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PRELAC Journal

P R E LAC Journal / No0

As long as the source is duly cited,this text may be reproduced wholly

or in Dart.

The selection and presentation of the contents of this publication,as

well as the opinions expressed therein are the sole responsibilitiesof
the authors,not necessarily those of UNESCO,and should not be
implied to represent those of the organization.

The place names used in this publication and the presentation of data
herein do not imply on the part of UNESCO any position in regard to
the legal status of countries,cities,territories or areas,nor of their
authorities or in regard to the position of their borders or territorial limits.

Published by the Regional Office of Education of UNESCO for Latin

America and the Caribbean O R E A L C W N E S C O Santiago


Translation:William Gallagher

ISSN:Still pending

Printed in Chile by Andros Ltda

i n t roduct i on

w e here present the new magazine of PRELAC (the Regional Education Project
for Latin America and the Caribbean) published by OREALCAJNESCO Santiago.
As with any new venture,this one marks a celebration along with a recognitionof
the challengesahead.

The magazine is both a result and a continuationof past efforts.It seeks to maintain
current and to enrich the lines of discussion opened by the Bulletin of the Major
Project of Education in Latin America and the Caribbean which concluded with its
NO50 in the year 2000.

The publication will also include new realities and perspectives,beginning as it does
within a differentcontext,treating education and its role in human development in
the context of new and different questions and issues.It also presents the fresh
approach of the Regional Education Project for Latin America and the Caribbean,
PRELAC 2002-2017,a banner activity of OREALC/UNESCOSantiago aimed at
fulfillmentof the goals of quality and of equity of Education forAll.-
In orderto emphasize PRELACas a strategic framework,we open the new magazine
with a summary ofthe major contents of the project and considerationsto its meaning
and activities.The first number also includes five lectures presented at the First
IntergovernmentalMeeting of PRELAC held in Havana,Cuba in November,2002
which provided food for thought and discussionon the education themes of the new
Regional Project.The presentations considerthe challenges facing the region from
various perspectives:the social situationand education;equity and exclusion;learning
and knowledge;education reforms and quality;the current situation and participation
of teachers;and schoolmanagement and social participation.

Beginning in the next issue,we will have the benefit of the guidance and support of
an Editorial Council composed of Fernando Reimers,Martin Carnoy,JosC Joaquin
Brunner,Aignald Panneflek,Alvaro Marchesi,Guiomar Namo de Melo,and Ana
Luiza Machado.

It is our hope that the magazine will provide importantcontributions to discussion,

to policy decision-makingand to new educational practices that the region requires
in order to achieve freedom,well-being,and dignity for all people everywhere.

Ana Luiza Machado

U N E S C O Regional Bureau for Education
in Latin America and the Caribbean





Rolando Franco.


Roberto Carneiro.

43/ACHIEVINGGREATER access, equity, and quality OF

Martin Carnoy.


Commonwealth Caribbean.
Errol Miller.

85/Some dimensions of the PROFESSIONAL

Emilio Tenti.

PRELAC Journal

'Educationmust act to eliminate or compensatefor inequalitiesbut not erase differences". 1

Regional Educ
A Regional Path toward Education for All
Education is the only guarantee
for providing sustainable human development

The Regional Education Project for PRELAC is a continuation of the efforts

Latin America and the Caribbean made through the Major Project of
-PRELAC- was approved at the First The Declaration calls the PRELAC Education (1 980-2000).It also supports
Intergovernmental Meeting,held in proposals " ...basic priorities and the frameworks of action of Education
Havana,Cuba from November 14-16, commitments for countries of the for All adopted at the Dakar World Forum
2002.The Ministersof Education present region, (we)request the adoption (2000)and the Regional Preparatory
and representativesof 34 countries by governments of legislative Meeting in Santo Domingo. its most
approved the project as well as its Follow- measures and national recent referent is the Meeting of Ministers
up Model. They also signed the agreements that guarantee its of Education held in Cochabamba (2001)
Declaration of Havana,which expresses sustainability..." which charged UNESCO with preparation
the will of countriesto supportthe project of a new Regional Project in order to for
which has a 15-yeartime line. the region to make a quantitative leap in

A disturbing
Scenario At the beginning of the new century,Latin
America and the Caribbean face two serious problems:the
highest levels of inequality in the world,and a high degree of
vulnerability of their most important institutions.
Optimistic projections of the economic situation have not
been fulfilled. Levels of poverty (211 million people)and extreme
poverty (80million) at the end of the 1990s showed signs of
worsening. Disparities between and within countries increased.
Poverty and inequality show their most inhumane side in
the distribution of wealth. In many countries,the income of the
10% wealthiest sector of the population exceeds by 20 times
that of the 40% poorest. Some 70% of the inhabitants of the
region dwell in households with incomes that are below the
average. Social policies have not fulfilled the redistributive role
expected of them.


PRELAC Journal

Unemploymentand underemployment are among the most Furthermore,the scenario in which PRELAC appears
visible expressions of poverty and exclusion.Undoubtedly,the presents conditionsthat go beyond the region itself.These
balance is negative:mass lay-offs,decreases in the quality of have to do with extremely rapid changes in knowledge,the
employment,under-utilizationof qualified labor,increases in breaking of barriers of time and of space by new communications
informal employment,precarious salaries,and labor instability. technologies,changes in patterns of behavior and of values,
Those most suffering the greatest impact continue to be and migratory movements,among others,that present to society,
indigenous populations,women,young people,and those with and thereforeto education,new interpretationsand new
low income. challenges.
Together with the problems of unemployment and its A world is full of accomplishments,but also of overriding
incidence at all stages of life,the region also witnesses the concerns requires seeking new meanings of education itself.
changes produced by technology and the communication An world that is increasingly-changingand aware of the wealth
media,degradation of the natural environment,violence and of its diversity demands unceasing efforts in order to find
increasing conflict,problems of governability,racial and cultural creative and comprehensive education solutions.
discrimination,and the weakening of regional integration.

New views
Of old problems PRELAC,besides of education,it calls attention to the long
describing the context of contemporary and difficult road ahead.
education,recognizes the efforts The absence of comprehensive
developed in the region within the teacher training policies are also
framework of the education reform and emphasized in the diagnosis,as well as
quality improvement projects.It also needs in regard to the amount of time
recognizes,however,that the results dedicated to learning,training in science,
achieved to date are still insufficientand and the role of new technologies.The
that a number of important issues remain project also emphasizes limitations in
to be dealt with in the region. education management,financing,
Within the considerations that resource allocation,and the increasing
PRELAC offers regarding pending tasks quality gap between private and public
are crucialthemes such as the continuing education.
high rates of illiteracy in the world,and In considering the current context,
universal coverage of primary and education problems,and the
secondary education with the worrisome commitmentsassumed by countries to
current high rates of grade repetition, achieve Education for All by the year
drop-out,and behind grade students. 2015,PRELAC offers importantadvances
The project also calls attention to the marked new views and commitments.
lack of equity in the distribution of These are expressed in the programs
educationalopportunities and its impact goals,principles,and strategicfocuses.
on excluded groups with special
educational needs,native peoples,those
living in isolated rural areas and marginal
urban populations.In termsof the quality

PRELAC. A Regional Path toward Educatlon forAll

Purpose Principles
PRELAC seeks " foster education The four principals upon which the project requires going beyond the kind of
policies and practices,through the is based offer a new basis for viewing education that is centered only on
transformation of current education the question of education.They offer new knowledge in order to consider as well
paradigms in order to assure quality means for analyzing and assessing affective and relational,social,ethical,
learning and life-longhuman initiatives.Each of them representsan and aesthetic asoects as well.
development for all.Education policies important advance for understanding
must have as a priority making effective education policies and practices. From homogeneity to diversify
for the entire population the right to Requires the difficult achievement of
education and to equality ofopportunities, From inputs and structures to people balance in educational services that
eliminating barriers that limit full Involves motivating people and provide a common culture that assures
participation and learning of all people developing their capacities so they may equality of opportunity while at the same
... adequately utilize inputs and make time considering cultural,social,and
The project finds its meaning in the commitments toward education change individual differences,given their strong
mobilization and articulation of and results.This involves moving from influenceon learning and on the
cooperation within and between countries being actors to being authors within construction ofpersonal and social
in order to assure the achievement of the education processes;from individual collectiveidentity
objectives ofDakar (2000-2015). decisions to cooperation among actors.
PRELAC seeks to provide a technical From school-basededucation to the
and policy forum that fostersdialogue From mere transmission of content to education society
and the construction of alternatives comprehensive development of people Recognizes that learning environments
among social actors.Is seeks to foster Seeks to fully recognize the status of are increasingly numerous and that not
innovative educational policies that students as subjectswith rights who all of them are school-based.Fosters a
decrease inequalitiesin the region and require an education that fully regards quantitative leap toward an "education
make quality education for all a reality. their development as human beings in society"with multiple opportunities for
multiple dimensionsand that permits learning and for life-longdevelopment
them to fully participate in society.This of personal skills.

Strategic focuses The incorporation of strategic focusesinto PRELACoffers a means to better

set more integrative and transcendentpriorities for reflection.These are central themes
that each country is invited to consider in order to fulfill the goals of Education for All.

H Focus on the contents and practices of education in order to constnrctmeanings
regarding ourselves,others, and the world in which w e live.
involves contributing to the understanding of the meaning of education in a world of
uncertainties and change.The skills training offered currently by education must be
supplemented with citizen training and building a culture of peace.The four pillars
"d of learning of the Delors Report are an excellent guide when consideringthe meanings
of education:learning to be,learning to know,learning to do,and learning to live
together.PRELAC also emphasizes the importanceof a complementary skill:learning
to endeavor.
I .


PRELAC Journal

2. Focus on teachers and Strengthening their participation in education change

- , in order to satisfy student learning needs.
I , .

This demands public policies that recognize the social role of teachers and that value
their contributions in fostering education change.It requires training in new skills in
order to face the challenges of the XXI century and their commitment to student : '"

3. Focus on the Culture of Schools to convert them into participatory learning * 2

Improving quality and equity demands changing the culture and functioning of .; '

' schools. It involves constructing new relationships marked by respect for mutual $
understanding,ethical,and democratic values in order to produce fully participatory
citizens. It requires as well adopting participatory decision-makingprocesses at ; '
different levels of the education system.
J I I.. , I

'< * . . .:
4. Focus on management and increased flexibility of education systems in order
. .
1 to offer effective,life-long learning opportunities. I j.:
+ 1 .


Requires change of the rigid organization and regulationsof currenteducation systems

in order to offer diversified programs that recognize the heterogeneity of education
needs and that lend a greater degree of autonomy to schools.Also emphasizes the
need to place management at the service of student learning.

5. Focus on Social Responsibility for Education in order to generate commitment

to its development and results.
Emphasizes the adoption of public policies that encourage education systems,school
communities,and society in general to assume responsibility for education.Political
will is required in order to generate conditions and mechanisms for public participation
. , * , * i . ,

accountability at all levels.

