The SAT Curriculum: A Holistic Approach

FUNDAEC and the development of a holistic curriculum 


The Sistema de Aprendizaje Tutorial (link is external)[Tutorial Learning System] (SAT) was developed in Colombia by the Fundación para la Aplicación y Enseñanza de las Ciencias [Foundation for the application and teaching of science] (FUNDAEC). SAT was created with the purpose of promoting development in the most disadvantaged rural areas of Colombia. FUNDAEC is responsible for developing the curriculum used in SAT schools. FUNDAEC's goal in developing the curriculum for SAT is to create and design a curriculum that embraces a holistic approach.

Holistic education is “about educating the whole person -body, mind, and spirit- within the context of an interconnected world” (Miller, 2012). The SAT curriculum is designed to provide a holistic educational experience with the following characteristics: 

  • The curriculum fuses together the intellectual and spiritual dimensions of human beings. In SAT, spirituality means the practice of universal human values, and active participation in the search for and construction of a better society.

  • SAT awakens students’ interest in investigation, encourages them to study their communities’ problems in depth, and urges them to use science in the search for solutions with great enthusiasm and commitment.

  • Knowledge is harmoniously blended, mixing traditional wisdom with modern knowledge.

  • Study, work, and community development are integrated, all within a spirit of service.

  • The texts are designed so that the student, with the guidance of a tutor, commits to a process of validating knowledge and building new knowledge. 

The curriculum is organized into 70 texts which, unlike the common practice of covering specific subject matter, seek to develop five fundamental capabilities: mathematical, scientific, language and communication, technological, and community service. 

The curriculum places an emphasis on concepts, not information, to ensure that students develop the ability to analyze, which will allow them to access scientific knowledge and use it to promote individual and community development. The following figure displays the five fundamental capabilities developed through the SAT curriculum: 

SAT curriculum capabilities