Program of education for peace
The Gimnasio Moderno, more than a master class, has a comprehensive program of Education for Peace, which is deployed throughout its curriculum and is not limited to one class. We believe that peace is something that can be cultivated over time, that it is a matter of internal transformation first, and then of cognitive development, and that it concerns the whole community, starting with teachers, parents and students. We believe in the power of example, of the environment and of contact with the internal world and reflection, together with the study from the intellectual side of relevant aspects of peace in Colombia and the world, its history, and other aspects.
This program is derived from the Discipline of Trust (the formative pillar of the school that seeks to educate for democracy, tolerance and dissent) and from the principle “Educate, before instructing” (human education and educating in human values, as well as working on the Formative Cycle of Error, are priorities in the school). For its part, the School Living Guidelines Handbook reflects these principles and this program.
The Education for Peace Program in the School is built on four pillars that aim at a comprehensive training: (1) The development of the being and the contact with the internal world (self-reflection, regulation of the emotions, self-knowledge, cultivation of internal states of peace and harmony), (2) the study of the History of Colombia, Geography, the conflict and the Peace Agreements, among others (the development of the cognitive and the intellectual, the taking of perspective, the knowledge of our reality), (3) the dissemination of democratic values (from the practice in the School with the participation, critical thinking, debates and the instances of the School Government, in addition, the study of the Constitution of the country, among others), and (4) the cultivation of humanities, arts and music (possibilities of development of empathy, sensitivity, expression of emotions and appreciation of beauty).
The objectives of the Education for Peace Program, with its Peace Master Class, according to the legislation, are the following:
Contribute to learning, reflection and dialog about:
- Culture of peace (human rights, democratic participation, prevention of violence and peaceful resolution of conflicts)
- Education for peace (appropriation of knowledge and citizenship skills for peaceful coexistence, democratic participation, respect for plurality and human rights)
- Sustainable development.
- Reduce the cycle of reaction and revenge (learning not to react but to respond assertively and constructively).
The program is displayed in the following areas and classes:
- Social Sciences: Social, History, Political Constitution and Democracy
- Natural Sciences: Biology.
- Education in Ethics and Human Values: Faith Education Group Directions and Morning Meetings.
The topics included in the peace program are deployed as follows:
- Justice and Human Rights (in the classes of Constitution and Democracy, Introduction to Law, Politics and History)
- Sustainable use of natural resources (from Biology classes, the work of the Environmental Coordination, group of environmental watchmen, school recycling program, recycling line in the Social Service, Sustainability Meeting, Green Day organized by the Parents Association, School Environmental Project -PRAE-, Scout Group and Field Trip Program).
- Protection of the cultural and natural wealth of the Nation (with the Program of Excursions around the country, History and Geography classes, Biology classes)
- Peaceful conflict resolution (with the Lets Treat Each Other Well Program, the work of the School Coexistence Committee, the work of the Debate Group, the Model UN, School Governance and student representatives).
- Prevention of school bullying (with the Lets Treat Each Other Well Program, the Coexistence Committee, the RAI Comprehensive Care Route and the Parents’ School)
- Diversity and plurality (with the Social Studies Area and the Field Trip Program).
- Political participation (with the School Government, the Debate Group, political forums and group representatives, as well as the Rectory Student Advisory Committee)
- Historical memory (with the Social Studies and History classes).
- Social impact projects (with the Social Service, the Field Trips and the Monsignor Emilio de Brigard Foundation)
- History of national and international peace agreements (with the Social Studies Area and History classes)
The evaluation of the Education for Peace Program will be done in a qualitative way through personal testimonies, concrete examples and case studies.
The competencies for Peace that the Gimnasio Moderno wishes to develop in its students, in addition to the contents indicated by Decree 1038 of 2015 and covered by the classes and programs mentioned above, are the following:
- I reflect on my emotions and the consequences of my actions.
- I strive to solve conflicts through dialogue, recognition and respect.
- I understand the rules of the game and the importance of spaces for democratic participation.
- I relate to others through compassion, gratitude and care.
- I recognize the importance of error and forgiveness in my formative process and that of others.
- I recognize the importance of historical memory for the construction of another future.
- I understand the importance of protecting and respecting the environment as a necessary condition for peace.
The Principles that guide the Education for Peace Program are the following:
- The importance of effort and correct action, above and beyond the results.
- Educate rather than instruct (the importance of contact with the internal world and reflection).
- The discipline of Trust (the importance of educating for dissent and Democracy).
- Fellowhship and social sensitivity (the importance of respect for the other and care for the other).
The Education for Peace Program is complemented in an integral way by the Lets treat each other well Program which has been leading the Psychology area for two years. This program, which works from Preschool to the Eleventh Grade, works along the following lines:
- Sowing respect in Preschool.
