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date: 22 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Spanish-speaking Latin American countries share language, educational history and approaches, and a colonial past. Education was an essential part of a transculturation process that changed the indigenous worldview and inserted European civilization. Along the centuries, music served for catechizing, inculcating cultural and moral values, easing social control, attaining group cohesion, supporting the emerging national spirit, promoting social inclusion, integrating immigrants, stimulating multiculturalism awareness, and achieving social or individual emotional, creative, intellectual, and even physical development. So highly regarded, music education was included in most educational endeavors at any level of schooling. However, hazardous political, institutional, and economic life hindered its effective implementation. Policies changed frequently, and European and North American models randomly mixed with local traditional expressions. Governments issued regulations, looking for improvement, but disjoint efforts, deficient monitoring, and inadequate evaluation often resulted in failure. The culture of assessment is still incipient in the region and poses a great yet unavoidable challenge.

Keywords: South America, historical foundations, cultural identity, music education, educational policies, assessment practice, failed experience, contemporary challenge

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