Continuity and n e w conditions As we have conceived and developed in supportof

stated,PRELAC is a continuation of and closely working with this greater
previous efforts at the regional and world movement to assure quality life-long
levels:the Major Project for Education education for all.This project is a forum
which established common focusesand making it possible to reflect on how to
priorities in education areas in Latin attain EFA goals and to creatively analyze
America and the Caribbean,and the the most appropriate education policy
world movement of Education for All options for the different contexts of the
-EFA-a cornerstoneof UNESCO'sefforts, region. PRELAC is thus a set of regional
the six objectives of which,established strategies in order to support effective
in Dakar,are mandatory for countries. constructionof quality education for all
PRELAC is not a new entity;it was in Latin America and the Caribbean.
PRELAC. A Reglonal Path toward Education forAll

Three special qualities of PRELAC Finally,it is importantto call attention

are of note.The first is its critical and to the importance of these principles and
program-relatedfocus in the face of strategicfocuses.They are aids in arriving
achievement levels attained in education. at an understanding of both old and new
A second is the incorporationof particular problems,in order to fashion integrated
elements of the reality of Latin America and systemic perspectives.
and the Caribbean (in literacy training, Therefore,assuring that PRELAC be
cultural diversity,inequality,etc.).The discussed with the key actors in the
third,of a strategic nature,is the guidance region is an urgent task.e
it provides in how to move toward EFA

"It is essential that the development of education policies be part of

a broad process of social and polltical transformation" (PRELAC)

The text ofPRELAC as well as cmplementary information

marbe found atwww.unesco.ct
in Latin America and the Caribbean
and its influence o n the
development of education
Roland0 Franco'

LL.D.,Doctor of Social Sciences,and Social

Researcher, Director of the Social Development
Division ofthe Economic Councilfor LahnAmerica
and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

I wish to thank UNESCO for the invitation extended to me to speak at this session.
But I have qualms in regard to my participation here,particularly because I recall the
the destiny,in ancient times,of messengers bearing bad tidings.And this,I believe,
is my function on this occasion when I am asked to speak about the social situation
in Latin America and the influencethat it can have on the development of education.
In short,the economic,social,and political situation in Latin America is worrisome.
The trend during the first seven years of the 199Os,during which relatively significant
growth took place,which generated much hope regarding the future of Latin America
and the Caribbean,has been interrupted.The Asian crisis changed that trend,
exchanging it first to deaccelleration and,later,for various important countries in the
region,negative rates at the beginning of the new century.This has led to to talking
about a new "lost half decade",the period from 1997-2002,joining the ten negative
years of the 1980s.

' Presented at the First Intergovernmental

Meeting ofthe Regional Education Project
for Latin America and the Caribbean.Havana
Cuba,Novembec 14-16,2002.


PRELAC Journal

To illustrate the downturn,one can

point to what happened in terms of
“employment”,which is the lynch pin
between economic and social factors.
Normally,economic growth involves the
generation of jobs,which permit people
to earn a salary and to thus independently
satisfy their needs and those of their
i UNEMPLOYMENT IS NOT ASSOCIATED WITH families.In the 1990sthere seems to have
i ECONOMIC GROWTH. THIS PROBLEM IS been a disassociation between growth
and increase in jobs (seeGraph
Nearly 32 million people entered the group
i of the economically active urban
population.Only 9.1million of them
51 Annual Growth Rate Unemployment Rate
obtained formal employment,while almost
14 1 20 million were occuped in the informal
sector (Graph2).The groups most
affected by the jobless rate contined to
be women, young people,and people
from the lower and middle income strata
(Graph 3).That is,the situation in terms
M& and CentralA m e m ll South Amerlca :INSUFFICIENT GENERATION OF of employment is particularly negative.

of the nearty 40 million people
who entered the labor market
between 1990acd 1999,lO.B
milllon did notfind,orlostapb.


al Sector
and of the 29 mlllio
generated between 7
1999,almost 20 mill G M 3
In the infwmal secto
informal &tor characteristics of urban unemployment for the

S o u w ECLAC special tabulationsof household sulveys

in the respecbve countnes.

AIstatistical information canes from

various editions of Social Panorama
ofLatin America,an annual
publication of ECLAC. Born Men Women Young 1st 2nd 3rd 4” 5th
saxes 1524 Quintile Quintile Quinhle Quinble Quinble
Source. ECLAC speclal tabulabonsof household
surveys in the respective countries.
THE SOCIAL SITUATION in Latin America and the Caribbean and its influenceon the development of education

To this are added some aspects linked

to education,which is the subjectthat
concerns us today,which were also
j RAPID INCREASE IN THE negative.During the 199Os,there was a
I RESOURCES significant improvement in the training of
qualified resources in the region (Graph4),
i particularly improvementsfor women,
whose training levels particularly increased
(Graph 5).This has doubtlessly required a
notable effort on the part ofLatin American
9,o and Caribbean societies.Nevertheless,
J progress achieved in secondary and higher
2 7,O
c education lag behind those of developed
? countries that are members of the OECD
9 58
and the industrialized countries of Asia
3,O (Graph 6).Progress achieved in Latin
5 2,o America does not even accompany the
4 l,o growth in these areas in these two large
Population Unskilled Technically University
groups of countries.
between 25 population trained trained
and 59 years professionals

..................... GRAPH5 Changing trends in the urban population, 25 to 59 years of age possessing
WOMEN ARE INCREASINGLY technical or Drofessionaltraining, by gender. 1990-1999
BEING TRAINED (averageannual rate of variation)
El Salvador
i Costa Rica
GRAPH 6 Argentina
Secondary Education

All countries
E 100
0,o 5,O 10,o 15,O 20,o 25,O 30,O
c o o
Latin America Asia OECD

Higher Education

8 801

5 Latin America Asia OECD


PRELAC Journal

Moreover,the region has not been able to achieve satisfactory job placement for
those who have achieved these levels of training in Latin America. In the 199Os,one-
fourth of those entering the labor market with varying levels of training (4.3million
technical and 3.6million professional training). W e may distinguish three major sources
in terms of the under-utilizationof qualified labor.First,there is open unemployment, BETWEEN 1997AND 2001, LEVELS j
the high rates of which for prolonged periods reflect the inability of economies in the OF WELL-BEING IN LATIN AMERICA j
region to make due use of the knowledge and skills of the population.Thus,there
were many qualified people who were unable even to enter the labor market. Latin
American societies continue to demonstrate a great inability
to adequately take advantage of their population possessing
knowledge and skills.
Second,many of the professionally and technicallytrained Percentage of poor and extremely poor persons
people entering the labor market for the first time obtained
jobs that did allow them to put into practice the knowledge
that they acquired during their formative years. They therefore 40

hold jobs that do not correspond to their levels of training and

that do not pay back the investment made by them,their families,
and society.Finally,this group,as well as other job candidates,
become discouraged and abandon their job search.They make U
up, most certainly,the discouraged unemployed" who leave the
economically active population.Moreover,there is the involuntary
inactivity that affects principally women,who lack support networks a/ ilguraa for 2OOO and 2001 am based on pmjedions.

able to allow them to combine salaried activity with the domestic chores
that continue to be their responsibility,due to cultural changes that have
taken place in these societies.
In conclusion,the lack of generation of quality employment is perhaps
the major obstacle to the achievement of greater equity in the distribution
of the fruits of growth.This impedes absorbing the increase in the supply of
qualified technical and professional human resources.
What are the consequences of this stagnation in the generation of employment
for the social environment? Unemployment is the principal factor in determining Size of the poor and extremely poor populations
poverty. In periods during which there is economic growth,jobs are generated .fI I
and,consequently,the proportion of the Latin American population below
the poverty line is reduced.This trend halted in 1977 and,toward the end
of the century,the proportion of the poor as a percentage of the total .
population stabilized.There was a slight improvement in 2000,and in
2001 and 2002 the number of the poor once again increased.The
projections of ECLAC indicatethat 43% of the Latin American population
is poor,and 18.6% extremely poor (Graph 7).That is,more than
214,000,000people are below the povery line (Graph 8).In 2002,
an additional 10 million people joined the ranks of the poor.

THE SOCIAL SITUATION in Latin America and the Caribbean and Its influenceon the develooment of education

W e should note that the measurement It is importantto note in addition,that

methodology used by ECLAC is based in regard to the poverty rate,there are
upon the establishment of a poverty line quite dissimilar situations in Latin America
that is equivalent to the cost of two basic (Graph9).W e may distinguish three types
food baskets (in urban areas). This is of current situations within countries.
based on householdsthat reportthat half Some countries,at the beginning of the
of their incomes are spent on food and new century have witnessed increases
the other half on covering other basic in poverty.Others have managed to
needs.The extreme poor are considered maintain the pre-existingsituation.Finally,
to be those people whose incomes are a third group of countrieshas,in spite of
inferior to the cost of a basic food basket. the adverse international context,
diminished poverty.
W e should also note that that the
impact produced by economic growth
in reducing poverty varies between
countries.For the same rate of growth,
some have been more effective in
reducing poverty (Graph 10).




Latin America (15 countries):Povertv rates for 1997 and 2001

GRAPH 10 4....... .

Latin America (14countries) annual average variation of GDP per

al Urban areas


PR E LAC Journal

The silver lining of the dark clouds What is the situation in Latin American
covering the region comes from two countries in regard to the degree to which
positive notes:it is possible to reduce they have made progress in achieving
poverty more when there is economic the major goal that they accepted at the
growth if good public policies are Millenium Summit,i.e., to,by 2015,
followed;and poverty can also be reduce by one-halfthe extreme poverty
reduced,or not increased during periods existing in each of them in 1990? ECLAC
of crisis.This allows us to maintain that has argued that this is an unduly modest
globalization undoubtedly conditionswhat goal for Latin American countries,and
happens in Latin America,but does not that given the level of intermediate
determine what happens.There are development in the region,the goal
degrees of freedom that allow public should be to reduce povery per se by
policies carried out by governmentsto one-half,and not just extreme poverty.
produce different results in key indicators If we consider the goal set at the
such as growth,employment generation, Summit (reducing extreme poverty by
and reductions in poverty.That is,not one-half),there are countriesin the region,
everything is a result of the external such as Chile and Panama,that have
framework.Much is a consequence of already achieved it. Moreover,the
what is done within each country. Dominican Republic is close to achieving
the goal,with Brazil and Uruguay slightly
further away (Graph 11). On the other
hand,if we accept the more demanding
goal proposed by ECLAC,no Latin
American country has yet achieved it,
i DEGREES OF PROGRESS TOWARD and many of them are far away from
j MTRM POVERTY BY ONE-HALF doing so (Graph 12).


Percentage fullfillrnent of the goal between 1990and 2000

Porcenbjede curnplimiento de la rneta entre 1990y 2000

-100% -80% -60% 40% -20% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%

-60% -40% -20% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%

THE SOCIAL SITUATION in Latin America and the Caribbeanand its influence on the develovment of education

The economic growth rates that need

to be achieved from now until 2015,in
order to meet the Millenium Summit goals
vary by country.Those that have more
poverty need to grow by approximately
7% annually,which seems difficult to j THE CHALLENGE OF ECONOMIC
achieve given current conditions.On the j ATrAIN BOTH GOALS, IS NOT
other hand,countries in the region with j ALTHOUGH IT IS PMCTICALLY
less poverty may meet this new goal j HIGH LEVELS OF POVERTY
without difficulty by maintaining the rates t
at which they have been growing during GRAPH 13

the past decade (Graph 13).