- Mindfulness with Elementary and Middle School
- Soccer for Peace with Primary and High School.
- Values and integration with the whole school.
- Soccer and peace talks.
- Emotional literacy for parents.
- Emotional literacy for teachers.
The Gimnasio Moderno has built this program, after the guidelines of the Government, through some working tables that were discussed during the year 2015, with the participation of teachers, parents, students, managers and two external experts in peace and ethics education: Sergio de Zubiría (advisor of the peace process) and Alejandro Sanz de Santamaría (professor of ethics at the University of Los Andes).
On the other hand, in the preparation of the peace program, the school organized conferences with the following personalities, who spoke to us about education, peace and democracy, during the years 2014, 2015 and 2016: Carlos Gaviria, Sergio de Zubiría, Alfredo Molano, Patricia Lara, Jesús Martín Barbero, Yogi Sarveshwaranada, the venerable Ana Robina Courtin, Sifu Rama, Dr. Pal Dhall, Michal Berg, masters of the Zen Buddhist current, the Venerable Densho Quintero and disciples of the monk Tich Nhat Hanh, candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize, among others.
In 2016, to formally launch the Program, the Gimnasio Moderno invited 1997 Nobel Peace Prize winner Jodi Williams, who came to give a lecture in May. It has also carried out a number of activities, framed within the pillars of development being, historical memory, democratic values and arts and humanities, which together contribute to a peace education for the whole community.
As mandated by Decree 1038, the Masterclass of Peace (which is part of the Comprehensive Peace Program) is incorporated into the curriculum and is assigned to the area of Social Sciences.
ICT Project: Education in the Age of Applications.
Inserting Technology in the School:
The Gimnasio Moderno organized several working tables with the educational community, as well as discussion spaces with experts, where the political basis for technological development in the Gimnasio Moderno was established. Based on these findings, the Strategic Plan for ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) Insertion was designed. Therefore, this first moment consisted in executing this ICT strategic plan, which contains five aspects:
a. Management and Planning: where a needs diagnosis was carried out and an action plan was designed to establish administrative and management policies, as well as to determine the necessary budget. This process is led by the ICT Coordinator and his support team.
b. ICT Resources and Infrastructure: the main purpose was to improve the technological equipment of the school to increase the access of teachers and students to technologies.
The school set out to have a state-of-the-art technological infrastructure, which would allow teachers and students to have tools to develop effective teaching and learning processes. Therefore, taking advantage of the school’s improved physical infrastructure, technology was incorporated into the classrooms.
The first thing was to equip the classrooms with digital boards, sound equipment, have a substantial improvement in connectivity, as well as expand the number of digital tablets for each student. This includes the installation of a data center that contributes to a significant improvement in the flow and security of the school’s information.
The second was to provide teachers with enough devices and resources to prepare their classroom materials, conduct follow-ups, provide reports, etc. Laptop computers were also purchased for each section. The experience has been valuable and the use of this technology has been permanent.
The third, to adapt and modernize the computer rooms under a lab approach in the Faculty Building. This included the creation of the Maker Space, which is an environment equipped with lego robotics material, 3D printing and tools for the creation and construction of products depending on the projects being developed. The ICT Classroom is also located in the Faculty. This is a space designed for research and development of digital skills. Therefore, in this space permanent ICT training processes are carried out with all the teachers. Finally, the ICT Classroom is also used for the development of videos and audiovisual material with effects and green screen. The projection of the ICT Classroom is that teachers and students can develop their own teaching and learning resources.
At this stage, various teaching and learning resources were also acquired, such as:
– The Symbaloo platform for sharing various resources among teachers.
– The 3D platform for educational use in alliance with Education District (the Gimnasio Moderno was a pioneer in Latin America in applying 3D technology in academic spaces)
– The Progrentis Platform: pilot for students to develop comprehensive reading skills with the use of technology.
– The Progrentis Platform: pilot for students to develop comprehensive reading skills with the use of technology.
– Raz-kids: platform for the development of skills in the area of English.
– Educaline: platform for the development of skills in the area of mathematics.
– Khan Academy: is being used in 5th, 7th, 9th, 10th and 11th, as a support in the processes in the areas of Mathematics and Science.
– Infobase Digital Library: this database provides access to more than 5000 digital resources and reference materials in English.
– Google Education: Teachers and students at Gimnasio Moderno make free use of all of Google’s educational tools, from email, to the Google Drive for sharing and creating information, to the Google Classroom as a virtual collaborative learning environment.
