Adolfo P. Esquivel
Al Gore
Alice Walker
Amitabha Sadangi
Anderson Cooper
Andrew Young
Ann Cotton
Annie Lennox
Arun Gandhi
Bart Weetjens
Benazir Bhutto
Betty Williams
Bianca Jagger
Bill Cosby
Bill Drayton
Bishop C.F.X. Belo
Bob Geldof
Bunker Roy
Carlos Santana
César E. Chávez
Chief L. George
Christ. Amanpour
Clarence B. Jones
Colin Powell
Connie Duckworth
Coretta Scott King
Craig Kielburger
Dalai Lama
Daniel Lubetzky
David Brower
David Ho
David Trimble
Desmond Tutu
Dith Pran
Dolores Huerta
Don Cheadle
Dorothy Height
Dorothy Stoneman
Elie Wiesel
Eric Schwarz
Frederik W de Klerk
Gary Cohen
Geoffrey Canada
George Clooney
George Lucas
George Mitchell
Gérard Jean-Juste
Gillian Caldwell
Greg Boyle
Greg Mortenson
Hafsat Abiola
Harry G. Belafonte
Harry Wu
Helen Caldicott
Henry A. Kissinger
Ida Jackson
Immaculee Ilibagiza
Ingrid Betancourt
Ingrid W. El-Issa

Vicky Colbert


Vicky ColbertColombian education reformer Vicky Colbert wasted no time after graduating with an MA from Standford's School of Education. With her native country's under-served, rural areas in mind, she created the Escuela Nueva (E.N.) in 1975. Colbert had seen schools with poor teacher-student rations suffering from a lack of prograss, low moral, and increasing drop out rates. Escuela Nueva instituted an active-learning model that emphasizes school-community relations and features a flexible, hands-on approach to teaching instead of the classic lecture style. By the end of the 1980s, the E.N. model had been used in almost 20,000 schools across the country. In 1989, World Bank called E.N. one of the most influential reform policies in the world. Colbert went on to become Columbia's vice minister of education, and then served as UNICEF's regional adviser for education in the Americas. As government policy changed, E.N. faced the challenge of continuing their influence into another stage of reform and struggled to maintain financial recourses. In response, Colbert resigned from her vice minister job and thought of a way to salvage the E.N. She started the Escuela Nueva Foundation, an NGO that uses private funds to sustain the curriculum. A 2007 recipient of the Skoll Foundation's Social Entrepreneur Award, the E.N. model has now penetrated classrooms in 14 countries, and has influenced the education of over 5 million students. Vicky Colbert knew changing Colombian education would require a lifetime of dedication. She stayed committed for decades, and her homeland, along with much of Latin America, has reaped the benefit of lasting reform.


"It was built on what was existing, but also introduced strategies that could be politically, technical and financially feasible."


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