Given that in 2002 and 2002 regional
growth was negative,these projections Latin America: GDP growth rates necessary for reducing the
poverty level of 1990 by one-half,2000,
should be corrected so that growth in the (annualaverage)
coming years can compensate for the 8
losses so produced.This will requre that
the region as a whole grow at an annual - 7
2 5
rate of 3.2% in order to reduce poverty r 4
$ 3
by one-half(thegoal suggested by 0 2
ECLAC)and at an annual rate of 2.7% 0
in order to accomplish the reduction in Latm America Countnes wrth Countries with Countneswith less
greatest poverty moderate poverty poverty
extreme poverty established by the
Millenium Goal (Graph 14). G D P PER CAPITA


POVERTY REDUCTION GOALS i Latin America Meswth less

Latin America: growth rates of GDP per capita necessary in order to reduce the
level of poverty by one-halfby 2015, with and without redistributive changes

Extreme Poverty




PRELAC Journal

Argentina bl
Accomplishing these goals will be LatinAmerica (17countries):
partidpation in total income of the
much easier if, besides achieving growth, 40% poorest households and of
progress is made in terms of distribution the 10% weatthiest households,
1999 a/(hpercentages)
as well.In this sense it should be noted
Dominican Republic
that Latin America is the world region
with the worse income distribution,and
one of the most salient points is the
elevated participation of the 10%
wealthiest group the income of which,in
many countries,is more than 20 times
that of the 40% poorest group (Graph
15).At the same time,nearly 70% of
inhabitants of the region reside in
Honduras Gu atema Ia
households with lower than average
incomes.All of this makes is more I - 40% poorest -- 10% weatmiest 1
justifiable that the objective be not only Source.ECLAC.based on special tabulations
to grow,but also to be able to quickly Second,the concentration of income ofhcusehddswveysoftherespectlvemn~
and positively change the current poor is very much influenced by the a/Househdds ofthe country as a whole,
distribution of income. demography of households.Increasingly arranged according to their per caplta income

No one can be opposed to such a in Latin America,population growth has b/ Greater Buenos Aires

proposal.The problem lies in how to do been concentrated in poorer households, d Total urban

it. It is not easy to change income into which many more children are born
distribution because there are certain than is the case for middle and upper
determining factors that are difficult to class households.An alternative,then, Thirdly,education also determines
deal with through public policies. would be to change these trends,which income distribution.W e will return to this
The first factor that wields influence would involve,one the one hand,middle theme shortly.
and upper class families to change their i
on the distribution of income is the Fourthly,there is the factor of
distribution of property itself,the current reproductive behavior and occupation.Poor households have fewer
distribution of which is even worse than increase the number of children.This income providers and they have more
that ofincome.One of the possibilities, would not seem to be easy to accomplish. members;that is,their occupational
then,for improving the distribution of On the other hand,it would be necessary densifyis especially low.These
income is through changes in the way - as a complement of the abov e or as households have around five members,
the property is distributed.Each society an alternative -to carry forward policies and in the best of cases there is one
should assesswhether political conditions aimed at responsible parenthood,family person within them who receives
exist for moving forward in this sense. planning,etc.,among poor families. employment income.Incontrast,non-
Besides the fact that the results of such poor households are smaller - made up
policies requre much time to show results, -
of three members and in many of them
there are also undoubtedly difficulties of there are two people who receive income
implementation.Not all socialand political from working.These differences in
actors of Latin American societies believe occupationaldensity have a great impact
that this would be acceptable in terms on income distribution.An additional
of values. factor,which some link to globalization,
is that the income gap between skilled
and unskilled labor is growing.

THE SOCIAL SITUATION in Latin America and the Caribbean and its influenceon the development ofeducation

Latin America (17 countries):public spending on education as a

percentage of GDP;1990-91and 1998-99
GRAPH16 4...

Latin America (Iycountries):public spending on i

education per inhabitant 1990-91and 1998-99 GRAPH 17
(in 1997 dollars)
Costa Rica

0,O 10 20 3.0 4,O I 3 Bolivia a/
Source:ECLAC. Division of Social Deveioment. database on social Peru
expenditures Dominican Republic
a/The initial figurecorresponds to the 1994-95average El Salvador a/
bl Arithmetic average forcountries,excluding Bolivia and Ei Salvador Guatemala
0 50 100 150 200
250 300 350 400 450
Source:ECLAC, Division of Social Development,database on social expenditures.
a/The initial figurecorresponds to the 1994-95average.
Finally,one always hears of social b/Arithmetic average for countries,excluding Bolivia and El Salvador.
spending as an instrument through which
one can improve distribution.It should .
... *
... GRAPH 18 Latin America (8 countriesa):distribution of social
be noted that during the 199Os,social IN SPITE OF THE HIGH IMPACT OF expenditures,less social security and on social security,
SOCIAL SPENDING ON THE 20% within household quintiles (totalvolume of spending = 100)
spending increased notably in the region, POOREST SEGMENT,THE 20% RICHEST a 25,O 1
although there is an enormousdispersion OBTAINS A SIMILAR VOLUME OF E
. .

V 20,o
between countries.This may be seen 2
both in the indicator spending on * '5U 15,O
education as a percentage of GDP P
(Graph 16),and in spending per
inhabitant(Graph 17).Some countries -46 5,O
spend US$1,600per person,while others
spend only US$lOO.Leaving aside these
n n
Quintile 1 Quintile 2 Quintile 3 Quintile 4 Quintile 5

differences,all countries analyzed - Therefore,in order to improve income Source.ECLAC,Social Development Division database on
except one - increased their social distribution,difficulties exist that stern social expenditures
a/Arithmetical average for Argentina. Bolivia, B
spending during the 1990s.This was from difficulties in changing underlying Colombia,Costa Rica,Ecuador,and Uruguay
also the case for education.But when factors in the distribution,and also
one analyzes who benefited from what because public resources for social
social spending,it is apparent that the programs do not have the redistributive
wealthiest quintile of the distribution impact that are intended to have. conditionsfor improving economic
received,through social policies,a Returning to the subject of education. performance by improving human capital
percentage similar to that of the poorest Within the region,there is a consensus and permitting its incorporation into the
quintile (Graph 18).This indicates that regardomg the crucial role of education, productive process utilizing new
social spending,social policies,do not both for economic growth as well as for technologieswhich make the economy
in fact fulfill the redistributive role improving well-beingand for moving more competitive.But that is not sufficient.
expected of them.Such spending is toward the construction of democratic Other conditionsmust be present
redistributive if one does not consider citizenship as well.One may temper -outside of education- so that
social security,and if one takes onloy optimism a bit by stating that education development can take place and for
spending on education,health,and is a necessary,but not sufficientcondition. society to take best advantage of the
public housing. On the one hand,it contributes to create input from education.


PRELAC Journal


6M?m 10
School attendance des.6 to 13 years of age by gender,
DI 1990-99, national total i THE COVERAGE OF EDUCATION

85 i
80 Secondary Education G W W 20
75 [ai985 mis197]

sb Higher Education

" LalinAmecica Asia OECD
DURING THE 19905 i

Thus,it is said that education is a Urban school drop out a m o n g young people 1 5 1 9 years i
of age, 1990-99 G W 21
redistributive channel.But education is (percentagerata calculated in regard to the total of ywng people
who entered the education system)
a good related to position.The Honduras
G u atem aI a
advantagesobtained from the years of Mexm
education achieved are related to Nicaragua
advances achieved in parallel by other P~guaY
El Salvador
people who,in the employment costa Rca
marketplace,are competitors.This Panama
requires education systems to change Bradl
their traditional goals.The level of ArsentM
Domhican Republic
education that a person has to possess wlile
in order have a high probability of not BdMa rn 1990
slipping into poverty at some time in life Arithmebcal average I 1999
0 10 20 30 40 50 60
is 12years of formal educaton.Therefore,
it is no longer sufficientfor education ..
.. * M n
systems to provide a primary education M A R K E D IN
RURAL AREAS Rural school drop out a m o n g young people from 15 to 19 years ofage,1990-99 (perantage
-as urged by the millenium goals rate calculated using the total number ofyoung people who entered the education system)
established by the United Nations- but H on d ura8
rather that the challenge lies in assuring Nicaragua
access to and completion of secondary Mexlm
education for all,as stated by UNESCO El Salvador
in the invitation to this meeting. costa Rlca
Domimican Republic

0 1 D 2 0 3 0 4 0 5 0 6 0 7 0 8 0 0 0

SOCIAL SITUATION in Latin Amerlca and the Caribbean and Its Influenceon the development of education



-- It should be recognized that notable
GRAPH 23 Distribution of the tot4 number of school drop outs at different stages of schooling

progress has been made in providing

universal coverage of education in Latin
America and the Caribbean.Coverage
$a 60.0
urban areas

I 60,B

rural areas

for primary schooling rose from 88% to

93% (Graph 19)and accessto secondary
schooling reached 70%. Urban-rural
differences have decreased,and it is in
the rural area that the greatest progress
During AtUmend Dunng Dunng During Attheend During During
has been made (Graph20),which favor a
pnmary ofprimary lower hgher primaly ofprimary lower higher
school school secondary secondary shwl school sewndaly secondary
males and femalesalike.There has also school school shod schod
been a significant reduction in school Total school drop out rde for urban youth,
by income strata, 1999 GRAPH24 4
drop-out(Graph21),which was more AN0 AFFECTS PRIMARILY
marked in rural areas (Graph22). Honduras SECTORS ...
Nevertheless,education systems Mexico
continue to be deficient in their ability to Costa Rica
retain children in primary school (Graph Venezuela
El Salvador
23),a fact that affects the lower income Ecuador
sectors (Graph 24),reinforcing the chain Panama
of inequalitythat begins in infancy (Graph Colombia
25).This involves high costs in terms of Chile
future income (Graph26).It is necessary, Dominican Republic

therefore to guarantee the achievement Anthmetical average -

70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70
of the new objectives in education. n-Quarlile 1 (poorest)I Quartile IV ( w e a l t m
Within a context of uncertainty on the
economic plane,which has extremely
serioius social repercussions,the
challenges facing the education sector
continue to be great,especially because
the goals represent a move into
: ...ENHANCING THE uncharted territory.But the atmosphere
/ INEQUALITYCHAIN FROM of this Intergovernmental Meeting of the
SCHOOL DROP OUT Education Project permits one to be
TERMS OF FUTURE optimistic in regard to the commitment
and political will to move forward on
v pending themes
Earty school drop out (dunng pnmary school)a m o n g
urban young people, by income strata. 1999 Losses of income associated with school drop out by
gender and by groups of countnes
70,096 ~ ! Percentage that salary wwld be increased mth
_. I -
2 more years 3 more years of 4 more years of
600% UptO study u p to study u p to
5o o% 1 OfSW
secondaryI &
competing lower
sewndaly school
unnpletmg pnmary




Arithmetical average Cwntries with Countries wlth Countries with
50 40 30 20 10 0 10 20 30 40 50 low drop out moderate drop out high drop out

On knowledge and learning for the
new millennium
Roberto Carneiro
Consultantfor the World Bank,OECD,UNESCO,
and the Council of Europe. Professor of the
Universidade Cat6lica Portuguesa.

“There is no question that there are deep analogies between mindlike artefacts and human minds. There are also deep disanalogies.
The deepest of these,w e think,is thefunctional one: how thought is shaped to serve our intentions and the settings in which w e
are compelled to operate as culture-relianthuman beings”.

