of uncertainties, in unknown territories, where the learner inquires, experiments, makes mistakes. Error does not mean failure, but rather an opportunity to continue learning. From this perspective, the task of the teacher is to keep the flame of the question alive, stimulating and inspiring his or her students. This is what we mean by Constructivism.
For its part, the Active School, within its guiding principles, maintains that, from its own and individual experience, learning is achieved. That is why it conceives of a student who is proactive, who reads his or her environment, asks questions, and identifies problematic situations. The student ceases to be a passive receptor to be recognized as a social subject, a protagonist of learning.
Finally, interactionism recognizes the importance of subject interactions in learning and development, since it is precisely in the exchange of ideas, in the recognition of divergent points of view, in the support of peers, that meanings are negotiated. A major consequence of this conception is the transformation of the relations that occur within the classroom, since it is a matter of making multiple interactions possible and showing that development occurs in the richness of exchanges with others.
Consequences to the conceptual statements for the pedagogical practice
We understand that these learning relationships, from a conception that combines constructivism, the Active School and interactionism, are opposed to the idea of learning as passive reception and as a solitary and decontextualized task. Precisely, the Gimnasio focuses its attention on the construction of meaningful experiences that actively involve students, taking into account their previous knowledge, interests, needs and capacities.
Within this context, three basic principles are identified. First, the complexity of learning is understood in terms of the development of subjectivities, potentialities and talents. Second, teaching is conceived as the organization and creation of conditions, devices, and interventions that favor the development and construction of knowledge on behalf of the students, as an addition to the increase of self-confidence as learners, perseverance, and enthusiasm for individual and collective learning. Thirdly, it recognizes that teaching and learning processes take place within a didactic system framed in a participatory environment that links institutional, social and political contexts.
From these principles, an educational approach focused on the student is promoted in pedagogical practices, which rescues the principles of the Active School, which goes beyond the disciplinary areas of knowledge, oriented towards learning how to learn, which conceives reading and writing as social practices, fundamental to interpret, criticize and transform the world, which also recognizes and vindicates the importance of mathematical and scientific knowledge to understand the world, which goes beyond being centered on teaching to promote the development of students and their learning. An education that takes into account formative evaluation, where emphasis is placed on the developments achieved and that fosters different didactics, articulated with the use of knowledge in problem solving.
The axes that articulate the pedagogical proposal are closely linked to the challenges that emerged at the Bicentennial Flight Thinking Table. Thus, in the recognition of the power of language, research, Pedagogy by Projects, critical and scientific thinking, the use of new technologies and ethical training become the transversal axes that articulate and take shape in the pedagogical proposal of the Gimnasio that is reflected in the curricula and activities carried out in all fields of knowledge.
Language is indissolubly linked to the essence of the human. There is no activity that is not mediated by it; thanks to it, the human being interprets reality, takes possession of it, constructs meanings and builds himself as a subject. Through this characteristic, human beings elaborate their representations of natural and social reality, build knowledge, communicate among themselves and recreate their realities through the creation of possible worlds. For these reasons, language is the backbone of the pedagogical practices of all the subjects that make up the school’s curriculum.
Language is made concrete through the tongue. That is why the school recognizes the importance of learning the mother tongue, but also other languages from a discursive approach that broadens the horizon of the world. We take up Halliday’s (1982) approach that “we do not only know our language […] as an abstract system of vocal signs, or as if it were a kind of grammar text with a dictionary attached; we know it in the sense of knowing how to use it, we know how to communicate with other people, how to choose forms of language appropriate to the type of situation in which we find ourselves […] we know how to behave linguistically“. (p. 23). In this sense, learning other languages implies recognizing the difference and understanding the ways of acting of the cultures. Therefore, the school is committed to a bilingual education in which the knowledge of new languages enables the understanding of the close and global environment.
In the Gimnasio Moderno curiosity is the driving force behind inquiry. The aim is to foster a culture of research throughout the school life. We opt for a teaching that privileges research as a way to transform the educational act and to situate the importance of reading and problematizing local and global contexts.
The reading of the environment and the question are then fundamental aspects of the practices in the school. Therefore, in the different sections, spaces are made available so that through genuine questions, processes of investigation are initiated, which little by little become research exercises that allow the resolution of those disturbing and significant questions through authentic searches, which propitiate new understandings of the environment. Curiosity and a sharp perspective at the context become key elements in developing these processes.
The inquiry process begins in the Preschool with the Classroom Projects, is then strengthened in Primary and Lower Secondary with the principles of the Active School, and finally it ends in the last years of High School with the presentation of research projects and the deepening of vocations.
An education that has culture of research as a lighthouse allows an integral development, since it is:
- Unique: because the process begins from the questions of each student, taking into account their expectations, alternative concepts and interests.
- Contextual: because it is conceived and developed from the problematization of a determined space and time.
- Globalizing: because it aims to put into practice the knowledge built in an integrated manner to respond to the problem stated.
- Active: since the students are the protagonists of the knowledge construction process.
- Collaborative: because the process of interaction is necessary as well as the dialogue of knowledge, the exchange of ideas with peers and with diverse sources.
- Transformative: Because the development of research seeks to make knowledge relevant and useful, both for the student and for the community.
Research is an inexhaustible source of interrogations and transformation processes and shares with Nussbaum (2010) the thesis that we have to cultivate the imagination of young people so that they are able to see the world from a different point of view than themselves; one way to achieve this is through research.
Pedagogy through projects
Project pedagogy in the Gimnasio Moderno is understood as a pedagogical approach focused on learning and framed within the Active School, Interactionism and social Constructivism. In the project approach, students’ motivations, interests, prior knowledge and questions are valued, and they are placed at the center of a constant dialogue with other learning communities. This stimulates the investigative spirit, personal academic concerns, leadership and the deep desire to provide solutions to communities that need them in the local and global environment.
In project pedagogy, curiosity, the social construction of knowledge, critical thinking, social and environmental awareness, collaborative work, interdisciplinarity, research, the ethical use of information and technologies, and academic thoroughness naturally converge.
These projects are based on questions that are discussed among all the members of the group of students; the teacher will carry out the role of mediator so that they are sure of the task they will undertake. As noted by the BIE Institute:
“Project Based Learning (PBL) prepares students for academic, personal, and career success, and readies young people to rise to the challenges of their lives and the world they will inherit”. (p. 17)
ESSENTIAL COMPONENTS OF PROJECTS PEDAGOGY
In the Gimnasio Moderno and according to Steinberg (2002) and Lenz (2015), the following essential elements can be recognized when planning a project within this pedagogy:
- The student’s ability to produce knowledge that has personal or social value. When something is said to be authentic, it usually means that it is real or genuine, that it is not false. In the education sector, this concept indicates to what extent the learning or the task is “of the real world”. Authenticity increases student motivation and learning.
