VISITING THE TEACHER
In one of his trips to Europe, mister Agustin visited, in Oxford, the educator, philosopher and Italian psychologist Maria Montessori so he could know first-hand, her methodology based on love, freedom, games and boundaries.
Teacher Ovidio Decroly came to Colombia to know the first Active School of South America. With his own eyes, the pedagogist evidenced how the Interest Centers came alive in the new Colombian institution. Here, chatting in the gardens of Villa Adelaida, don Agustin’s home.
The house that was mister Agustin’s had his wife’s name. A beautiful home on Carrera septima with Calle 71, close to the Gimnasio and far away from the city.
BLESSED AMONGST WOMEN
In El Prof’s study hall, this picture of the teacher next to his three sisters: Carlota, Maria and Luisa appeared.
Mister Agustin, eleven years upon returning to the country, after finishing his studies in Law, Education and Psychology at the University of Paris, France and the Teachers College in Columbia in New York, United States.
MISTER “CHEPE” SAMPER
He knew that the best tool to develop the country was education. Mister Jose Maria Samper Brush was a visionary, on 1913 he contacted don Agustin and they agreed upon creating a school. His conviction was such that he gave all his fortune to the project so that today the story of that joint dream is told.
Surrounded by barb wire, the students wore gloves, and under adult supervision, they measured their strength fighting. A sports activity that some students practiced.
TIE AND BOWTIE
Very elegant and stiff, with short pants, fashionable tie and bowtie, this group of students appears under the eucalyptus next to the soccer field.
BEFORE THE STONE
Group of students accompanied by the Principal, mister Aurelio Tobon Mejia, surrounding “The Angel Fountain” which was found when exiting the main building.
STORY OF A JOURNEY
A group of students had the opportunity to make an excursion through some regions of the Colombian territory and visit Panama and Costa Rica. The former student Nicolás Sanz de Santamaría wrote a book in which all the adventures of this trip are narrated.
Eduardo Caballero Calderón founds the magazine El Aguilucho. A sample of the spaces of freedom and expression that the Gimnasio provides to its students and that they manage with the limits that they impose on their own responsibilities.
The rough stone of various phases and different edges that acts as a vigilant in front of the Main Building, was brought from the Hacienda Santa Ana by mister Tomás Rueda Vargas. It represents the ideas raised and the generous feelings of those men who gave life to the Gimnasio.
BUILDING A PIGEON-HOUSE
The children, under the supervision and guidance of teacher Jorge Fajardo, build the first pigeon-house for the school, an icon for the Gimnasio community.
THE YOUNGSTERS CITY
These third-grade Decroly youngsters are building a scale model city with houses and rivers next to the Main Building. All as part of the contents of their Interest Centers.
A gathering of the Scouts in the Raqueta next to the new car models of the time. The pack, the troop and the clan line-up as they are receiving instructions.
With the same methodology implemented in the Moderno, the girls of the Gimnasio Femenino build a city in their classroom, as part of the Decrolian Interest Centers.
The substantial spirit of the Gimnasio Moderno also inspired other pedagogical projects, such as the Gimnasio Femenino in 1927, a school that would fill the enormous gap that existed at the beginning of the last century in the education of women.
Mister Agustín goes to greet the third-year high school students, currently eighth grade, who are in class with teachers Saúl Gómez and Demetrio Bernal, in the corner of the old library.
BREAKFAST FOR THE PIGEONS
Mister Agustín feeds the pigeons in the company of the students of the second year of high school, currently seventh grade, and the teacher José Eusebio Peña.
CHATTING IN THE LIBRARY
In the old Library of the Primary Building, mister Agustín, the teacher Demetrio Bernal and “Gonzalón”, the librarian, chat with the students.
WORKING WITH WOOD
Photograph of a manual labor class, published in El Aguilucho in 1929. Students are seen working with wood in a room specially designed for that purpose.
Montessori children, before going on a field trip, pose with their headscarf in the company of teacher Solano.
Teacher Ricardo Lleras Codazzi taught geography about the deviations of the terrain. In this photograph, the children take advantage of the sandbox to recreate the mountains of our country.
Students work in a very orderly fashion in their Interest Center. Teacher Salvador Pérez accompanies and guides them. The room has all the necessary environment for the Decrolian model to have its effect: learning from a particular interest.
From the beginning, the campus has had tennis courts. Traditional tournaments such as the Adelaida Cup have been played in these sports venues.
View of the Primary Ring. The vegetation begins to wrap the building and some plants surround what we know as the Primary Ring.
Mrs Esther Mejia de Uribe was the teacher in charge of running the Elementary Teaching during the 30’s decade.
Before entering the dining room, the students had to wash their hands in the water fountains that were located in the entrance of the Main Building.
INSIDE THE POOL
The children splash around the pool. In the background, the houses of the haciendas that surround the school.
FIRST PIGEON HOUSE
In order to house the pigeons, symbol of freedom in the Gimnasio, the first pigeon house was built near the Raqueta.
TRIP TO SWITZERLAND
Mister Agustín traveled to Switzerland to talk with the psychologist and biologist Jean William Fritz Piaget, a great theorist of cognitive development and intelligence in childhood. Without a doubt, one of the models that inspired the founder.
Thanks to his efforts, Don Benjamin Casabianca, Secretary General for several decades of the school, recovered the Gimnasio from the crisis of the early 1930s.