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Integral Education: Strategic Challenges & Road-Map ahead (XV). Strategic Innovation in Education – An example of Primary School in El Salvador (Part K).

I started to study my primary school at a Catholic School in 1976. I was 5 years old then. And I was the youngest of all my peers. The name of the school I attended is Colegio Sagrado Corazón. At that time the school was only for girls (female). Why did I study there? Well, it was the only school who accepted me being so little in first grade!.

colegio sagrado corazon.jpgLet me explain the historical context of the founders of the Sacred Heart Society. “The Society of the Sacred Heart is an international community of women in the Catholic Church, founded in 1800. At that, time women were not receiving an excellent education as men. The founder of the Sacred heart, saw women as the repairers of the torn fabric of society in France, following the French Revolution, and set about establishing a transformative education that would help them accomplish the task. The plan of studies was created to ensure consistently high standards in all Sacred Heart Schools. The purpose of the curriculum has been always with the goal of educating the “whole person”.

Schools of the Sacred Heart educate to:

  • a personal and active faith in God
  • a deep respect for intellectual values
  • a social awareness which impels to action
  • the building of community as a Christian value
  • personal growth in an atmosphere of wise freedom.

In El Salvador, the Colegio Sagrado Corazón has been led by the Religious Oblates of the Sacred Heart. According to the Colegio Sagrado Corazón website, the Sacred Heart School was established in January 1895 by 5 oblate sisters: Berta de Curzón (French), María Poninska (Polish), Aurelia Espinat (French), María Ségul (German) and María Pringle (British).

The Sacred Heart Schools today “exercise their educational mission, not only in traditional primary and secondary schools throughout the world but in ministries related to education and caring directly for people on the edges of society”.

Given the context of the Sacred Heart Schools, I thought of showing you something extremely personal. I went to shake the dust of my old report cards of academic learning, practice, and behavior. Thanks to God, my mother kept them during all these years. Let´s see three of these report cards, from first to third grades.

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These cards are in Spanish. I will translate the list of subjects we covered at that time:

  1. Idioma Nacional means National Language (writing, reading, and orthography).
  2. Estudios Sociales means Social Studies
  3. Matemática means Math
  4. Estudios de la Naturaleza is the equivalent of Natural Sciences
  5. Religion or Formacion Cristiana means Christian Formation
  6. Inglés is English (as a second language).
  7. Educación Estética y Artes Industriales: Esthetic education and industrial arts
  8. Educación Física: Physical Education or Sports

I studied from Monday to Friday for 9 months per year. The schedule was from 7 am to 12:45 noon. There were two recess periods or playtime breaks (the first one of 15 minutes, and the second of 30 minutes in between the courses). ICT or technology was not included at that time. I am sure at the moment the sacred heart schools have added this subject.

The reason why I wish to share with you these old report cards has nothing to do with the grades I got. Please look at these cards as a demonstration of how the school where I studied, saw our academics integrated with our conduct and behavior.

Our conduct and behavior were as important as the academic results. We were graded according to our behavior and compliance with the School Code of rules in the 6 following aspects:Conduct grades Sagrado Corazon

  1. Responsibility
  2. Health and protection habits
  3. Personal Relations and Cooperation with others
  4. Respect to principles, values, and beliefs
  5. Initiative and self-confidence
  6. Teamwork and studies habits

We were graded with two scales: For conduct and behavior (Excellent, Very Good, Good, Regular, Needs to improve). Meanwhile, for academics, we used a scale from zero to ten. We had to approve with 6.0, otherwise, below this score, it was considered as Failed.

Our education in primary school was rigorous in academics and in values. We had plenty of learning experiences in the classroom and outside the classroom. We worked in teams and individually. We had to prepare presentations using cardboards and drawings, and introduce our home-works to the rest of the course. It was a time of no computers, in consequence, we have to do everything by hand. Going to the library to look for books was a weekly adventure. How beautiful! We had to read!. As any Catholic school, Christian formation and religion were extremely important. And we have to go to mass every week. My artistic courses were awesome: we were taught to draw, to paint, to do collages. We also had a choir and we sang 2 hours every week with the guidance of a professor who played the piano. Sports were part of our school life, diverse sports such as basketball, softball, jogging, kickball, gymnastics, etc. As a cherry on top, during the afternoons, my parents registered me in extracurricular courses such as classical ballet, more English, swimming, guitar and piano, and Olympic gymnastics. During vacations, we also attended vacations or summer school camps. I went to Club IZA (today this is called Club ALAMAR) to learn so many complementary courses that I still remember (manual arts, theater, cooking, watch movies, swimming, dancing, playtime, and religious courses).

my first day of classes

10th February 1976: My first day of classes. First Grade. Colegio Sagrado Corazón, San Salvador.

Of course, I had the blessing to study in a private school. But public schools are completely different. The religious courses of Christianity and God are not included in public schools, and this was the subject where ethical values were taught. By the way, I was raised in an institution where I was taught that men are men, and women are women. No middle ground sex definitions, thanks to God. Thanks to God I had the blessing to see my own nature as a female, as God has established it. My role as a woman was defined at that time to become someone who will marry and have babies with a man. He and I will build a family, and our family will be part of a group of families of the largest society.

  Eliescalante Integral Education Strategic Innovation primary school

How is primary education nowadays? What has happened to the human integral side where ethical values at school are measured? What have we lost with technology? Where is God in our primary school systems? Have we forgotten God? Why? If God is the creator of everything? Why have we forgotten God and Jesus Christ as the center of our life? Why have we displaced Him?

Without God, Christ and the Holy Spirit at the center of our education and business endeavors, everything we do is incomplete and blurry, and it has negative consequences for the next generations. What do you think?

Since I will marry Alex Guillermo Lozano Artolachipi soon, I really wish that our kids can experience better holistic and integral learning activities than the ones we lived when younger.

Thank you for reading me. Next post, will be the secondary school. Blessings have a happy weekend.bee

Source References utilized to write this article:

Disclaimer: All the presentation slides shown on this blog are prepared by Eleonora Escalante MBA-MEng. Nevertheless, all the pictures or videos shown on this blog are not mine.  I do not own any of the lovely photos or images posted unless otherwise stated.



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