J. Bruner and J. J. Goodnow,

A Study of Thinking’
Abstract This paper begins with the Vocational identities emerge as the
recognition that learning occupies a central tenet of autonomy and self-
central role in modern societies. determination.Identity-enhancing
Moreover,learning is heralded as the key organisationsand community learning
driver of comprehensivedevelopment. combine with a personal search of
Our knowledge-driveneconomies meaning through work and activity.W e
depend increasingly on learning further propose a breakdown of eight
accomplishments to arrive at stages to arrive at conscious evolution.
sustainability. Flexibility calls for adaptive learning
In this context,traditional human capabilities.However,generative
capital is now reborn under the guise of learning,vision and managing creative
knowledge management theories.In tensionsare the leversof seminality.Only
other words,economic priorities still seminal learning skills can offer cultural
dominate the education landscape.The advancement and feed into the formation
value of knowledge is closelytied-upwith of semantic memory.
that of competencies.Thus,we propose The paper then turns to three new
a list of eight domains of inquiry knowledge archetypes:Chaos,
concerning value creation through Complexity,
knowledge production and management. Consilience.These concepts can
Could it be different under the help trace breakthrough developments
emerging learning paradigm? Could amidst order and disorder arrangements.
learning stand atone and by itself,beyond The goal of a more equitable distribution
the needs of economic growth? of knowledge in the world leads us to
recommend five mutations on the way to
build inclusiveness.

’ Bruner J., Goodnow,J. J., and Austin.G.A.(1990),A Study of Thinking.New Brunswick and London:TransactionPublishers.


PRELAC Journal

Next,the paper deals with the design to Learn to Live Together and in harmony.
of a Big Picture addressing the future of Learning throughout Life - a
learning.Possible scenarios are tracked proposition widely endorsed -requires a new
down through the systemic interplay of three momentum in nurturing true learning cultures
key variables: paradigm shifts, delivery and pro-activemetacognitive competencies.
modes,and driving forces.By the same token, The paper ailudes to four policy directionsand
time undergoes a three-dimensionalapproach: specifically to the challengeof putting educators
past,present,future.A transitional perception at the forefront of the learning society.Learning
of new learning trajectories begins with a schoolsare organisationally committed to a new
Clockwork Orange state that is slowly evolving teacher professionalism fostering faculty learning
to a Knowledge Age.The ultimate realisation of the unity and and robust learning habits.
equity of learning generates the Learning Society. Education as a Right seeks coupling with Learning as a
The fundamental pitfall is constituted by hubris, the old Duty to sustain a new Social Contract for the New Millennium.
Greek name for fateful human arrogance,a sin that attracted Learning and our foundation institutions of sociality are
harsh punishment. Thus, knowledge growth must be summoned to take full advantage of the human propensity to
accompanied with better learning capabilitiesand a sense of engage in long-termcontractsthat evolve,both by culture and
global ethics.Greater knowledge interdependency,or the democratic consent,into moral precepts and implicit social
dream of a global learning village,is contingent on our ability laws.

:ti on Seldom has humanity shared Perilsfacing global governance reinforce

such a deep sense of urgency. the overall disbelief in politics.Volatility
Against a legacy of notable progress in the economy and in capital markets
we shoulder a growing burden made up generates widespread uncertainty.The
of issuesthat vex humanity daily -ethnic wholesale risk society is marked by
conflict,warfare,endemic poverty, powerful jolts.It exercises intractable
environmentaldepletion,plague-stricken pressures on our daily lives.
continents,organised crime,anomic While profoundly split on the
conduct at the heart of modern cities. appropriate policy remedies or the best
Indeed,there is a well-documented societal directions,one potent idea
catalogueof human achievements.W e appears to bridge disparate views.To a
take common pride in it: the advancement large extent,learning is recognised as
of science and technology;progress in the key attribute of developed
human rights,freedom and democracy; communitiesand individuals;likewise,
new wealth creation paradigms;extended education is the unique provider for
life span.Hence,the windows of sustainable human prosperity.
opportunity appear to be wide open. Everything operates as if the
-~ Paradoxically.though,people feel perfectibilist principle has regained
~ ~

increasingly wedged into a maze of confidence:however uncertain and

global anxiety.The plight of suffering perilous the context,the quality of human
fellow citizensof the world occupies ever- life and the limitsof human comprehension
increasing proportions of our daily news. can undergo indefinite improvement.

EDUCATION 2000.On knowledge and learnlng

In a knowledge-drivenworld,where cultures remains ultimately associated

the economy itself has turned into an with their learning and evolving
ecognomx human intelligence inequities capabilities? Can social institutions -as
and differential opportunitiesto learn corporate organisations- succeed in
establish the fundamental divide between assimilating advanced adaptive and
peoples and countries.Our beleaguered generative learning functions?
world is a showcase of fierce knowledge Our new agenda is fraught with
competitions.Proprietary knowledge learning conditionalities.
soars in value,whether speaking about The generation and sustainability of
frontier research or in state of the art learning communities,learning cities,
defence technology. learning governments,learning
Is it possible to singleout one domain organisations,lifelong learning individuals
of human endeavour that escapes this and ever-learningschools,constitutes
paradigm? Iseconomic growth separable the overriding challengeto be undertaken
from human development and from the in the wake of a new millennium.
accumulation of intangible assets? W ill Knowledge and learning have only
technology not subside into incremental just begun to operate together.It is
upgrades-from generation X to expected that they will partner even
generation X +1- unless it becomes more furtherto determine our common
learner-friendly?Is it not that the fate of predicament.

Human capital and

knowledge management The sheer fact that the human capital
The dominion of discourse -which has been dominant over the lastfive decades
economic thinking has acquired a second momentum is in itself significant.The
rise of a knowledge-driveneconomy,and the concomitant
premium allotted to intangibleassets,have stretched the debate
on education and training;these institutions remain the single
major source of human capital formation and of knowledge
production and dissemination in our global age.
Never before have our developed societies been grounded
in such high-levelsof educational attendance.Ironically,it is
also fair to notice that seldom in history have we witnessed
such paramount signs of dissatisfaction with the outcomes of
our educational systems.What’sgoing wrong?


PRELAC Journal

Parents,students,teachers,employers,unions,politicians, The UNESCO Commission on Education forthe 21st Century2

media,often complain over declining standards or express associates this trend with the vibrant demand for higher skills
concerns about the uneven quality of our schools.Our so- at all levels:
called developed societiesexpress in various ways a mounting
concern with the inertia of educational systems to arrive at
higher standardsof achievement,relevance and outcomes.
Comparative assessment exercises have thrown light on the
existence of wide disparitiesacross systems and countries.
W e shall not enter into a discussion on how fair or unfair these
critiques may be.In any case,disagreementsare compounded
when attempting to discuss remedies or when designing a
“Instead of requiring a skill, which they see as
still too narrowly linked to the idea of practical
know-how,employers are seeking competence, a
mix, specific to each individual,of skill in the strict
sense of the term, acquired through technical and
vocational training,of social behaviour,of an
aptitude for teamwork, and of initiative and a
rationale for structural reform. readiness to take risks,’.
One inescapablefact isthat economic priorities have tended
to subsume both the education and learning enterprisesand In the utilitarian legacy of the 20th century problem-solving
their internal fabric during most of our terminal century. and innovation-drivensociety,the overriding criterion for
Human capital - or its post-modernsurrogate concept: knowledge assessment is value creation.From this perspective,
knowledge management - is the mighty expression of that knowledge production and management addresses a host of
utilitarian approach.The economics of education has supplied complex concerns,otherwise alien to the time-honoured
most of the key rationale for ambitious reforms that swept our traditions of the education mill.It is worth mentioning,inter alia,
educational systemsthroughout most of the 20th century.Some the following domains currently under exploration:
prominent international organisations have championed in
leading the new debate on human capital. 1. Accessing existing knowledge and appropriating critical
flows of new knowledge (stock and flow management).
“The knowledge,skills,competenciesand other 2. Developing objective indicators to measure the impacts of
attributes embodied in individuals that are relevant knowledge on wealth creation.
1 to economic activity,’
OECD,Human Capital Investment- An International Comparison,1998
3. Discerning how ICT influence the formation and spread of
new knowledge.
4. Managing the working triangle of knowledge processing
Hence,the upsurge of knowledge as a key production and circulation:Education,R&D, Innovation.
factor in the new economic lexicon has contributed to “harden” 5. Measuring and accrediting non-formallyacquired
what was always regarded as a most relevant asset both to competencies(work-relatedskills).
society and to the corporate world.As a consequence, 6. Fine-tuninglearning and un-learningstrategies- customised
knowledge theory underpins a feverish period of creativesearch: to the purpose of balancing active vs inert knowledge.
Where and how is it produced? How best can it be disseminated? 7. Relating personal and vocational identities to alternative
How can we characterise the most favourable nurturing knowledge paths.
environments? Which are the key factors warranting timely 8. Balancing adaptive and generative learning.
application and market exploitation of new knowledge? What
are the enablers to convert knowledge into problem-solving This list adds far more to the research agenda on knowledge,
competenciesand skills? and its social and individual functions,than just paying tribute
The latter question is not just an abstract exercise for the to a new economy hype.Let us take the last two points,for
delectation of intellectuals.To the contrary,the value of instance.
knowledge is,not surprisingly,closely tied-upwith that of
competencies.Knowing is a necessary condition but only
knowing-howprovides for the sufficient complement required
by’an industrious and promethean society.

* Learning:The Treasure Within (Reportto UNESCO ofthe lnternational

Delors et ai.(1996),
Commission on Education for the Twenty-firstCentury)Paris: UNESCO.

EDUCATION 2000.On knowledge and learning

Nurturing vocational identities Who am I? What 1. A knowledge base (the cognitive

are my core competencies? Do I ‘own’ genome).
proprietary knowledge? Regardless of 2. A portfolio of competencies.
where and how I work is there continuity 3. A preference for learning strategies.
in my professional career? Where do I 4. A discernible path towards the
seek new learning experiments? Am I strengthening of identity (construction
able to formulate a knowledgeambition? of self).
Do I understand the social networks that 5. A foundation of emotional stability
add value to my knowledge pool? Have and of self-esteem.
I a strategy to bolster my working self? 6. A set of strategies to enhance
What traitsdo I value as a lifelong learner? personal assets.
Vaulting volatility marks our working 7. A commitment to both the vision and
context.The market puts a premium on priorities of the relevantorganisations,
multicompetenciesand mobility.The regarded as learning opportunities.
spread of tele and e-workcalls on novel 8. A conscious evolution - including the
self-managementcompetencies. social dimensions of identity
Likewise,the central tenet of autonomy formation.
and self-determinationresorts to the
critical issue of personal and vocational Consciousness -brain research
identity. findings conclude- revolves around
These questions do help us intricate mechanisms of knowledge
understand the extent to which charting processing and selection upon value
a fully-fledgedvocational identity is a carried out in the two components of our
formidable enterprise.Unless forebrain:the limbic system and the
organisations are identity enhancersthey cerebral cortex.Purposeful conduct
will struggleto find the effective path recalls the assistance of semantic
toward collective knowledge and memory,motivation and awareness.
community learning. Conscious Evolution sets the stage
Giving credence to this pursuit,it is for autonomy and meaning making in the
now possible to devise a theory on the process of vocational identity formation.
emergence of vocational identities,a sort Placed at the summit of a long personal
of hybrid - homo sapiens et faber:Each evolutionary chain it stemsfrom a robust
human repertory at stake would landscape of consciousness3 grappling
necessarily include some,or all,of the with the deepest,most intractable
following features,with allowance for dilemmas of vocation and identity,and
different combination patterns.Each grows increasingly wary of shallow
particular combination reveals a specific activism.
stage in a developing vocational self. In the absence of consciousnessand
vocational identity learning lacks purpose,
work is remotely associated with personal
developmentand the drive to learn is
Intent is the direct consequence of
W e make use of Jerome Bruner’s vocational identity.Professional fulfilment
illuminating distinction between two critical
IandscaDesin his analysis of the human is its main outcome.
condition:consciousness and action.
Bruner,J. (1986),Actual Minds,Possible
Harvard University Press.