- Problem or question that poses a challenge. The core of a project is a problem that needs to be investigated and solved, or a question that must be analyzed and answered.
- Structured path. The project should challenge the student to acquire and apply research knowledge and methods from various areas of learning (STEM, Thought Language and Society, Aesthetics, Body Development, Life Project). Such student interactions with information, knowledge, teachers and experts should allow the student to consolidate higher order thinking skills, as well as develop their autonomy, and learn to efficiently manage time to avoid bad practices such as improvisation or procrastination.
- The research process takes time, so a project will last longer than a few days. In the GM the projects will last one or two trimesters. Projects must use various sources of information: they will combine searching for sources on the internet, libraries, databases, with interviews of experts, field trips and experimentation.
- Applying learning. It is pertinent that students develop projects in which they intend to solve problems that are related to real life and to the needs of specific communities. The project requires self-management, autonomy and efficient time management skills. The application of learning implies the use of technological and communication tools (ICT) in an ethical and responsible manner; as well as interpersonal skills: effective communication, conversation, teamwork, adaptability, problem solving ability, creativity, ethics, time management.
- Student opinion and choice. Having an opinion on a project generates a feeling of ownership in the students, they care more about the project and work more. If students cannot use their judgment when solving a problem and answering a key question, the project is perceived simply as an exercise or as a follow-up to a series of instructions.
- Active exploration. Requires the student to carry out field work for a significant amount of time. Active exploration allows students to fully appropriate the contexts and environments of their research.
- John Dewey, whose ideas continue to fuel thinking about Project-Based Learning (PBL), wrote: “We don’t learn from experience. We learn by reflecting on the experience. ” During a project, students — and the teacher — should reflect on what they are learning, how they are learning, and why they are learning. Reflecting can take place informally, as part of classroom culture and dialogue, but should also be an explicit part of the project journal, scheduled formative assessment, discussions of some points of the project, and public presentations of learner work . Reflecting on the knowledge and understanding of the content acquired helps students to consolidate what they have learned and to think about how to apply it in other aspects.
- Interaction with adults. It allows the student to meet and observe adults with experience and professional training in the different relevant knowledge.
- Public product. A product can be something tangible or it can be the presentation of a solution to a problem or the answer to a key question. First, as with authenticity, the public product adds a high degree of motivation to PBL and encourages high-quality work.
Additionally, in this section it is pertinent to clarify the roles of students and teachers as follows:
Students. They are at the center of the teaching-learning process and are the main actors in their own training process. They actively participate in the construction of the project and intervene significantly in the decision-making, implementation and evaluation processes of the projects. They are the main character of their own learning process, they work as a team with their peers, teachers and experts. Students develop their creativity, autonomy and responsibility, being aware of their role as investigating agent and transformer of their environment. The researcher students of the Gimnasio Moderno are methodical and strive, first, to always seek the truth, it means that the students investigate reality, facts and data. Secondly, the students interpret the data obtained in order to describe or explain it. Their activities motivate them to appropriate or even expand the existing knowledge. Third, the researcher students of the Gimnasio Moderno apply the new knowledge in a practical way and disseminate it or present it to the academic community to which it belongs, as well as to the beneficiary community to which such knowledge is relevant or useful. (Calvert & Martin, 2001).
Teacher. The role of the teacher in project pedagogy is to mediate the student’s learning processes. A teacher who, by his/her example, teaches his/her students to appreciate and use uncertainty, because he/she recognizes in it a new opportunity for learning as also recognizes the intellectual and personal growth that it may provide. The teacher in the Gimnasio Moderno must design his/her own strategies for the development of significant skills, abilities and learning in students.
Teacher helps students to question themselves, to correct themselves, to efficiently organize resources, time, and materials for the development of the project.
The teacher of the Gimnasio Moderno is a leader, since he/she guides the researcher students through constant reflection, evaluation and group discussion and provides them with the necessary to optimize their processes. Likewise, the teachers of the Gimnasio Moderno strengthen and streamline the evaluation processes in order to generate reflection, autonomy and academic thoroughness in students.
To define and support precisely the pedagogy for projects for the Gimnasio Moderno, the following authors and their proposals were taken as references. According to Rincón (2006), project pedagogy “allows to articulate theory and practice; overcome in school life the insularity and aggregation of content that must be developed because it ‘has to be done’, but rather to ‘study’ them and thus ‘address in teaching what is interesting, what is the question, what you want to investigate because it is a problem with a sense of belonging, not only in the environment but also in disciplinary matters”. Furthermore, at the same time those significant educational processes are developed, a way of learning to learn is fostered and an autonomous citizen is emerging in a democratic society.
On the other hand, Hernando (2015) states that in the project-based educational approach, students are the main characters of their own learning. They are the ones who, based on their personal needs and interests, propose different ideas and strategies, which, once reflected in autonomous projects, will allow them to know, learn and appropriate in a significant way the knowledge from the different fields of knowledge, thus leaving aside the subjects. The projects must be framed in a local, national or international context, with the purpose of getting students to approach the resolution of this problem or question as citizens of the world, aware of the impact their decisions and actions have, not only in their closer contexts, but nationally and internationally; likewise, being students aware of the world around them can broaden their academic, social and cultural environments.
Elements such as curiosity, the social construction of knowledge, critical thinking, social and environmental awareness, collaborative work, interdisciplinarity, research, the ethical use of information and technologies, and academic thoroughness are important within this pedagogy, since they are considered key factors that seek to enhance the strengths of the students and put their interests, motivations and prior knowledge at the center of the pedagogical action in order to ensure that the learning obtained is meaningful for all members that are involved in the project.
ARTICULATION WITH THE PEI (INSTITUTIONAL EDUCATIONAL PROJECT)
Projects pedagogy is contemplated in the PEI (Institutional Educational Project) of the Gimnasio Moderno, since they constitute the active School, since “this work strategy facilitates the insertion of the school in life”. According to Jean Vassileff (1997), projects pedagogy allows “the development of the projection capacities of the subjects that are training to achieve a transformation of their relationship with the world”.
