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date: 12 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the construction of nationwide public education systems in Latin America, focusing on the subjects that have received greater scholarly attention: the colonial legacy, education and citizenship, Estados Docentes or Teaching States, and education and modernization. Under colonial domination, local communities managed and funded schooling, largely relying on the Catholic clergy for teaching. While most countries adopted republican political systems after independence, the colonial legacy remained influential in both institutional and conceptual terms. In the late nineteenth century, governments began the construction of centralized, national public education systems. Teaching States initially provided more resources to education, expanded schooling, and tried to professionalize teachers and to improve their working conditions and social status. Since the early twentieth century, as modernization continued, governments carried on literacy campaigns and expanded secondary education, frequently in collaboration with international organizations. While these top-down policies advanced quantitative inclusiveness, their high-handed implementation fostered discontent.

Keywords: Latin America, Estados Docentes, Teaching States, centralization, modernization

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