PRE LAC Journal

Adaptive and generative learning New economy and constant adaptability are increasingly
. -

Ever shorter creative destruction cycles are compressing the time-lengthof

competitive advantagesresulting from innovation.The Schumpeterian description
of business cycles applied to the Internetage sets the background for a high pace
of productivity gains,thriving in extreme and inhospitable competition.Instancy is
at the cutting edge of new knowledge application and of unprecedented demands
on the human ingenuity to adapt.The buzz word in the tech-sawycommunities is
"timeto market":that is to say the speed at which ideas are transferred into business
models,the readiness to apply research outcomes and new knowledge in corporate
In this unstable landscape,new learning theories often surrender to conjunctural
flexibility.This discourse is emphatically praised by the prevailing views on learning
However,in our increasingly unpredictable,dynamic and blurred world it is no
longer possible to rely on someone who can "figureit all out at the top".Empowering
the individual learner and agent of change becomes the challenge.Flexibility and
generativity both at the institutionaland individual levels become evermore critical.
P.Senge4 spells it out in a neat formulation:

"Theprevailing view of learning organisations emphasises inceased

adaptability....But increasing adaptiveness is only the first stage in
moving toward learning organisations. The impulse to learn in children
goes deeper than desires to respond and adapt more effectively to
environmentalchange. The impulse to learn,at its heart, is an impuke
to be generative,to expand our capability. This is why leading
corporations are focusing on generative learning, which is about
creating, as well as adaptive learning, which is about coping. ..
Generative learning,unlike adaptive learning, requires new ways
of looking at the world...".

This is not ornately composed prose for internal consumption of a few chosen.
Human beings have been designed for learning.Children come fully equipped
with an unassailable drive to-exploreand experiment rather than conservativelyto
avoid mistakes.Conversely,our primary institutionsof education have been designed
to teach and to control.The same reasoning applies to our prevailing systemsof
management,which are quite-frequentlyeager to reward mediocre obedience and
rote conformity to norms.
Survival instincts are often commensurate with adaptive learning capabilities:the
reaction to external stimuli,dealing with threats and behaving in accordance with
standards of flexibility.
The visionary person,but also one who remains committed to effective change,
looks beyond adaptability.Creative tension - measured by the gap between vision
and current reality - acts on expanding capabilities,devises ways to encapsulate
strong inference,and addresses multiple .competinghypotheses.
From Peter M.Senge's "TheLeader'sNew Work:Building
Learning Organisations"in:Mintzberg.H.and Quinn,
J.B.(1 996),The StrategyProcess Concepts,Contexts,
Cases,New Jersey:Prentice Hall International.

EDUCATION 2000.On knowledge and learnlng

Adaptive learning Creative instead of merely adaptive

Responding to environmentalchange learning demands a greater investment
Coping with threats in seminality Valuing ideas that establish
Reacting to symptoms new paradigms is the lever to bypass
Capturing trends and incorporating the binary instinct of the human machine
early signs of change (Claude Levi-Strauss).Seminal patterns
Eliciting flexibility as prime value of thought will tend to by-passlinear
reasoning;they will always prefer
Generative learning alternativethinking or non-standard
Expanding capabilities approaches when addressing complexity
Enhancing creativity or the unexpected.
New ways of looking at the environment Seminality creates Meme5 - units of
Addressing underlying causes meaning nurturing the “universalsof
Thinking differently culture”minutely listed by George
Anticipating futures Murdock in his monumental
categorisation.These,in turn,are critical
to the formation of semantic memory -
The best blend of adaptive and
the lasting patterns serving as anchors
generative learning remains a matter of
to interpretationand enhancers of
scholarly dispute.Adaptive skills are
meaning making.
useful in a context of constant but
For centuries,education thrived on
continuous or incremental change;
an industrial paradigm.Learning,in turn,
generative capacitiesdefine the leaders
appeals to a service-mindedstrategy
in the response to radical innovation and
designed to maximise knowledge
systems depart swiftly from notorious
disequilibrium in search of a new state
Switching from the industrial mode of
of equiI i brium .
teaching to learning-friendlyschools and
In any case,one outcome is evident.
institutionswill require a lot more than
If our schoolsare to evolve into genuine
the customary resolve to produce simple
learning organisations rote adaptability
or incremental change.
should not outstrip generative learning
concerns.The comprehensibility of a
multidimensional universe and the skills
to unravel complex systems are
contingenton a fresh mindset,that which
remains open to discontinuous reasoning
and prepared to welcome quantum leaps
toward discovery.

M e m e refers to the notion of a culture

unit,the most elementary component
of semantic memory,dubbed by
different authors as mnemotype,idea,
idene. sociogene,concept,culturgen
and type.


PRELAC Journal

New knowledge paradigms While recognising the omnipresenceof

economicconsiderationssurrounding knowledgemanagement
theoriesone could not ignore some potent signs of disquietude.
it is now commonplaceto remark a deep current in the quest
for a paradigm change:drifting away from dispensed teaching
in large educational machineries;giving way to distributed and
demand-driven“actionlearning”;and resorting to decentralised
networks of institutions.
Three archetypes of new knowledge will shape the next
stages in knowledgetheories.They form a web of 3 C’s:Chaos,
Complexity,Consilience.Let us briefly allude to them as prime
sources of new thinking.

“Newton’smathematic organisation of the middle world -from

molecules to stars- reveals serious defficiencies in a number
of respects”.

This is how Van Doren6 introduceschaos analysis as a high

sensitivity approach to slight variations in initial states.Chaos
theory is fraught with a new lexicon:fractals,strange attractors,
Mandelbrot sets,multibody systems.This new science is
equipped to deal with a world of a subtle God -even a careless
God - not a malicious One,in Einstein’sown words.Disorder
is not necessarily contrary to the attainment of a new order
state.Quite often the former acts as a pre-requisiteto the latter.
Complex thinking reclaims a new canon in thinking and
knowledge management. It springs from tentativesto explain
how complexity can follow non-linearand discontinuous paths
to arrive at higher orders.This would be the case with P.
Krugman’spunctuated equilibrium theories of self-organising
systems7and with Kaufman’sNK models in molecular and
evolutionary biology.Complexity places itself at the “edgeof
chaos”,the thin borderline between perfect internal order and
total disorder to trace breakthrough developments.
Consilience is advocated by Edward Wilson8,a renowned
scientist who retrieves William Whewell’sg“jumpingtogether”
of knowledge by the linking of facts and fact-basedtheory
across disciplines to create a commonground of explanation.
In line with the Ionian Enchantment of Ancient Greece,
consilienceseeks the key to the unity of knowledge;taking on
board the fundamentalpremise that the ongoing fragmentation
of knowledge and resulting chaos in philosophy are not
Van Doren,C.(1991),A HistoiyofKnowledge,New York
Ballantine Books.
reflections of the real world but artefacts of scholarship.
For an abridged presentation of punctuated equilibrium Consilience resumes a positivistic faith in scientific knowledge
theories see: Krugman,P.(1996),The Seif-Organizing
Econwny;Malden.Massachusetts:Blackwell Publishers. to add meaning and explanatory power to human intervention
Wilson,E.(1998),Consilience- The UnityofKnowledge, in the surrounding world.
New York: Vintage Books.
Whewell,W.(1 840).The Philosophyof the Inductive

EDUCATION 2OOO. On knowledge and learning

A search into the realm of this evolving universe allows us

to discern five paradigmatic mutations.Among other key
features this structuralchange aims at crossing the Rubicon
of exclusion,a dividing line that was never breached during
the industrial age,notwithstanding the most vigorous
denouncements fired at the educational perpetuation of an
underclass of non-achieversand low-skilledin successive

The way to inclusive knowledge

What to teach Where to learn
How to teach When to learn
8 Y
Initial education for a lifetime Flexible learning throughout life
fragmented knowledge 111) Holistic knowledge

Status-riddenknowledge 4Inclusiveknowledge
"Have-nots" II) "Haves"

Constructivism sheds new light on the role ofintersubjectivity W e have reached,at this junction,nothing other than a
vis-&vis social learning:knowledge is elevated to the category largely expected consequence.The sourcesof knowledge are
of personal and social construct,indivisible from cultural rapidly changing;the ways in which we understand knowledge
conditionalitiesand their forcefulinterplay.The road to knowledge appropriation are equally undergoing dramatic evolution.
and cognition is thus contingent on memory,history,language, Theoretically speaking,knowledge availability increases
ethnicity and affection. exponentially in the world of the Internet and global networks.
Culture,in itself,acts as a powerful marker ofknowledge Albeit this recognition,the world of learning is still a landscape
appropriation and transmission.Symbolic language pervades of major differences,a sourceof unfair competition and unequal
the entire universe of knowledge;speech - naming things- is distribution.
intertwined with thought.Knowledge results from the Once education is regarded as the fundamental lever of
internalisation of social interaction.Language is the material societal progress or regress,inclusivenessturns out the major
foundation of thoughtlo. policy issue to be tackled in the near future.Both equity and
"Knowledgeis love and light and vision"- those are the efficiency approaches demand from learning systems an
expressive words of Helen Keller,an admirable personality of enhanced capacity to deal with the socially deprived and with
our closing century.Each and every piece of new knowledge the low-abilitygroups which the industrial mode of education
is a treasure disclosed. systematically excludes from the organised benefits of human
Mastering the tools of comprehensivelearning is a true advancement.
cultural - perhaps multicultural - adventure,epitomised in
democratic achievements such as freedom of thought and of
lo Vygotsky.L.S (1986),Thought and Language.
Cambridge.Massachusetts The MIT Press.


PRELAC Journal

In a cognitive fashioned society,knowledge carries the

potential of becoming a more powerful discriminator of human
fate than in the former industrial society.To put it in other words,
the premium awarded on knowledge and competencies
nowadays demands better attention to those groups of low-
achievers that are falling through the loopholes of our basic
education systems.
The quest for a new knowledge paradigm is not separable
from the goal of a more equitable distribution of knowledge in

T h e fUtUre of Learning These contrasting views lay down the ground for a broad vision on
A big picture the future of learning.
Departing from Education and flowing through the Knowledge-drivenage we
arrive at scenarios of a learning society as an enthralling proposition designed to
overcome the shortcomings both of a bureaucratic vision and that of the economic
domination over the education sphere.
A fully comprehensive model will consider the intersectionsof three key variables:
paradigm shifts;delivery modes;driving forces.
In turn,each of these key variables is allowed to declinate longitudinallythroughout
time.Thus,they are permitted to unfold into three dimensions:past;present;future.
A summation of the 3 by 3 resulting combinationscould be briefly described in
the following matrix.

a) Paradigm shifts:from industry (past),to globalisation (presentthrust), and moving

toward a New Rennaissance period (utopian vision).
Delivery modes:from uniform,rote systems (past),to segmented distribution
(presentmarket-driventrend),and gradually accommodating increasing levels
of personalisation/customisation (utopian vision).
Driving forces:from bureaucracy-led(past preference for national or State-
controlled systems),to market-ledarrangements (presentmove), which,in turn,
should give way to empowered communities(utopianvision of radical devolution
to civil society).