Projects Pedagogy involves negotiated actions between students and teachers, rethinking their roles and making both interact in a teaching and learning process within the framework of cooperative actions and agreements. Projects Pedagogy reveals its potential to the extent that it enables the execution of meaningful learning, giving a place to the interests, needs, motivations and prior knowledge of students. Projects work calls for teachers and students to form interdisciplinary teams, where research is enhanced and school coexistence obtains a new meaning, the construction of knowledge and multicultural visions of the world.
Although in projects pedagogy it is necessary to recognize certain stages or states that allow all actors to control and account for processes, constructions and learning, these should not be limited to some steps that must be strictly carried out, since there is a risk of leaving out of the proposal determining elements of this pedagogy such as creativity, collaboration, problem solving and the development of cross-skills. For this reason, in the Gimnasio Moderno the following implementation route is proposed, expressed in the following stages that must be considered when putting this pedagogical proposal into practice.
Phase 1: Active Exploration and Initial Inquiry. The teacher creates a space for the questions and personal interests of each student to arise, in order to carry out a first investigative approach to the concerns and needs previously evidenced. Thus, the project starts from the previous knowledge.
Phase 2. Definition and collective planning of the project.
Starts from a respectful and academic dialogue between the students and the teachers, which takes into account the interests, questions and realities of the students, the identification of the problem, the formulation of the guiding questions, the objectives of the project and the learning objectives. A work schedule will be agreed with clear and reasonable dates, and work groups are organized, which will preferably be couples or three people per group. As recommended by Jolibert and Rincón, contracts for personal and group activities should be established with the students. In this phase, according to Rincón (2006), an attempt should be made to answer the following questions collectively and by consensus: What are you going to do to learn (topic)? What do you want to learn about this topic (subtopics)? Why? How? When? Where? With whom (guests, collaborators), or with what resources? What is the project going to be called? and How is the project going to be evaluated? In this phase, a first approach to the final product is made.
In this phase the projects should consider the contributions made by the Curricular Support Group (GAC), in order to have a look at the project from the different learning areas: STEM, Thought Language and Society, Aesthetics, Body development, Life Project
Phase 3. Determination of learning content and skills to develop. In this phase and jointly between the teacher, the students, the environment (local, national and international), the community and the experts, it will be worked on the knowledge and skills to be developed, as well as the project evaluation rubric.
Phase 4. Execution. In this phase, all previously agreed tasks that allow the construction of significant knowledge and learning experiences for students are developed, which must be mediated by reflection and formative evaluation processes. This phase is enriched as the project develops, that is, the teacher and the student-researcher will find themselves with the need to address certain knowledge and skills. It is recommended to make use of didactic resources, activities, workshops, and didactic sequences that allow the student to investigate and apply new knowledge that provide the theoretical bases and academic thoroughness necessary for the project and the construction of significant learning and the skills of the 21st century.
Phase 5. Socialization of the project. In this phase, the moments of socialization or representation of the final product are considered, regardless of the nature of this product, according to the different areas of learning. During socialization, the presence of expert peers and members of the school community is vital so that they can participate in the process of formative evaluation and feedback of the result. It is advisable in this phase to present the results of the project to the beneficiary community.
Phase 6. Formative and authentic evaluation. The formative evaluation will be understood as a process that will be developed in a cross and progressive way in all the phases of the project. This will allow students and teachers to have information about the competencies and skills developed by the students. It should also allow establishing levels of development in relation to the learning achieved, the quality of the product (regardless of what it is), and its insertion in a learning community. All this through rubrics that consider self-evaluation, co-evaluation and single-evaluation.
The execution of the previously explained phases, depending on the project and its level of complexity, will take place over a trimester, a semester or a year. At the end of these feasible times, all projects will be finished. Within the previously described phases, the presence of experimental activities, excursions, workshops, talks, conferences, specific readings, among other activities that allow students to develop specific and cross skills, should be considered.
According to Ausubel (2000), “With the expression «meaningful learning» we are referring, first of all, to a distinctive type of learning process and also, although in a secondary way, to the significant result of learning -the achievement of a new meaning- (…). At the same time meaningful learning as a process supposes both that the student adopts a meaningful learning attitude and that the material he learns is potentially significant for him, which means that it is linkable with relevant ideas in his cognitive structure”. The new meanings that the student acquires are the product of a non-arbitrary, non-literal, active and integrating interaction between the new instructional materials and relevant ideas already existing in the student’s knowledge structure.
Relationships Between The Pedagogical Model And Assessment
The pedagogical model proposed by the school recognizes that ways of learning and teaching have changed, and that today’s school demands new ways of relating to learning, since, as has already been pointed out, thinking and acting in the modern world involves reflecting on how human beings construct knowledge, how they generate forms of learning that allow for its appropriation, how they can use it in relation to other knowledge and other realities, what their role is in culture and in history. These relationships with learning establish different ways of acting, which basically depend on what the Gimnasio considers important to empower students. It is clear that from this model it is not the behaviors that are evaluated but the cognitive structures, the forms of social interaction, the transfers and the integrality in the formation.
In this sense, the School distances itself from how the assessment of learning has traditionally been conceived. The pedagogical work of evaluation in the Gimnasio is not so much of a quantitative nature, which seeks to standardize groups in order to regulate behavior or only verify observable conduct. Assessment is assumed from the qualitative paradigm, which emphasizes learning processes and individual student differences, not as a way to measure learning, but as the possibility of understanding the processes carried out by students in the acquisition of knowledge. In this way, models of formative and authentic assessment are recognized, in which students evaluate themselves, are evaluated by their peers and by the teacher, which implies the opportunity to learn from their difficulties and to improve the quality of their learning. The main issue of assessment is then to design tasks that are relevant and valid and that help to highlight various aspects involved in the use of students’ knowledge.
Consequently, evaluation in the Gimnasio Moderno is characterized by being continuous, comprehensive, reasoned and qualitative. It becomes a tool for systematic reflection on how knowledge is built and used, and involves all participants in the educational process. In this sense, it is not reduced only to verify how much the student has learned or how much he or she knows, but it takes into account fundamental aspects, such as how he has learned it, what those learnings are for, through which paths he or she has reached them and how he or she is going to use them. For this reason, the school sees assessment as a tool that seeks to value the comprehensive education of the student and assumes the development of the educational process as a whole.
From this perspective, the assessment of learning requires a process of planning the assessment exercise in which the results enrich the views of teachers and students on the domains of knowledge, systems of thought, what they are getting to learn, to properly adjust the assistance to be provided in each case, so that the assessment is not something foreign.
Thus, the evaluation system of the School contemplates four levels of performance. These four levels are: Recognizing, understanding, analyzing and applying.
