Problem: The Fontán School places the student at the center of the learning process in order to increase their interest in learning. Founded in 1985 in Bogotá, the school follows the Fontán Educational System, which was created and has been developed by educators Emilia Garcia de Fontán and Ventura Fontán since 1957. The school is an integral part of Microsoft's Partners in Learning program.
Solutions: This private school, which teaches students of kindergarten to high school age, encourages self-education. There are no classrooms, school years, expository lessons or traditional teachers. The learning process is guided by texts that are prepared to support the individual work of each student, and which also help students to attain excellence in each subject.
Each student develops their own lesson plan and can study alone or in groups. The study schedule is flexible. Teachers are tutors and specialists that supervise the evolution of each student's intellectual and socio-emotional abilities. Student evaluations are continuous.
This educational model also allows students to access information over the cloud, so that each one can study whenever and wherever they like. Students constantly use technology, studying by means of an educational platform and the internet, at their own pace. They also make use of programs, like MS PowerPoint, in order to prepare presentations. The school features open spaces that allow students to engage in sports, such as tennis.
Outcomes: The student becomes an autonomous being, who is flexible, yet disciplined, responsible and capable of managing his or her own time and work. He or she enjoys learning, becomes more motivated, is conscious of his or her own abilities, proposes his or her own goals and can ultimately attain them. The student is also capable of constructing an argument and of defending his or her point of view. The teachers view this learning experience as enriching and a process that promotes growth in the students. The Fontán System was the first innovative teaching system that was approved by Colombia's Ministry of Education. The school was honored with the "Order of Democracy" by the Colombian Congress in 1985. This educational system was implemented in public and private schools in Colombia and in Spain. Plans exist to implement the system in Haiti, Europe and in other countries in South America.