My submission is that we are swiftly moving from a Clockwork Orange education

to a Knowledge Age,championed by a combination of a global order with market
segmentation in distribution channels.The latter doctrine stems from the belief in a
promethean knowledge.A knowledge generation capable of releasing humankind
from bondage and of realising a supreme order of wealth.
The Big Picture that we favour does not end here.Economic theory,on its own,
is grossly unsatisfactory to address a grounded humanistic and societal dream.The
end of history would be too clumsy without a further horizon to aspire at.

EOUCATION 2OOO. On knowledge and learnlng

Hence,our concept of a Learning Society as the realisation

of the unity of learning.It is a vision made up of robust learning
communitiesfully empowered to conduct the business of
education and training in accordance with their communal
identities” . A civil society of this calibre exercises its
prerogativesto the farthest limits of subsidiarity.That is to say,
any State intervention is contained within the primordial rights
of aware and self-determiningcommunities.

Segmented Market

Uniform Bureaucracy

Exorcising the demons of utilitarian colonialism that have Both ancient Greek and modern knowledge systems have
curtailed proper educare - in the purest Greek understanding made serious errors and perpetrated awesome mistakes.The
- is a central tenet to this dream.This is a decisive move only present state of our planet bears testimony to that.
comparable,perhaps,to the chasm that separates prescientific In both cases the errors originated in human arrogance,
from scientific knowledge. overbearing pride or “akind of overweening presumption
The proposition of a Learning Society remains a “mysterium implying an impious disregard for the limits that an orderly
tremendum”.It is a powerful appeal to the realm of human will universe imposes on the actions of men and women”.Greeks
and consciousness to reach beyond simple knowledgeas a had a name for this human deviance:hubris (or hybris).
panacea and a new consumption commodity to be managed
in our daily portfolio of conveniences.
Our Western-biasedhuman story witnessed two major
knowledge explosions.The first began in Greece circa 600
BC.It encompassed all fields of enquiry from Mathematics to
Philosophy,covering the Physical and the Human Sciences.
The second also originated in Europe some five centuries ago ” Here we refer lo M Caslellsconceptsof cmrnunal
identities end cultures of reslslancethat are shaping a
- leading into a remarkable age of discovery and scientific new tnlernalional order See Castells M (1997)The
achievement. InformationAge Economy Sooety and Culfure
Vol I The R~seof the Nerwork Safely
Vol /I he Power ofIdenfffy
Vol 111 End of Millennium
Massachusetts,Oxford Blackwell Publishers Inc


PRELAC Journal

Narrowing the gap

between knowledge and
learning is the w a y to
overcome the tragic
Hubris was a sin and the Greeks imperfection of our
worshipped a goddess,Nemesis,who
punished those who committed it. This modern age
was the case with Icarus.Indeed,this is
the weaknessto which many of the great
and giftedare most susceptible.The
signsof Nemesis are all around us today.
Just read the daily press for documented
Insofar as globalisationimposes new
dependencies,nowadays knowledge
hubris are not confined to those who The consolidation of a Global
practice it - they entail profound Learning Village unequivocally places
implications for the entire planet,they the issues of differential learning
affect some of the primordial equilibria opportunities and knowledge disparities
at work in our fragile planet. in the front line of international action.
Bridging the gulf between knowledge Major knowledge gaps and learning Debtswapsfor education,better flows
and learning equates the way to inequalitiesare fundamental breaches of scientistsand researchers,re-orienting
overcome a tragic flaw of our modern in the social brokerage systems of developmentaid to learning and human
age. information. development,democratising access to
The more knowledgeseems The lessons delivered by our recent a digital culture and to the use of ICT,
generalised,insofaras information past show that welfare gaps stand a investing in brain-gainfavouring the
appears to become accessible to all at strong chance of widening in the new poorest regions and countries - these
the reach of our bare fingertips,the gulf economy.W e need to move beyond the constitute some of the priorities to be.
separating a developed world and an technologicalfallacy of a connected followed by international and national
underdeveloped sub-worldwidens every world.The real challenge is to realise a organisationscharged with the
day when measured by effective learning bonded world.Connectivity-or the death responsibilities of conducting co-
opportunities. of distance -ought to translate into operation and development policies.In
greater personal proximity:the realisation particular,e-learningsoftware,content
of a global world where the affluent and services should enhance learning
minorities are unequivocally committed opportunities in the educationally
to the fate of their fellow citizens in the underserved communitiesand regions
deprived areas,those who are the ratherthan targeting the already affluent
bearers of intergenerational poverty and markets.
inherited exclusion. The UNESCO Commission for
Education in the 21st Centuryi2
proposed four pillars to inspire the new
learning ventures in the coming century:
Learning to Be,Learning to Know,
Learning to Do,and Learning to Live
Living together in harmony and
nurturing social capital are equivalent to
weaving interdependency a natural
constructin a planet made smaller and

' Delors el aI op CII


EDUCATION 2000.On knowledge and learning

Sharing a common sense of belonging to society is innate to the human condition

- -we continuously display “greatintensity of mutual concern and tremendous
dependency on each other”,as Michael Carrithers well notesi3. The author further
remarks: __.___ _ _ _ _ . _ _ _ ___.___
_ _ ______. _____
_ _ _ _ _ _._
* “The fact that w e are social animals is not just an adventitious, accidental
feature of our nature, but lies at the very core of what it is to be human. W e
simply could not live, could not continue our existence as humans, without
our sociality. As Maurice Godelier wrote, ‘humansin society,they produce
society in order to live’... W e cannot know ourselves except by knowing
ourselves in relation to others”.

Otherwise,what isfurthermore peculiar about human sociality act on permanence to nurture plural citizenships:learning to
is its surprising variability.The diversity of humans and of human live together addresses and recognisesthe inevitability of
social life is infinite;it surpassesany codifiablecapacity known valuing a multicultural global village.Moreover,learning cultures
to humanity. understand the need to engage in permanent knowledge
Diversity unfolds before our eyes and appeals to our ventures.
systematic observation endeavours in every possible manner. By living together we acknowledge difference.Most
Thus,watching and reflecting upon diversity is our prime importantly,by appreciating diversity we learn to learn and to
source of discovery - our raw material for learning throughout grow together.
life. A global learning village contains the potential for a safer
Cultures that celebrate diversity are generators of natural and a better place to live.
learning environments.From this key angle,learning cultures

Learning throughout life and n e w citizenship It directlyfollows that

learning throughout life -a proposition widely endorsed by governments and
Foundations of a new internationalorganisations- is highly contingent on the formation of vibrant cultures,
social contract both at individual and societal levels.
Continuous learning poses a formidable challenge to all knowledge-driven
societies.Seldom are individuals equipped with the skills necessary to self-organise
and self-managelong-termknowledge paths.Therefore,underpinning metacognitive
competenciesand skills from the very early stagesof formal education is becoming
all the more important.
Learning to organise multiple sources of information,learning to learn from
experience (experientialknowledge),dealing with the social dimensions of knowledge
formation,learning to self-regulatethe effort to learn,learning to forget and to un-
learn whenever necessary and making room for new knowledge,combining -in
adequate dosage- codified and tacit knowledge,permanently converting inert into
active knowledge-these are but a few of the pressing challenges that form part of
a learning culture.

l3 Carrithers,M.(1992),Why Humans Have

Cultures,Oxford:Oxford University Press.


PRELAC Journal

A comprehensivevision of personal There is no quick fix inventory of The traditional associanisttheory

learning as vitally importantto all stages magical solutions. -brilliantly designed under Thorndike’s
of one’slife span will address three The UNESCO Commission on geniusinfluenced the entire pedagogical
different developmentgoals: Education for the 21st Century alludes preferences of the 20th century.Under
to a number of overriding priorities.A these assumptions,drill and practice
1. Personal and cultural development - renewed new policy thrust would coupled with bonds and rewards would
related to sense,meaning-making contemplate,inter alia,four cardinal sufficeto address a core theory of
and spiritual wealth. areas: aptitude distribution;the Bell curve
2. Social and community development provided with the undisputed statistical
- related to citizenship,participation 1. Offering study-timeentitlements for dogma.Teachers would qualify as semi-
and sociality. all after compulsory education. skilled workers with the prime duty of
3. Professional developmentand 2. Carefully examining the strong carrying out instructionsdesigned by
sustainableemployability-related to featuresof the dual system and curriculum experts.
production,job satisfaction,material extending its strengthsto overcome New learning theories emphasise a
welfare and economic pursuit. the current “trustgap”between “newcore”constituted by knowledge
companies and schools. constructivism and learnerswho actively
Learning in the new millennium is 3. Developing networked learning and engage in self-managementof cognitive
expected to make a major contribution strong partnerships to enhance processes.
to the realisation of the third aim -gross0 lifelong learning opportunities. Intelligenceceases being treated as
modo,the traditional goal set by the 4. Putting teachers and educators at a natural and inelastic endowment.
economics of education.The evolution the centre of the learning society and Research showsthat long-termimmersion
of our world towards complexity and providing them with incentives to in demanding environments can favour
interdependency,however,brings out embark on lifelong learningstrategies. the acquisitionof robust “habitsof mind”.
the necessity to provide a broader frame Incremental expansion of intelligence is
to lifelong learning:putting upfront Schools,universitiesand teachers attainable through generative learning:
personal and cultural advancement,as have throughout time been the a balanced combination of effort and
well as citizenship development- two “knowledgepillars”of human and social ability,appealing to expert instruction
further human developmentneeds that progress.Dreaming with a learning and competent mentoring.Teachers’
are far from being concealed within a society without catering for their abilities become critical and themselves
narrow economic approach. contribution sounds inadmissible. expandable through effort and on-going
Moving from rhetoric to actual Schools still provide the best embryo of professional development.
implementation is still far from being multipurpose learning centres;
achieved.Permanent and lifelong universities are central knowledge hubs,
education has pertained to the irreplaceablefactories of new knowledge
educational lexicon for decades.Hence, and homes of advanced learning.
it is necessary to open new avenues Teachers meet the core requirements to
exploring life as a fundamental learning occupy the forefront of lifelong learning
asset - not strictly in an expanded time enterprises.The all-learningsociety relies
horizon sense,but profiting from life’s on teachers as leaders,not laggards.
unique experience as an invaluable
subject of reflection.Learning is inevitably
a consolidation of dense inner journeys,
it appeals to “The Treasure Within”.

EDUCATION 2000.On knowledge and learning

The hallmark of a learning school,then,is its ethos to continually seek new

knowledge and to provide the leadership enabling a new teacher professionalism.
Teachers are fundamentally learners,eager to engage in the institutional negotiation
of improvement goals and in the strengthening of solid vocational identities.
From this fresh perspective teachers are no longer required to display a standard
set of abilities.Externally prescribed performance benchmarks can be met in a variety
of ways.As lifelong learners teachers are expected to target moving learning goals
and to commit themselvesto constantly expanding a package of core skills.
The following diagram summarisessome of the knowledge challenges for teachers
in a learning society,which may translate into enhanced teaching competencies and
in improved classroom delivery.