At the recognition or recall level the student has become familiar with the new information, relating it to the knowledge he already knows.
At the level of understanding, it should be evident that the student is capable of organizing the information to achieve the integration of knowledge in different situations.
At the level of transfer, the use of knowledge must be evidenced significantly. Transfer is based on the student’s ability to apply his knowledge in different contexts. The student is able to gather the information, generalize it and solve any kind of problem.
With these levels, improvement in the evaluation mechanisms is required and the aim is to establish not how much the student does not know, but what he knows, how he knows it, when he can activate it, in what contexts he effectively uses it and what difficulties he finds in doing so. This way, assessment becomes an articulated sequence of joint activities between teacher and student. These actions have a representation and an equivalence in the Institutional Student’s Institutional Promotion and Assessment System attached to this document.
As a consequence of these relationships between pedagogical model, teaching strategies – learning – evaluation, can be synthesized in these key ideas :How do we learn in the Gimnasio? We learn best when what we study is related to our life, our context, our problems and interests. We learn through example. We learn by asking. We learn by doing. We learn from experience. We learn by reflecting. We learn by discussing with others. We learn when we apply knowledge in a project. We learn by solving problems. We learn from our mistakes. We learn when we have context about what we study. We learn by working as a team. We learn when we relate the areas of knowledge. We learn by playing around because the environment educates more than discourse: a democratic environment educates more than hours of theoretical classes about democracy. The pedagogical model of the Gimnasio Moderno is assumed, above all, as an articulated system that interrelates its actors and proposes a particular way of conceiving educational practice taking into account what kind of human being one wants to educate.
Citizens of Colombia and the World: Internationalization In The Gimnasio Moderno (See Chapter II)
Internationalization and interculturality in the Gimnasio Moderno starts from the principle of recognizing diversity and the enrichment it brings to understand each other locally and globally. This framework makes it possible to establish that internationalization seeks to recognize a broad set of good practices that enable the teaching and learning experiences to be enhanced, but also seeks to generate connections between cultures, recognizing the richness that exists in them.
In this order of ideas, the internationalization program seeks to establish cultural relationships, negotiations and exchanges and develop an interaction between culturally diverse people, knowledge and practices. This premise confers an international and intercultural dimension to teaching and learning mechanisms, through the academic mobility of students, teachers and researchers, as well as participation in networks, internationalization of the curriculum, research and management.
The proposal of mobility programs would allow gymnastic students and teachers not only to enrich academic experiences, but also cultural and social ones. Contact with other cultures can serve to open new intellectual horizons and develop more tolerant ways of thinking. These types of exchanges aim to promote the ability to learn – always critically – from others and that others also learn from us, emphasizing that it implies an intercultural exchange that assumes cultures on equal terms, so that they enrich each other. Academic exchange with other countries also brings the opportunity to avoid inbreeding, identified as an important limitation, both in European and Latin American cultures (Aghion et al., 2009; Salmi, 2013).
On the other hand, for a school whose principle is the development of a research culture, internationalization is a favorable setting for exchanging experiences and consolidating the academic community in various settings, both for students and teachers.
The principles of internationalization are based on the following guidelines:
- Academic Mobility
- Curricular Development
- International Networks
En cuanto a movilidad académica, el Gimnasio Moderno promueve el desplazamiento de su comunidad a otros lugares del país y del mundo, con programas de inmersión, campos de verano y programas de corta duración, como excursiones nacionales e internacionales, programas de emprendimiento y liderazgo y modelos de Naciones Unidas locales, nacionales e internacionales. Así genera oportunidades de estudio en el exterior para la comunidad a través de convenios de inmersión académico-cultural y posibilita el surgimiento de redes de trabajo colaborativo con el intercambio de prácticas de alumnos y profesores. De igual forma, el Gimnasio promueve de manera activa programas nacionales e internacionales de capacitación para sus alumnos y docentes.
Curricular development is oriented towards the construction of agreements that ensure the right to quality education for all students, through national and international content that facilitate updating in teaching-learning and incorporates experiences of innovation. The academic environment is permeated by digital platforms, which serve to host didactic material and learning activities in a virtual environment, in a logical and organized manner in accordance with the structure of an academic program, with the aim of establishing achievement-oriented educational relationships of learning and the formation of cultural and personal skills to face the global world.
The Gimnasio seeks to promote the study and improvement of a second language in all students and teachers and to develop intercultural skills, which not only refers to the knowledge of other cultures, but also to the ability to assess individual and cultural differences for the sake of individual. For its part, international benchmarks in Positive Education are studied to incorporate curricular innovations into our programs.
The Gimnasio Moderno has established different associations and has managed to establish academic networks through its Cultural Agenda and the School of Teachers, to facilitate the generation of alliances and the exchange of experiences and knowledge, as well as the participation of our teachers in academic programs and joint research projects. The participation of various Nobel Laureates and prestigious worldwide speakers will enrich the academic environment of our community. Similarly, as a cross-cutting axis, literature encourages different learning styles and preferred styles permeated by the cultural environment.
The Gimnasio Moderno has encouraged the creation of new inter-institutional ties and has cultivated the existing ones through collaborations in different events. As part of internationalization and thus, forming a participation in academic networks, it seeks that students respond effectively to the social and academic challenges of the 21st century, and recognize themselves as leaders of change and promote new competences such as teamwork, collective leadership and the ability to generate changes in society.
To take on the challenges of such globalization, the Gimnasio Moderno is creating internationalization policies accompanied by intercultural education that is promoted in the classroom. In this way, students will have the opportunity to build cognitive skills for problem solving, and social skills that will allow them to interact with people from different national and international cultures. Internationalization will not be limited to teaching the international vision of an area of study, but will focus on topics of general world culture such as history, customs, economy and global news. In recent years, the Gimnasio has become part of international networks such as ASHOKA and IPEN (International Positive Education Network), which promote leadership, empathy, entrepreneurship, teamwork, flourishing, happiness, the development of character and teamwork, among others.
Pedagogical Structure: Sections and Areas
The mission of the Gimnasio Moderno is to educate students comprehensively to allow children and adolescents to find their own light in the school. Its vision is that this environment of trust and freedom, creativity, love for knowledge and personal effort, fellowship and autonomy, exchange with the world and knowledge of their country, will allow our graduates to be leaders in the university and in their lives, to stand out in society as examples of freedom and honesty, as people capable of building innovation and democracy together with others wherever they are.
