Literature and teaching were the great passions of Josefina Aldecoa, as evidenced by her PhD in Pedagogy. She was the founder and Principal of Colegio Estilo from 1959 until her death in 2011. Her mother and grandmother were teachers who applied the ideology of the Free Institution of Teaching (ILE). Josefina formed part of the literary group that produced Espadaña poetry magazine. Born in 1926 in La Robla, León, she moved to Madrid in 1944, where she studied philosophy and literature and earned a doctorate in pedagogy from the University of Madrid with a thesis on children’s relationship with Art, which would later be published with the El Arte del Niño (The Art of the Child) (1960). In Madrid she came into contact with a group of writers who would later form part of the “generation of the 1950s”: Carmen Martín Gaite, Rafael Sánchez Ferlosio, Alfonso Sastre, Jesús Fernández Santos and Ignacio Aldecoa, whom she married in 1952, and whose surname she took after his death in 1969. Amongst her published works are: A ninguna parte (1961), Los niños de la guerra (1983), La enredadera (1984), Porque éramos jóvenes (1986), El vergel (1988), Cuento para Susana (1988), Historia de una maestra (1990), Mujeres de negro (1994), Ignacio Aldecoa en su paraíso (1996), Espejismos (1996), La fuerza del destino (1997), Confesiones de una abuela (1998), Pinko y su perro (1998), El mejor (1998), La rebelión (1999), El desafío (2000), Fiebre (2001), La educación de nuestros hijos (2001), El enigma (2002), En la distancia (2004), La Casa Gris (2005), and Hermanas (2008).
In 2003 Josefina Aldecoa was awarded the Castilla y León prize for the Arts. Her warmth and her passion for literature and pedagogy, for Art, freedom and excellence are still very present in Colegio Estilo today.