Knowledge on subject matter Knowledge about curriculum resources

Knowledge on human development Knowledge about educ.techno1
Knowledge about learning Knowledge about collaboration



L.ResnickI4 phrases the challengesof a new teacher “Although professionals in many fields are required to
professionalism in a particularly eloquent way: participate in a certain amount of continuing education in
order to keep their licenses or certificates current,educators
often perceive that,to admit that one is still learning,is to announce
a professional weakness. This understanding of professionalism
suggests a performance goal orientation and the associated view of
ability as immutable. In the effort-basedenvironment of nested learning
communities,where ability is seen as an expandable repertoire of
skills and habits, professionals are defined as individuals w h o are
continually learning, instead of people who must already know. Their
roles include both teacher and learner, master and apprentice,and
these roles are continually shifting according to the context”.

l4 Resnick has produced a cmsistenl body of thinking in

extending Lhe concept of learning wganfiabons lo schods
and edUCalm establishments


PRELAC Journal

In a global learning environment, conduct based on a balanced interplay pertaining to a community,cultural links.
Education as a Right finds a natural between rights and duties in society. Learning is also an enterprise of the
partnership in Learning as a Duty. It is worth mentioning,at thisjuncture, communal mind;one of its fundamental
another remarkable human trait:that, principle is ethics and catering for our
In other words,the New Millennium unlike common animal sociality,human foundation institutions of sociality.
is a kind of void canvasthat the theorists social existence stems from the genetic Thus,a learning society posits a
ofthe natural state so eloquently propensity to nurture long-termcontracts sovereign opportunity:to establish a new
described.From Plato to Rousseau, that evolve by culture into moral precepts equilibrium between social rights and
Hobbes to Rawls,social philosophy and laws. individual duties.Also,a time to reconcile
sought supreme harmony through the W e engage naturally in lasting individual and collective- or cultural -
formation of stable and lasting social covenants;moreover,we accept the rights.
contracts.Contracts that are freely necessity of securing them for survival:
negotiated and that establish codes of long-termfriendship,family bonding,



During an addressto high-rankingrepresentativesof the European social partners, "The social contract is mostly an
assembled in Thessaloniki,we proposed the following concept15: implicit agreement,accepted by all
parties concerned. The post-warsocial
contract,which lasted successfully for some 50 years, is at present
grossly outdated. This terminal stage is becoming apparent in a
number of assumptions that no longer hold today: stable and full
employment; the benefits of the welfare state;a limitless economic
growth machinery; absolute faith in democratic governance;a strict
separation between constitutionalpowers.
There remains little doubt that unless a new concerted effort is
put into practice to produce a different social contract, tailored to
serve the complex information society and to make the most of the
learning challenges,our societies will run Into growing difficulties.
In this new contractualapproach, the economy will go on playing an
important role;however,it is neither the sole nor the primordial factor.
Full citizenship standards,striking a right balance between duties
and rights, will increasingly call upon values such as justice,fairness,
equity and solidarity in both our national and International orders."

l5 Carneiro.R (1999).'Achienng a minimum learning

plaffcfrn for all', in Agora !\I The low-skil/edMI the
European labour market prospects and polrcy options,
Thessaloniki CEDEFOP

EDUCATION 2000.On knowledgeand learning

Conscious citizenship lies at the root Addressing the theme Priorities for
of participatory democracy.Participation the New Millennium is a call for rebellion.
demands a threshold level of social Likewise it is a cogent call to duty in each
capital and trust capable of upholding and every educational establishment,in
higher-ordercommon purposes.This the conscience of each and every
sphere of public interest surpasses the educator.
simple rights of individuals to difference. Likewise,educational,social and
This is why that democratic rule is at political leaders faceonce again a
the heart of citizenship education.Making formidable challenge:Delivering a new
allowancefor a Learning Society is closely Millennium of advanced knowledge,
tied in with deepening democratic beliefs lifelonglearning and supreme wisdom.
and committing future generations to A widely acclaimed artist and film-
perfecting democracy. magician of our times - George Lucas -
Schools and universities are - and sees in education the cornerstone of our
have always been -bastions of sociality. society,the foundation of our freedom
They are social institutionsto the marrow and a vital building block of our
and the seedbeds of societal democracy.In the Preface to Learn &
governance.Education establishments Live,a publication of The George Lucas
and educators are at the forefrontof a Educational Foundation,he writes:
new society They are the engines of a
brave new world. “Our leaders have to make difficult choices every
They carry the prime responsibility of day, dealing with issues as complex as health care,
making possible a better society:building transportation,and the infrastructure. W e cannot
the foundations of a new social contract afford to let education be left out of the national
that elicits education,knowledge and debate. If w e share a c o m m o n love of learning
learning,as the key ingredients of a new throughout our lives, then the nation’s enormous
deal. resources can be brought to bear in this important
It is time to retrench around dreams endeavour.”
of greatness - survival is no longer
sufficient. Human dream is the prime lever of
change and progress.Utopia always
preceded the feasibility design of
alternative futures.
Or,to put it in Shelley’swords:

“Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world’J. e

of Education in Latin America:
What Lessons for Latin America
and Caribbean Regional Education Project?

Martin Carnoy‘
Professor of the School of EducatiodStanford
University, Palo Alto,California,USA.

In the 1980sand 199Os,as part of a global transformation,

Latin American countries suffered economic crisis and then
underwent economic transformation and political
democratization.Under pressure to open their economiesto
the world and to privatize public services,Latin America’s
incomedistribution -already highly unequal by world standards-
became even more unequal.In many countries,despite
economic growth in the 199Os,poverty rates declined little if
at all.The gap between rich and poor increased substantially.

’ The author wants to thank the Inter-AmericanDevelopment

Bank for sponsoring the CRESUR project that produced
many of the research results cited in this paper and an
earlier paper on educationalindicatorsthat also served as
the basis for this paper.


PRELAC Journal

Relatively few
education reforms
Within this context,educational
truly aid the great
Put another way,with all the effort put
systems in Latin America also changed. majority of young into raising the quality of education during
Many of these changes were intended people in Latin the 1980s and 199Os,it would seem that
to produce greater equity in societies Latin American countries should have
becoming increasinglyinequitable.In the
America and the witnessed major improvementsin overall
larger countries,basic education (up to Caribbean to improve student academic performance in
nine years of schooling) began to their access to primary and secondary schools.This has
approach universality.Secondary and apparently not been the case--atleast,
tertiary education also expanded rapidly. education and to there is no evidence that student
In the less developed Latin American learn more achievement has improved.In countries
countries,primary school enrollment that have been doing student
expanded as well.A new emphasis on assessmentsover time,such as Chile,
qualify of education emerged,stimulating or on changes in technology (curriculum, during the period when tests were made
efforts to make schools and entire for example),as the most ways to make comparable(1 994-2000), resultssuggest
systems more accountable for student education "better,"there is little,if any, minimal increases in average test scores
performance.Many countries also evidence that these reforms work. I (Bellei,2001).This would not be much
implemented alternative means of believe that expanding enrollment of an issue if student performance in
financing education They decentralized successfully (the percentage of an age Latin America were relatively high on a
control over finances away from central cohort attending a particular level of world standard,or in comparison with,
ministries to provinces,districts,and schooling)can be considered the single for example,developing countries in Asia.
schools.Governments encouraged most important 'reform'of the educational But this is not the case either.Latin
private education as a means to reducing system.Such expansions of enrollment American countrieswhose students
public educational spending. usually have major implications for what participated in the Third International
W e can consider all these changes occurs in schools,forcing the system to Mathematics and Science Survey
as educational reforms,but we now address changing needs as new kinds (TIMSS)and OECD'sPlSA test performed
realize that despite good intentions,not of clientele enter schools in large far below European and Asian countries.
all of them work to achieve the goals numbers2.They also have implications
spelled out in Latin America and the for teacher recruitmentand teacher
Caribbean Regional Education Project. improvement-the sine qua non of
I am going to argue in this paper that providing a decent education to the
there are relatively few educational growing mass of children from low-
reformsthat actually help the vast majority income families taking higher levels of
of Latin American and Caribbean young schooling.
people to get more access to education
and to learn more.Although many
analysts focus on changes in the
management (organization)of the system
(decentralizationor greater parent
participation,for example),on changes
in financing (privatization,for example),

For example,Carnoy and Loeb (mol) show that the most

imporlanl explanalionlor whetner a U S stale nas
mplemen!ed 'strong' accountabilitymeasures is the
percentage ofminomy studentsin the stale'sschools The
need Io implemenlaccounlabillty systems IStherelorepartly
the resu'l ofexpanded proportions 01 minorily S'Jdenls in
seCondary education Amher example ISChile AS a resun
ofas enormous expansion ofsecondary education sime
1980,Cn le was pushed to maxc oprtanl cu'ricula. relorms
In secondaryeducation in (he 1990s


What do the past twenty years of

educational reform in Latin America tell
us about the reforms we should
emphasize in pursuing the goals laid out
by Regional Project? If we are to make
education “better”and more equitable, Even if average educational
what are the main reforms Latin American performance (testscores) is not
countries should invest in? Does the improving,the performance of some
failure to raise test scores in the region groups -namely disadvantaged Many of the most important reforms
mean that nothing has changed? Or students- may be improving.This is concern expanding the educational
rather,should reformers have a better important,especially if their system from,say,universal primary to
conception of where the reforms are improvement correspondsto particular universal secondary schooling.Some
taking them? In this essay,I suggestthat reforms that can be identified as countriesare doing much better in
some reforms have worked and that they responsible for the change. expanding more “successfully”than
teach us a great deal about how we others,and we can learn from those
should allocate effort in the future.I make Certain other “supplyside”strategies experiences.
several key arguments: also are likely to lead to eventual
improvementin student performance Most analysts agree that educational
The decentralization and privatization in school,especially for low-income systems cannot make large
reforms of the 1980sand 1990shave students.High among these is student improvements in average student
not worked to improve students’ attendance in school.Student performance without improved
educational performancebut may have attendance may be a function of parent teaching.Improved teaching requires
increased the inequality of performance participation in school and the a combination of measures,including
among low-incomeand high-income perceived quality (by parents) of improving teacher attendance in
students. schooling,including teacher school,recruiting better trained,more
attendance and school organization able individuals into the teaching
(Marshall,2001). occupation,distributing these more
able individualsmore equitably among
schools,and creating a level of
commitment among teachersto
improving student performance.Based
on current research,I will that we can
be quite specific about the kinds of
strategiesto improve teaching that