For this comprehensive education our students go through a fourteen years path, where the areas and sections work intensively together for their development and learning. The Gimnasio Moderno has four sections: the Preschool, which goes from Montessori I to First; the Primary, which goes from Second to Fifth grade; the Middle School, from Sixth to Ninth grade; and finally, the Fourth Section or High School, which covers the last two grades, tenth and eleventh. With the exception of the Fourth Section, each Section comprises four years. This path is in turn developed transversally by the areas of knowledge, which are responsible for structuring the contribution of these disciplines at the level that children and adolescents are studying.
The Preschool Section is the gateway to the Gimnasio and the beginning of a great journey that students and their families are beginning on this significant journey of education for life. The fundamental objective for this section is the loving, warm, clear and disciplined accompaniment of our students. The section is made up of grades Montessori I, Montessori II, Montessori III and First Grade. The ages of the children are between 4 and 7 years old.
Section guidelines and objectives
The Preschool Section is an extension of the family in the school. Therefore, topics such as care, protection, interest, security and values are the main goals of the section, in line with the philosophy of Ovid Decroly and Maria Montessori, who recognize the child as the center of the process and as the protagonist of learning. The child who enters the Preschool Section is considered as a unique, particular subject, who brings with him a series of knowledge, experiences and previous experiences that will determine his way of approaching the School. From this broad perspective, the Gimnasio relates to each child through his teachers, which allows for the difference and particularity of each one of them. We believe that children can only consider the existence of others when they learn to consider their own existence.
The fundamental objective is to inspire children towards an integral development of their habits and talents, their emotions, their relationships with others and with the context. We educate in integrality so that:
- The development of their emotional intelligence allows children to be happy, emotionally stable, self-confident, autonomous, disciplined, clear, coherent.
- They manage to create appropriate connections and bonds through their interpersonal relationships.
- A sense of social awareness is awoken and fed in them.
- They become solidary, empathic citizens who are sensible towards difference.
- They may differentiate between what is right and wrong and that his acts are a reflection of ethics.
- They can develop reflective and critical thinking that allows them to be active in decision making and therefore have the ability to choose and act correctly.
- Acquire the necessary knowledge, information and culture that will allow you to become an active part of the demands of a globalized world that is increasingly vigorous and demanding with its citizens in the future.
Pedagogical Development: Work through Projects
The Montessori philosophy states that children learn from their own interests, curiosities and context, by experimenting, doing, acting, forming an active part of the learning process through projects that connect their interests with world situations. Project based pedagogy uses these principles but also recognizes that learning is not only the result of the individual’s relationship with the environment, but that it is built from the interaction that he establishes with others. For this reason, contextualized and meaningful learning is made possible from preschool onwards, as well as the active, creative and guided participation of teachers in participatory settings where children develop their abilities in an environment where autonomy, freedom and cooperation are fundamental.
Interdisciplinary work is fundamental and the curriculum is integrated from the different knowledges. It is based on a question that can be addressed by the different disciplines and solved with the participation of all of them. The integration of the areas, based on the interests of the child, makes learning meaningful and more valuable. The integration of the different areas of knowledge, their planning and execution are stated from the curricula, which are the fundamental axis of the pedagogical practice.
The teachers of the section have, among others, the function of prolonging the action and influence of the parents in the school, as well as articulating the formative and academic process. They hold regular meetings to plan project activities, to assess the acquisition of knowledge, individual and group performance of students. As a final result of each classroom project, the children communicate their findings about the questions that arose in their process of inquiry and understanding of the world to the community. On their end, the teachers also become researchers, since through the systematization of experiences they achieve a deep and situated reflection of the strategies that allowed the development of the children.
On the other hand, the knowledge of each and every one of the students is fundamental. For this reason, the group directors meet individually with the coordination and the psychologist of the section in order to give a report, both academic and behavioral, of each of their students. This report is the consolidation of the information gathered from all the teachers of the level. As a result of this follow-up, recommendations are given such as external therapies, assistance to the Institutional Program of Systematized Tasks (PITS) that is offered during out-of-school hours, parents’ appointments to keep them informed of their children’s performance and pedagogical support, etc.
Students are also monitored during the Group Directions which take place from Monday to Friday. Parents are a definite element in the achievement of the objectives for Preschool. For this reason, they are regularly summoned to participate in conflict resolution of particular cases, as well as to workshops that allow a better functioning within some groups. They are also invited to the different activities that are programmed so that they can get to know and appreciate the work done by the children, both academically and personally. The comprehensive education of the students is also fulfilled by the activities of the Gimnasio Moderno, such as field trips and pedagogical excursions.
The Primary School continues with the educational efforts of the Preschool, attending to the comprehensive development of the students. The section provides them with the necessary elements to harmoniously develop their full potential in the spiritual, moral, social-emotional, mental and physical dimensions, enabling them to become young men with qualities and aptitudes that are valuable for their well-being and that of their community. We believe in an education that accepts that each student is unique and singular, with his or her own characteristics, possibilities and needs and, based on this conviction, we work towards building an educational community that respects and celebrates difference.
Section guidelines and objectives
The work on ethical and moral education in primary school has the following objectives:
- To promote the development of children’s moral autonomy, understood as the ability to make their own decisions based on moral values and reciprocal relationships. It is necessary to help them to recognize, make their own and assume values and attitudes that are transmitted to them through the different areas of socialization (family, school, society). As a consequence of this appropriation, the ability to act out of conviction is developed.
- To promote coherence between what is valued, what is said and what is done. They need to recognize that when they enter Primary, they are already able to use their freedom to choose how to respond to stimuli and situations. It is a matter of helping them to make a gradual transition from reactivity to proactivity. The result of this work with children is their ability to take responsibility for their choices, to make and keep agreements and to build a project for school life.
- Achieving these objectives requires acknowledging that every educational act has an ethical nature and, therefore, that every teacher and every member of the community is committed to the process of ethical education. It is essential to accept the need to be designers and facilitators of experiences, experiences and strategies specifically aimed at achieving them. The spaces dedicated to this work in primary school are: group directions, morning meetings, flag raising, excursions, retreats, workshops and specific work from the areas of faith education, social sciences and science.
The work in the academic education of the primary students of Gimnasio Moderno states the following objectives:
- Promote the connection with knowledge and encourage a taste for learning. “When our attitudes and perceptions are positive, learning is enriched. Working to generate and maintain positive attitudes toward learning is a responsibility shared by teachers and students,” as Marzano (1998) points out.
