Ángel Quintero Alfaro

Ángel Quintero Alfaro

Educator, essayist and public official. He contributed to the development of higher education by participating in the reform processes at the University of Puerto Rico and the public school system during the 1940s. He served as undersecretary of the Department of Education from 1961 to 1964 and as secretary from 1965 to 1968. During his term as secretary, he developed an innovative program of model schools.

He was born in 1916 in Morovis where he began his education. He enrolled at the University of Puerto Rico, where he completed a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Physics in 1937. For several years, he worked as a teacher in San Germán and Manatí.

In the early 1940s, the rector of the University of Puerto Rico granted him a scholarship as part of a program for preparing educators in the United States. Quintero Alfaro completed his graduate studies in Pedagogy at the University of Chicago, a university that promoted the theories of general education. In 1945, he began to teach classes as part of the new General Studies faculty at the University of Puerto Rico and from 1950 to 1958, he served as director of the faculty.

In the 1960s, under the incumbency of Governor Roberto Sánchez Vilella, he was named undersecretary of the Department of Education, a post he held from 1961 to 1964. Later, he served as secretary (1965 – 1968). Under his direction, an innovative program of model schools was developed. Its objective was to create model schools that would provide a higher level of education to a bigger population. Among these schools was the Theodore Roosevelt School in Mayagüez, where the curriculum included instruction in French, dance, oratory and music.

Quintero presented a large number of speeches which were collected in Mensajes al magisterio puertorriqueño, 1965-1968, published in 1968. He also wrote essays and articles about education, among which are “Teoría de la educación general” (1949); “Evaluación y proyecciones de la situación educativa en Puerto Rico” (1965); “Imagen e identidad: reflexiones sobre la literatura puertorriqueña en el currículo escolar” (1985). The latter essay is part of the book Imágenes e identidades: el puertorriqueño en la literatura, edited by Asela Rodríguez de Laguna. He also published other books such as La instrucción pública en Puerto Rico: ayer, hoy y mañana (1968) and Educación y cambio social en Puerto Rico (1972).

He died in Madrid in 1992. The following year, the Angel G. Quintero Alfaro the Foundation was formed for the purpose of promoting and developing innovative practices in education in Puerto Rico. The foundation awards the Innovative Education Prize to schools or educational institutions that have introduced innovative practices in their programs.

By the PROE Editorial Group

Author: Grupo Editorial EPRL
Published: December 01, 2009.

Related Entries

This post is also available in: Español


The Puerto Rico Endowment for the Humanities welcomes the constructive comments that the readers of the Encyclopedia of Puerto Rico want to make us. Of course, these comments are entirely the responsibility of their respective authors.