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Emblematic of a new system of education

Mexican student Paloma Noyola Bueno achives highest maths results in a national test

Mexican student Paloma Noyola Bueno has been toted ´The Next Steve Jobs´ by Wired Magazine in their November issue. The fifth grader, who scored first place in math and third place in Spanish on a national test, is emblematic of a new system of education achieving remarkable results

In the social networks the article from the Wired magazine has been very commented: some described as a sensationalist tabloid magazine, others felt pride that the Mexican girl at such a young age could become the next CEO of Apple.

Wired reports that Correa found the state-approved curriculum "mind-numbingly boring" and achieved poor test results and a complete lack of student engagement. Indeed, a 2011 UNESCO study shows that while 98 percent of Mexican children are enrolled in primary school, only 73 percent make it to Secondary School. More shocking still, only 29 percent of the population make it to tertiary level.

LaVanguardia reports that in 2012, the generation prior to Paloma´s, 45 percent of students failed math and 31 perent did not pass Spanish. By Paloma´s year, only 7 percent failed math and only 3.5 percent failed Spanish. This high-achieving class, it seems, could indeed produce the next Steve Jobs. The incredible results are thanks to a remarkable new approach by Correa.

Inspired by these methods of independent learning, Correa created a completely new method of teaching for his class. He placed the students in small groups, allowing them to learn from each other as much as they learnt from Correa himself. He inspired the students to engage with their own curiosity: asking "what did they want to learn about?" Despite a lack of technological capabilities in the school, Correa would still bring his students a wide scope of information: he would go home and research any topic that interested the students on the web, bringing in the information that was most relevant to them.

Correa has embraced the fact that we have moved from the industrial era to the age of information: images, texts and information are processed at remarkable speeds. By inspiring and engaging kids in their own interests, inspiring them to solve problems and act independently, educators like Correa are are allowing children to fulfil their ultimate potential. Paloma´s results speak for themselves.

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