- Develop positive attitudes and perceptions towards each task, helping students to recognize their value and to recognize themselves as learners with the necessary skills to perform them. To this end, tasks and activities must be meaningful, connected to the interests and needs of the students, and aimed towards awakening their attention and encouraging discussion and debate. In the design of activities it is necessary to always consider the previous knowledge and cognitive demand required to carry them out.
- Develop positive attitudes and perceptions towards the classroom as a learning community. Each student should feel accepted, valued and important and all interactions should be framed by mutual respect, in order to build a sense of emotional security. Students should recognize their classrooms as safe, friendly and comfortable places; this requires establishing agreements and procedures that guarantee physical safety.
- To promote a culture of thought. Ron Ritchhart, (2014) proposes that “it is necessary to cultivate deep thought as a disposition, as a lasting feature, through three pedagogical practices: looking closely, exploring different possibilities and perspectives, and introducing ambiguity”. In that sense, if learning is a consequence of thinking, we must engage students in activities that demand deep thinking, that promote the flexible transfer of skills and knowledge to new contexts. Madeleine Hunter shares the idea that transfer is the basis of all creativity, problem solving and decision making.
- To promote a work culture characterized by effort and commitment to always give the best of oneself. “People are truly happy when they have achieved goals they have fought for. Happiness (…) has much more to do with the satisfaction of a personal effort. So educating happy people has to do with helping to build the tools to achieve goals and fulfill dreams. The degree of personal fulfillment is directly proportional to the work we invest in our purposes. (Mauricio Nieto, 2015).
- Promote intellectual autonomy. For as Kamii, (1985) points out “an intellectually autonomous person is a critical and creative thinker, who has his own well-founded opinion”. To achieve this objective our students must acquire knowledge by means of inner construction, through interaction with the environment. We must take advantage of their need to make sense of their environment by answering questions that intrigue them and motivate them to build knowledge by creating and coordinating relationships. We must also work so that their answers and conclusions are supported by well-founded and coherent reasons.
- Finally, education in Primary must enable our students to respond positively to all those opportunities, challenges, responsibilities and experiences that life in Middle School and High School will provide.
Middle School is the perfect environment for students to prepare for their academic and vocational life. Of course, it is fundamental to accompany them in this growth and to begin to give them the necessary tools so that in the future they can begin to build a life project
Middle School must shape character, develop personality, create habits of observation, study, reflection and work; guide and strengthen moral feeling; awaken ideals of service to the community. This is what we have tried to do in our school”. (Book La Escuela Activa, Selected Texts, Nieto Caballero, 1987, p. 68).
Guidelines and section objectives
The Middle School must provide students who have strengthened their habits and taken subjects that will allow them to make decisions about vocational issues for the semester. To this end, and taking into account the age of the students, work must be done to strengthen social and academic habits and a solid moral formation must be aimed at. By the end of ninth grade it is important that the student has the necessary habits and skills that are built from intra- and interdisciplinary work. Additionally, when working from adolescence, we must structure the student morally so that we can contribute to society with men who: “work for peace, social equity, environmental sustainability and democracy, from an ethical standpoint“. “…if the boy has not learned to study on his own in secondary education, what will he be able to do in life or in the course of his university studies,” a phrase published in the book of selection of texts by don Agustín, La Escuela Activa (Nieto Caballero, 1987, p. 82).
This section continues to cultivate a taste for learning, the development of positive attitudes towards learning, a willingness deepen in the fundamental concepts and make them more complex, and promotes the ability to develop critical thinking from argumentation, and creative exercise from the resolution of significant problems, so that the learning achieved promotes the transfer of these in real situations of use.
Now, given that at this stage in the development of students’ lives, what is fundamental is the recognition of oneself in relation to others, greater emphasis is placed on collaborative learning, group discussions, and the development of communicative competencies in interaction, since socialization and the link with others is fundamental in the construction of one’s personality, but also in the construction of knowledge, since it is recognized that the competencies of interpretation and intervention of each subject do not reside only in the individual, but in the cultural wealth distributed in each physical and social context.
The work in the academic education of the high school students of the Gimnasio Moderno raises the following objectives:
- Continue to promote a culture of thought development.
- Developing the ability of learning how to learn, since in today’s society it is more important than the content of learning itself.
- Strengthen the skills in order to inquire, select, choose and relate, as well as learn to communicate assertively, presenting arguments.
- Recognize that learning and knowledge are based on the diversity of opinions, approaches and perspectives.
- To understand the cultural contexts in which knowledge emerges, its correlations with history, economy and politics.
- Knowing in and for action. The idea of knowing in action, including bodily, experiential and cognitive interaction It is shared with Pérez (2012) that “human beings, instead of representing an independent world, act in a world, personalize it, intervene in it and accommodate it”.
- Developing creative thinking.
The formation of autonomy requires helping each person to review and reconstruct this complex world of representations, habits and beliefs. For this reason, the section promotes the development of strategies and processes to help students get to know themselves and make informed and personal decisions.
To emphasize the importance of knowing oneself is to be able to find meaning in one’s actions and to recognize that it is necessary to learn to esteem and love oneself and to know one’s own strengths and weaknesses, as well as their origin and possibilities for change. These are some of the aspects that are worked on at each level:
Sixth Grade. It is a grade that deserves special attention because it is the transition point between Primary and High School. The impact that this transition has on students is high and this means that a lot of work must be done on the imaginary of being the little ones among the big ones.
Seventh Grade. Seventh graders “play being big”. After a year of transition and adaptation, young men should enter seventh grade, provided they meet the requirements for it. On average, boys in this grade are 13 years old, adolescence is looming, and with it, their challenge to authority, their difficulty with order. Their identity crisis makes it hard to work with them. The “emotional attachment” with these boys is fundamental; a good or bad relationship with the adult depends on it.
Eighth Grade. Strengthening of learning and education structures Some anxieties are satisfied, others appear: the life of young men, the festivities and all that this implies are already present in these boys. In the eighth grade, many students strengthen their position within the group and acquire a greater degree of maturity.
Ninth Grade . The grade that ends Basic Education. Preparation for university life. Although ninth-year students are two years away from graduation, their preparation for university life begins now. What major to study? How to face the challenges of the future? This is the moment to close processes in which study habits and learning methodologies have been consolidated so that students can learn to learn by themselves.
As of the year 2000, semester schooling began to be implemented at the Gimnasio Moderno, a program that was born with the purpose of articulating secondary education (last two grades of schooling: tenth and eleventh) with higher education. The main objective of this section, through classes and morning meetings, group directions and excursions, among others, seeks to conclude the students’ educational process in the best way possible, forging leaders at the service of innovation, freedom and democracy.