– Also, internal communication systems were improved and institutional e-mails were created in G Suite for the whole school (for students, teachers and administrative staff).
c. ICT and curriculum development: When we speak of “technological literacy”, we mean using technology as a tool for organization, communication, research and problem solving, and not just for learning how to operate a computer. In this way, “technological literacy” can be incorporated into all curricular areas as part of the school culture. For this reason, we seek to reflect with the various areas on the use of technology in the processes of teaching and learning, and we project that each area will include the ICT component in its curricular proposal and academic activities.
d. Teacher Professional Development: a process was initiated to train teachers in the basic use of equipment and resources, from Smart Tablets in the classroom to the use of email. Likewise, permanent external support is provided to strengthen the development of digital competencies in teachers.
e. School Culture and ICTs: Effective integration of technology seeks to generate a transformation in the way teachers conceive and use technology during the teaching and learning process. This helps to encourage the application of a pedagogical practice where the student plays an active role and is responsible for his or her own learning. Thus, technology becomes a transversal axis that promotes active learning within the curricular proposal of the educational institution in each of the grades and areas.
Just as technology modernizes and helps to transform the school culture internally, the Gimnasio Moderno also contributes to and participates in inter-school groups that promote the contributions of technology in education. This is the case of the ETB group (Educational Technology in Bogota), which is made up of various schools in the capital, such as El Nueva Granada, English School, El Campestre, Gimnasio Moderno, etc.
Active integration of technologies
This second moment seeks:
- To develop digital skills in the teachers and students of the Gimnasio Moderno.
- To positively impact all those processes of teaching and learning that take place inside and outside the classroom, in such a way that the digital competences of teachers and students are developed and strengthened through the integration of ICT.
The areas of digital competence can be summarized in the following way:
- Information: identify, locate, retrieve, store, organize and analyze digital information, assessing its purpose and relevance.
- Communication: communicating in digital environments, sharing resources through online tools, connecting and collaborating with others through digital tools, interacting and participating in communities and networks; intercultural awareness
- Content creation: Creating and editing new content (texts, images, videos…), integrating and reworking previous knowledge and content, making artistic productions, multimedia content and computer programming, knowing how to apply intellectual property rights and licenses for use.
- Security: personal protection, data protection, digital identity protection, security use, safe and sustainable use.
- Problem solving: identifying digital needs and resources, making decisions when choosing the appropriate digital tool, according to the purpose or need, solving conceptual problems through digital media, solving technical problems, creative use of technology, updating one’s own competence and that of others.
This moment is developed under the understanding that technological resources in education can benefit and enhance learning. However, it is important to bear in mind that there are learning environments in which the use of technology is more favorable to the student. This is the case of those environments where active pedagogy is practiced. In successful learning environments, teachers participate as leaders and facilitators of knowledge (Jonassen, Howland, Moore, & Marra, 2003; Fullan, 2007). In this situation, teachers use technology as a tool to support the development of higher order concepts and skills, which involves working with students to interpret concepts, develop products, work collaboratively, and transfer knowledge and skills learned to different contexts. This involves working with students to interpret concepts, develop products, work collaboratively, and transfer knowledge and skills learned to different contexts.The opposite would be to think that technology is only useful for the development of isolated technological skills, such as the use of a text editor (Partnership for 21st Century Skills, 2007).
Following these ideas, the active integration of technology is carried out in two simultaneous ways:
Cross-section integration of technology in the classroom
The cross-section integration seeks to develop digital competences in all the teachers of the school and to accompany them in the insertion of technologies in the classroom.
To achieve this, the following initiatives are being developed:
a. ICT Training Space for Teachers: training programs are developed every week with teams of interdisciplinary teachers of various grades. Technology teachers are in charge of these training spaces. The teachers attend the training in groups on a weekly basis. The objective is to explore, reflect and share about the use of various ICT tools to apply them in teachers’ pedagogical practices. The idea of these meetings is to create communities of support or communities of practice. As teachers develop digital competencies, it is planned to accompany them in their implementation in the classroom.
b. Project Based Learning with Technology (by Romina Peschiera): this space seeks to introduce and strengthen student-centred active learning strategies in teachers. To this end, 12 projects have been developed with different grades under the Project Based Learning (PBL) methodology using a ‘backwards design’ approach, where the starting point is to identify the understandings and results that are sought to be achieved with the students at the end of the designed project.
