Bahá'í Chronology: 1974-10-25
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|1974 25 Oct
||FUNDAEC (A Spanish acronym for Foundation for the Application and Teaching of the Sciences) was founded by a group of scientists and professionals led by Farzam Arbab, a renowned physicist who had arrived as a visiting professor to the University of Valle in 1970. The non-profit, non-governmental organization focused on training and development in the rural areas of Colombia and other countries in Latin America. [FUNDAEC website]
They would go on to establish SAT (Sistema de Aprendizaje Tutorial) which expanded across Latin America to reach more than 300,000 students, and become accredited and recognized by a number of governments.
The Brookings Institution, a major think tank in the United States, described SAT as "catalyzing an education revolution" by "transforming how education is conceptualized, designed, and delivered."
It does this by focusing on skills that are beyond the traditional academic skills, such as moral and character development, and it conceives of learning as something much broader. The philosophy is one of nurturing socially minded young people who can support and sustain development in their own communities. It bridges theory with practice by linking classroom work with practical projects, like encouraging students to learn mathematics and science in the context of growing vegetables or using their language abilities to start small study groups to promote literacy.
One difference between SAT and other widely accepted classroom models is the concept of "tutors." Teachers working with SAT are referred to as tutors, and their role is defined as guiding and facilitating the learning process, rather than only imparting information. The lack of hierarchy is "an important distinction", wrote Brookings, "as it creates a culture of mutual respect and trust between tutors and students". [BWN1155]