Young men in this section range from 16 to 18 years of age, with many becoming legal adults in the eleventh grade. After having internalized school principles and values instilled from an early age, such as the Discipline of Trust, students think and act with freedom and autonomy within an order and ethical and moral values, which allow them to develop critical thinking, reflection and creativity.
Gradually, over four semesters, students gain more freedom, but also more responsibility. With a more flexible curriculum, driven by their interests and needs, students have the possibility to broaden their choice of subjects to be studied, allowing them to explore and deepen their vocations without forgetting some core subjects that respond to their needs and meet the expectations of the academic curriculum.
Guidelines and objectives of the section
- To follow up the educational and academic performance of the students.
- Assist and guide parents according to the needs of their children.
- To accompany and support teachers in their pedagogical work.
- Inform the educational community (students, parents and teachers) in a timely manner about the decisions made in the fourth section.
- Ensure that the academic and education programs that are led in the tenth and eleventh grades are carried out in an adequate manner.
- Establishing norms and limits having respect as a starting point.
- Design strategies for the comprehensive education of students.
- Promote spaces for dialogue between the various levels of the community (students, teachers and parents).
- Generate spaces where diverse study habits can be deepened, allowing students to appropriate crucial elements to take on the challenges of the university and of the world.
- Ensure a relevant and appropriate level of academic performance for the last two grades.
- Carry out periodic evaluations that allow reflection on self-knowledge and self-criticism regarding the teacher’s job.
- Invite families to be an active part of the commitment required for the formative development of their sons.
- To promote reading and writing processes within the section.
- To generate a spirit of collaboration.
Grade 10 (Terms I and II)
Students begin their adaptation to take on the challenges that come with the semester approach. In this first year they take compulsory subjects from the following areas: natural sciences (physics and chemistry), mathematics (calculus), social studies, English, Spanish and sports, and they choose three subjects: Professional Studies, In-depth Studies and Electives (art, music or languages).
- Professional Studies
With the support of the school’s Psychology Department, it develops a career guidance program for students to conduct a vocational exploration based on their talents and strengths. In addition, to invigorate this orientation, students take courses in various professions that allow them to expand their opportunities for selection. Most teachers are former students who return to the school to share their professional life experience
Grade 11 (Terms III and IV)
- Term III
In this termr students take compulsory subjects from the following areas: natural sciences (physics and chemistry), mathematics (calculus), social sciences, English, Spanish, sports training, research project, philosophy, text production and sports, and they choose three subjects: in-depth, electives (art, music) and languages.
- Term IV
In this last school period, students choose all their subjects and have the possibility of taking a subject of the university career that most attracts their attention, in the afternoon hours. They must also take an in-depth seminar, an elective, a basic subject, a tutorial, a technology subject, a language subject and a text production subject. The semester ends with the presentation to a jury of the research project that began in the third semester
As of 2013, the school has created a formal research space based on the development of critical thinking that aims to consolidate the spirit of curiosity of its students. Thus, in the company of a tutor, students prepare and present a research project that has their own interest at its core. In this way, the school cycle that began in Montessori ends, with those first investigations where the motivating questions generated spaces for action. The same idea of providing the student with an enriching experience, as Dewey points out, is still latent in this school period, since it is a way of continuing to enrich oneself cognitively, socially and personally.
In the preparation of the projects, in the search for the question, desire appears as the motor that drives action, the search for answers or why not, to continue asking questions, since it is in the constant search, in desire, that passions are built, but it also constitutes an invitation to put into play the knowledge built up to this point, their thinking skills, so that from them, they can recognize their environment and recognize themselves in that context as subjects who build reflective proposals on knowledge and their way of approaching it.
Standardized Tests (SABER)
With the Academic Advisory of third party experts in the field, the school has had the opportunity to evaluate, diagnose and give feedback to the students’ knowledge. Throughout the four semesters, students receive guidance and tools from the school on the structure of the State Test, as well as the performance of simulations that allow them to take the State Test with greater confidence.
Approach to the university
The school has signed agreements with universities such as Los Andes, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, El Rosario, Sergio Arboleda, La Sabana, Jorge Tadeo Lozano, among others, where our students take one or a maximum of two subjects of their interest, which will be endorsed by the corresponding university, in case they enroll there. The frontiers of knowledge are further extended with the university subject chosen by the students at the beginning of the fourth semester. This subject is optional, can be seen in the afternoon and has the purpose that students find an enriching experience that allows them to recognize if the projections and choices they will make in the immediate future are the most appropriate.
Areas of Knowledge
The Science Area has built a transversal project on sustainability, with the main objective of reinforcing the school’s commitment to Colombian society through the generation of awareness, skills and values necessary for a more just, equitable and sustainable future. In this sense, the aim is for the school community and the students in particular to generate awareness, knowledge, skills and values to create a more just and sustainable future. We seek that they relate science to everyday life and are capable of changing their attitudes, so that, no matter what profession they choose, they make environmentally responsible decisions.
The area seeks to familiarize students with the scientific method, with the way science approaches the study of nature, developing the capacity to think critically, show reasoned arguments and draw their own conclusions and inferences based on evidence and not on loose commentaries.
The three axes of the science area are: physics, chemistry and biology. Due to the fact that in science there are no isolated events or processes and everything is integrated and part of evolution, teachers must know the processes and systems of daily life in order to explain them from the physical, chemical, and biological points of view. Therefore, we use the scientific method to create, design, observe and solve. The practical work, with multiple results, invites to the question, to the analysis and to accept the error as a natural part of the investigation. We seek to influence the lives of our students so that they become better people and build better relationships with the environment.
Mathematics develops analytical-graphic and numerical thinking to make inferences and establish projections as a means of interpreting contexts, both in the scientific and humanistic fields. Mathematics has its origin in environmental phenomena that are linked in a series of abstractions, generalizations or formalizations, theories to produce concepts and systems of ideas in general. For this reason, the Mathematics Area bases its structure on the development of five types of thought (numerical, variational, metric, spatial and random), which help the student to approach the world that surrounds him, to study it, modify it and model it, that is, to interpret it. This way of seeing the world is built in teams and recognizes personal contributions and limitations, individual and group advances and weaknesses.
The preparation of productive and autonomous citizens who can develop efficiently in a society that is constantly evolving is the purpose of the mathematical education provided in the Gimnasio. Education in this area, besides being an essential requirement for the study of a great variety of disciplines, provides students with knowledge, skills and ways of reasoning that are required in their daily lives. The aim is for the student to develop habits and routines typical of mathematical work, which will allow him to stimulate the construction of his own knowledge, teamwork and critical participation in both personal and social decision making, both personal and social.