In this second phase, the various projects designed by the teachers are being implemented. To this end, classroom visits are made to support implementation, followed by reflection sessions. At the end of the projects in each term, there will be follow-up meetings with all participating teachers to share strategies, concerns and recommendations. The idea of these meetings is to create communities of support or communities of practice.
c. ICT Newsletter: the launch of ICT newsletters was initiated. These newsletters have two components: the weekly ICT tips and the monthly ICT newsletters. The ICT Tips that are sent to the entire internal community of the school. These are tips with brief recommendations on the good use of technology. The ICT Bulletins are sent to the entire educational community (including parents) and seek to publicize the progress, experiences and news around ICT in the Gimnasio Moderno.
d) Talks: in conjunction with the area of psychology, talks have been held for students and parents to make them aware of the proper use of technology (e.g., online care, security, cyberbullying, sexting, etc.)
STEAM Project (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) – Technology Area
From the area of technology, we have been working with the STEAM approach with the purpose of cultivating the scientific and technological vocation by providing solutions to real problems of interest to students.
Training in programming has been included from the early years, allowing students to pose situations that need to be solved with the help of computers. These are the first steps in the development of their computational thinking.
Robotics technology has also been slowly entering the classroom. The projection is to make robotics a proposal of a cross-cutting nature that allows the different subjects to find common points that bring students closer to the different contents in an entertaining way and from their own interests.
Through their projects, both programming and robotics, they promote design, where students bring their creativity into play to solve problems in their environment.
Today, the technology area integrates the contents of science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics in the development of projects, both at the level of programming, design and robotics. In the future, it is planned to integrate the areas of science, technology, mathematics and art to work in an interdisciplinary way.
Economic and financial education
Gimnasio Moderno has implemented and continues to implement various initiatives and programs in order to develop in students a thought capable of understanding economic phenomena and acquire skills for life and the dimension of finances and personal management of material resources. These programs cover students from Elementary and Middle School. For example, in Primary School, the Mathematics Area has worked on the creation of a Children’s Bank in which children learn the importance of saving and good management of money. There is also the possibility of acquiring loans and meeting debts. The editorial projects of the magazines El Huevito and El Pichón mean that children learn about the importance of obtaining resources to build dreams and projects. From the academic point of view, in the Social Studies classes in Middle School, certain economic phenomena that have had an impact on politics and the development of history are studied, along with macroeconomic concepts, essential for understanding any country in the world. In Tenth Grade, in Professional Studies, classes are offered in Business Administration and Finance, Economics, Marketing, and Engineering, in which topics of economics and finance are worked on. From the area of Mathematics, we offer electives such as Mathematics for Management, Engineering and Finance. In turn, all the spaces for the development of autonomy and leadership that the school offers to its students contribute to this type of education.
We can mention the La Gimnasiana Project, where students make and sell their own food products in order to raise funds to fulfill their dreams, such as field trips. The Aguilucho, Cultural and Sports Committees, and the Band also organize events such as the Bazaar, the Cultural Week, the Grand Gymnasium Dance or the magazine editions, in which they have to obtain sponsorship, seek funds, make financial projections, handle accounting and pay and respond for their events and suppliers. In these spaces, the Administrative Area of the school has supported with simple courses of accounting and planning, among others. The eleventh grade field trip project, which has been carried out in Europe in recent years, is an opportunity for students and teachers to build together, to obtain resources, to make savings and to look for economic possibilities to achieve common purposes.
Law 1029 of 2006: Constitution, mechanisms for conflict resolution
Gimnasio Moderno within the study of the Political Constitution and Civic Instruction, contemplates for its students a general illustration in basic notions of Law that without trying to reach levels proper of university education it considers necessary to educate men who respect the underlying social contract in any State. In this sense, throughout the students’ school life, they are instilled with the idea of resolving their conflicts directly or through Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanisms (ADR) that avoid unnecessary wear and tear on the administration of justice. Likewise, based on the provisions of Articles 42, 43, 44 and 45 of the Political Constitution, the principles of equality and non-discrimination are developed, as well as awareness of the prevalence of the rights of children and adolescents in the Colombian legal system.
In the grades corresponding to secondary education, the constitutional rank of the right to work as a fundamental right is highlighted and through the explanation of the importance of second-generation rights, basic notions of labor law are taught. Finally, for those students who feel inclined to study Law in their university years, Gimnasio Moderno provides basic notions of contracts, obligations and other content typical of the first semesters of this career in most national universities.
Education in road safety
In compliance with Law 1503 of 2011, Gimnasio Moderno has formed a Road Safety Committee and has implemented the Strategic Plan for Road Safety, as required by the law. Among its actions, the Committee has advanced a follow-up of each school route to guarantee the goals of speed and precaution for pedestrians, as well as a strict and rigorous control that inspects each of the drivers according to the legal requirement. It has been school policy to provide regular training to all members of the community: students and teachers, parents, workers and neighbors. The Secretary of Mobility, who values the implementation of these programs in the schools, has rated the Gimnasio Moderno with a mark of 89 out of 100, validating the program as an example for the city.
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