Colegio Estilo was founded in Madrid in 1959 by Josephina Aldecoa, who took her inspiration from the concepts that can be found in her pedagogical thesis, from the schools she visited in England and the United States and in educational theory drawn from Krausism, the ideological foundation for the Free Institution of Teaching (ILE):
“I wanted a model that was very humanist, giving special importance to literature, the Arts: a school that would be culturally very refined, very liberated and in which religion wouldn’t be talked about, all of which were unthinkable in the majority of schools in the country at that time”.
In her book La Buena Educación, Susana Aldecoa tells us about how things are done at Estilo: “Enriching language is the primary and fundamental goal in all education and literary language proves the best way, right from when the children join us in the pre-school, for them to discover, repeat and savour these new words which will enrich their vocabulary and their way of expressing themselves. (…) Maths and scientific subjects make up that other educative block which provides the backbone of education (…) The humanist subjects, History, Geography, Art History and History of Religions contribute towards cultural sophistication and refinement … to truly appreciate the most sublime things human beings have been able to create (…) Music, History of the Opera, Orchestra class and classical ballet are disciplines which strengthen the senses and sensibility (…) Arts and Crafts are an unquestionable mark of identity for us. Pure creative capacity is developed, without contamination or manipulation, guided but not dictated, over the course of the entire school cycle with intensity and imagination (…) Drama is a truly important activity for us: here children get used to speaking in public, shake off their stage fright and act out plays that they themselves have put together or that are based on selected texts (…) Physical Education is a necessary and healthy element and one which has a very clear educative message: that of strengthening solidarity, sportsmanship, teamwork (…) And seen as a whole this “riddle”, once all of its pieces have been organised and put in their place, becomes the measured and steady harmony of everything they know, learn, choose, enjoy and feel”. Susana Aldecoa.