The Technology and Information Area helps students to see technology in a structured way and aims to develop skills, knowledge, attitudes and abilities that will allow them to interact in a comprehensive way in their context or daily life. Two strategies have been proposed for the use, handling and application of new information and communication technologies. The first is general literacy of computer concepts, and the second is support for the other areas where ICTs are an important tool for disciplinary and subject-specific learning in the curriculum.
The commitment of the Technology Area is oriented towards the identification, analysis and management of problems susceptible to a technological solution through a critical, ethical and reflexive look at reality. It also contributes to the development of the school’s transversal projects, recognizing that the presence of devices and applications currently crosses all dimensions of the experience.
The development of the multiple logics in mathematics, science and technology encourages different points of view with solid arguments, which favor critical and constructive thinking in different situations.
Area of Spanish and Literature
The Spanish Area has as its main objective the strengthening of the native tongue and the values of the humanism that has always characterized the school. In the Spanish and Literature Area, students are trained in the linguistic and discursive skills that allow them to communicate with precision and coherence, orally and in writing, in any context or communicative situation. The area promotes universal literary culture, so that the student is able to understand any type of text, analyze it, synthesize it, as well as assume an argued position before those texts. Its teachers promote the aesthetic enjoyment of reading through imagination and literature, its infinite possibilities to understand problems and contexts in another way, with the purpose of favoring the development of the reading and writing processes, the knowledge and the good use of language.
The student, through interpretation and faithful to the humanist spirit of the school, is concerned to encourage a critical and reflective conscience with respect to life. They live the exercise of free expression and question their actions based on the sensitivity and understanding necessary to face the difference in all its areas. For this task, he finds in the Cultural Agenda a space for deepening the knowledge of the authors of universal literature. School media such as El Aguilucho, El Pichón, El Huevito, The Radio Station, the School Journalism Project on television are the crystallization of these efforts and the most authentic way of expression of the students.
The main purpose of the Language Area is the education of students who, in addition to being bilingual, are knowledgeable about the world, open-minded, and willing to function in a global society. The area will try to guarantee the development of the learning skills of the 21st century. The main objective of the area is to seek a high level of competence in languages such as English, Spanish, French and Portuguese. Through new strategies and methodologies for teaching languages, always in accordance with the philosophy of the Gimnasio Moderno, students will create and strengthen cultural awareness, build their own expectations in the acquisition of the new language and develop an understanding of language as a system.
Learning languages at Gimnasio Moderno also offers excellent opportunities for students to develop leadership skills, solve problems, acquire research skills and increase their communication abilities. The Language Area contributes to the education of a bilingual and multicultural student, with a wide vision of the world and a great interest in the knowledge of local and foreign cultures.
Social Sciences Area
The Social Science Area works on the education of ethical citizens, with a wide vision of the socio-cultural phenomena of Colombia and the world, creating awareness of cultural diversity and of the different social expressions. Likewise, by promoting the development of leadership skills and conflict resolution, it emphasizes the student’s relationship with himself and his immediate environment (family, school, country). It promotes research through the interpretation and analysis of information and sources of various types, the cultivation of interdisciplinary knowledge and the ability to exercise leadership in different disciplines. It guides the student in nation building through the Peace Master Class and reflections aimed at action in possible post-conflict scenarios.
The Social Sciences Area contributes to the education of ethical and reflective citizens of their acts, with critical thinking skills and a close commitment to their personal development, that of their community and their country. These integral people, capable of posing questions, seeking sources of information and proposing their own research, will be responsible members of their community and promoters of peace through their words, actions and initiatives.
Area of Physical Education and Sports
Physical education seeks to awaken in students, through games and physical activities, a greater awareness of their body and the caring for it, to strengthen values that allow collaboration and fellowship, the following of rules of the game and respect for others. It also seeks to awaken in them the capacities that will allow them to better face defeat or victory, always in an environment of healthy competition.
Physical education aims to provide a comprehensive training adapted to individual skills and differences. Direct and close contact in class favors a sincere and open relationship, where students express their feelings and emotions with greater freedom. It is here that physical activities play a definitive role in the development and formation of students’ biological and cognitive processes. A graduate of Gimnasio Moderno knows, practices and values physical activity as an indispensable element to preserve health. He accepts the rules for group functioning, respects personal autonomy, participation and the appreciation of diversity.
The area seeks to strengthen musical skills (interpretative, auditory and creative) in children and young men through vocal, instrumental and appreciation workshops. Students are guided in the acquisition of forms of artistic expression through the interpretation of the different codes of musical language, with the objective of educating sensitive young men with the capacity for analysis, who can relate cultural contexts on a national and international scale, taking advantage of the use of technological resources. Additionally, extracurricular spaces are offered for those interested in deepening their knowledge and developing their artistic talents in the Music School.
The Music Area contributes to the recognition and acceptance of sensations, emotions and feelings, to cultural education, to the acceptance of the norm within the parameters of respect, limits, difference and tolerance.
The Arts Area gives the student a way of being and feeling free. Art, beyond being a tool or an instrument at the service of communication, culture and pedagogy, is above all the sensitive form that man has used since ancient times to generate bonds of coexistence, expression and experimentation. Men also use it to develop, know and learn about his own experiences. Art classes at school, focused on the development of the self, are connected to the child as a form of interpretation of one’s own perceptions through expressive, free, spontaneous and creative production. Because of this condition, art at school has the need to complement, stimulate and expand the radius of action of each child’s natural, unique and diverse impulse.
In the face of the free and autonomous possibility of choosing between the lines of artistic expression (corporal expression, plastic expression and expression in new media), the area offers the students the opportunity to experiment with them and to know which one will be able to have a relation with their future, either by vocation or particular taste. Likewise, it increases in the student the security to read images and express in oral or written form a personal look from texts produced in class or in their research projects, with a language of art. This develops a critical sense based on the experience and knowledge acquired in class.
Area of Faith Education
According to the Preamble of the Statutes of the Fundacion Gimnasio Moderno, religious education is important as part of the mental and moral education of students. The objective of Education in Faith in the School is to teach the Catholic religion from its intellectual, cultural and human aspects. In this way, religion classes are taught from the perspective of humanism and understanding of other cultures, with an emphasis on Christian values. It should be noted that the ultimate purpose of this program is that the students of the School develop a spiritual dimension, become better citizens and better people, through a deep contact with themselves and their inner world through practices such as reflection, gratitude and self-observation, among others.
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