P R E LAC Journal

The false promise of structural reforms The evidence suggests that

structural reforms have had relatively little impact on overall
educational "effort"in terms of investment in education or on
student performance.Argentina transferred control of primary
schools entirely to provincial governmentsin the late 1970s
and of secondary schools in 1993.Increased control of
educational resources in the Argentine provinces put educational
decision making into the individual political contexts of each
province,with very varied results.If we rank provinces by
educational "necessity," as defined by their retention,drop out,
educational attainment,and gross product per capita,we find
that more educationally wanting provinces increased spending
per student about the same percentage as more advantaged
provinces after the 1993 transfer.Neither did more educationally
wanting provinces increase secondary enrollment significantly
more or less than the better off provinces (Cosse,2001).
Secondary enrollment gains in the 1980s,before the 1993
transfer,were about the same as in the 1990s (Carnoy,Cosse,
Cox,and Martinez,2001 ).So educational effort,enrollment
growth,and enrollment growth equity among provinces in
Argentina did not seem to be affected by decentralization.
Average student performance in secondary education between
1993 and 1999 is more difficult to assess because the tests
are not comparable,but there is no sense in Argentina that
student performance is rising Carnoy,Carnoy,Cosse,Cox,and
Martinez,2001).Much the same can be said about educational
effort and enrollment growth in Mexico after the decentralization
of the early 1990s.The statesare not increasing their educational
investmentas a resultof gaining control of their schools (Paulin,
In Chile,available evidence suggests that the hoped for
increases in efficiency from increased competition among
schools and from an increased role for privately managed
schools did not make schooling more effective than before the
voucher reform (McEwanand Carnoy,2000;Hsieh and Urquiola,
2001;Bellei,2001).The one major effect that the reform may
have had is to bring more private resources into education,but
that came mainly from making families pay a high fraction (70
percent) of the costs of sending their children to university
(Gonzalez,2001).With new legislation in 1993,it became legal
for subsidized private schoolsto charge tuition.Private
contributions for primary and secondary schooling increased
over the next eight years,but that contribution is small compared
to family investments in higher education.W e should remember


that even before the 1981 reform,20 percent of students

attended private primary schools,and 6 percent of those were
in private paid schools that received no governmentsubsidies.
Privatization in the 1980s may not have lowered or raised
overall studentperformance,but evidence suggeststhat it may
have had a negative effect on low-incomestudents.Indeed,
research shows that low-incomestudent performance in non-
religious subsidized private schools in Chile,which enroll 21
percent of ail basic education students in the country,is
significantly lower than in public municipal schools (McEwan
and Carnoy,2000).So structural reforms seem to have made
little overall improvementin student performance,and probably
had relativeiy little impact on enrollmentexpansion in primary
and secondary education,even though privatization may have
made it possible to expand university at lower public expense.

Why some “popular”

educational strategies There are a number of
- Thus,smallerclass sizes often result
are not relevant that
“popular”educational reform strategies
may be important in developed
from a series of factors that make the
schoolsthat have these smaller class
for Latin America countries but that have questionable sizes less desirable places to learn.In
relevanceforthe Latin American context. rural areas,for example,small classes
For example,there is considerable may be due to student absence due to
evidence now in the United States(based consistent teacher absence.In urban
on the Tennessee class size experiment) areas,where families can,to some
that class size may have a significant degree,choose among public schools
effect on studentachievement and,more outside their neighborhoods,so at least
important,on student attainment (Finn partially sidestep residentialsegregation,
and Achiiles,1999).But in the Latin “better”public schools(thosewith higher
American context,reducing classsize is levels of student performance,
probably not a relevant reform for representing higher value added or
increasing quality.It is too entangled with larger “peergroup”effects3 )and many
peer effects resulting from widespread private schoolsattract more students,
school choice in urban areas,teacher filling classes to maximum capacity.
and student absenteeism in rural and Lesswell-regardedschoolstend to have
urban areas,and pedagogical classes with fewer students because
techniquesthat do not become more the schoolsoperate at less than
effective as the number of students in capacity.This is precisely what we would
the class diminishes. expect in a system governed by choice.

McEwan, 2001


PRELAC Journal

If teaching were generally organized would have been built,creating places ,

Most teachers in
around individual attention and small for more pupils in the higher grades of
group work in Latin America,fewer primary school and in basic secondary Latin America still
students in a class could mean higher school.These places would need to be teach using the
value added in schools with smaller filled.Children would be passed into
classes,hence an offset to higher higher grades when in the past they
“chalk and talkyy
performance in schools with already would have been held back. method, or frontal
better students and greater “peergroup” Similarly,in the more developed Latin teaching
effects.However,most teachers in Latin American countries,the rapid expansion
America still teach using the “chalkand of secondary education almost
talk”method,or frontal teaching,in which automaticallyimplies lower repetition and
a larger or smaller class size seems to drop out rates in secondaryschools.How
have little effect on how much children access to university is determined also
learn. affects secondary drop out rates.For
Another popular focus of reformers example,in Uruguay the drop out rates
is reducing repetition and drop out rates. in the second cycle of secondary
Whereas this goal is laudable as an object education (preparatoria)are higher than
of reform,it is often confounded with the in neighboring Argentina and Chile
conditionsof entry at the next level of (Carnoy,Cosse,Cox,and Martinez.,
education.For example,in some poorer 2001).Does this mean that the quality of
Latin American countries,repetition and Uruguayan secondary education is
drop out rates in the first years of primary lower? Almost certainly it is as high or
school are much higher than in other higher.Uruguayan preparatoria is a very
countries.Does this mean that improving traditional Latin American upper
the “quality”of primary school will reduce secondary school,organized to select
repetition and drop out rates? Almost students foruniversity education.
certainly,the answer is yes -if reformers Students who graduate have automatic
could in fact improve primary school entrance to free public university,and
quality.But let us assume that primary this is limited to less than one-fourthof
enrollment in the next ten years is the age cohort.Unless the function of
universalized and secondary enrollment preparatoria changes in Uruguay,either
sharply expanded in,say,Honduras,and because access becomes limited to
repetition and drop out rates in primary university education by other means,
school fall substantially.Does that mean such as high fees (asin Chile), or less
that the quality of Honduran primary limited because of an expansion of public
education has risen? Perhaps it has.But, university places (as in Argentina), drop
more likely,lower repetition and drop out out rates will have to remain high,even
reflectthe changed function of primary if quality were to rise.
education.Instead of acting in part as a This is why care should be used in
sorting institution for access to relatively making average repetition and drop out
limited places in secondary schools,the rates across all schools an objective for
expansion at that next level would allow educational reform.They are much better
many more entering first graders to measures of educational access,
continue into seventh grade.More rural particularly for low-incomegroups,and
primary school classroomsand perhaps therefore work better as an objective for
even a number of rural secondary schools increasing educational equity.


Targeting educational quality reforms In contrasttostructuralreforms,targeted reforms

-specific programs aimed at disadvantaged groups- appear to have been much
likely to succeed in improving academic performance for the targeted groups.A
famous example in Latin America is the Escuela Nueva,in Colombia,now found in
other countries under other names.The Escuela Nueva targets low-incomerural
students and seems to have had a positive impact on student performance,largely
through providing a support network for rural teachers and increasing their commitment
to teaching in isolated rural schools (McEwan,2000).

Direct financial interventions by central ministries into off.It would also seem easier to raise school productivity by
improving outcomesfor low income studentswere also effective bringing existing technology and resourcesalready used for
in both Argentina and Chile.The P-900program,begun in 1990 higher income students into a low-incomesituation than
in Chile and extended to almost 2,500schools by the end of developing new methods to raise productivity throughout the
the decade raised test scores of pupils significantly in low- educational system.Similarly,bringing a relatively few low-
scoring schools (Cox,2001;McEwan and Carnoy,1999). income students into each of many already existing private
Elements of the Plan Social in Argentina,directed at rural schoolsthrough a limited targeted voucher program as in
schools and low-incomestudents attending secondary schools, Colombia is much more likely to benefit low-incomestudents
also seemed to have positive effects on student outcomes. through "peereffect"than a Chilean-typeplan that creates many
Uruguay'sdirect financial assistance to low-scoringschools new for-profitprivate schools of questionable quality.
(based on the 1996 6th grade evaluation)probably contributed Targeting high repetition and dropout rates among low-
to a significantincrease in test scores among the countries income basic education students,especially in urban areas
lowest-incomestudents (Filgueiraand Martinez,2001).A where secondary education opportunities are readily available,
targeted voucher plan in Colombia in the 1990s seemed to may also work to improve educational quality.Providing low-
have a positive effect on low-incomestudentattainment students performing schools in Lima or Rio de Janeiro -schools marked
who received vouchers and used them to attend private by high repetition and drop outs- with some new methods and
(religious)secondary schoolsstayed in school into the higher materials for teaching,or focusing on improving student
grades and were less likely to drop out (Angrist,2000).4 attendance through incentive.Thus,although it would be difficult
Such equity-drivenreforms are more successful in raising to use such methods to lower the average drop out rate in all
student performance than system-widereforms,primarily schools,we can change the repetition and dropout rates in
because targeted reforms are usually aimed at groups that certain schools among certain groups,making the quality of
receive fewer or lower quality educational resources until they schooling at least more equitable.
receive special attention.That special attention seems to pay

Angrist.Joshua D..Eric Bettinger,Erik Bloom,Elizabeth

King, and Michael Krerner (2000)."Vouchersfor Private
Schooling in Colombia:Evidenceh a Randomized Natural
Experiment."Washington,D.C.:World Bank (mirneo).


PRELAC Journal

Student attendance in school I want to put special schoolswill have smaller positive or even
emphasis on strategiesthat improve negative peer effect,less effective
student attendance in school.Almost all teachers,fewer students in their classes,
Latin American countriesare past the poorer attendance rates,and lower
stage in which simply increasing the average performance.
percentage of children enrolled in primary Another reason for focusing on
school is a major objective of educational improving student attendance is that it
reform.Having passed this stage, is relatively easy to measure and
however,does not eliminate the problem represents a concrete objective for
of how often students actually come to educators and reformers.For example,
school.Recent research suggests that bola escola,the Brazilian direct payment
parents are more likely to send their scheme for very low-incomeparents is
children to school and adolescents more specificallydesigned to subsidizefamilies
likely to attend school when schooling is to keep children attending school.Chile's
higher quality (Hanushekand Lavy,1994; teacher pay incentive system (SNED)
Bedi and Marshall,1999;Marshall and also includes attendance as one of its
White,2001).This higher quality could objectives.
representhigh teacher attendance,good
teaching,and more interesting,
challenging curriculum.
Student attendance rates may be a
good proxy measure for school quality,
and the interaction of higher attendance
rates and higher school quality,a good
predictor of higher student achievement.
One of the interesting side effects of this
interaction is that 'better'schools in Latin
American cities tend to have more
students in classes than do 'worse"
schools.Motivated parents try to send
their children to these better schools even
if they do not live in the school's
immediate neighborhood.One reason
that cross-sectionstudies measuring the
effect of class size on student
achievement show no significant impact
is probably due to the greater demand
for places in schoolsthat are known to
be good.A school'sreputation may be
the result mainly of peer effect,but as I
have argued,such schools also tend to
attract better teachers.This 'clustering'
effect of good teachers and good
students fills classrooms.Less attractive


Improved teaching and

improvement in student performance Educational analysts have long stressed that

Rather than focus on the pedagogical literature,I will discuss issues of incentives
and counter incentives that may affect the level of teacher productivity in Latin
America'sschools.W e know it is possible to achieve high levels of learning in Latin
America,because one country in the region,Cuba,appears to be much closer than
others to international levels of achievement in mathematics.Even if the test scores
in the 1999 OREALC thirteen country survey of Latin American third and fourth graders
overestimatethe level of Cuban achievement,there is little doubt that Cuban children
are scoring much higher than children in other countries (LLECE,1999;Carnoy and
Marshall,2001).One of the elements in Cuba'ssuccess is the higher average
education of parents in Cuba,and the lower level of abject poverty,as reflected in
the low proportion of children who work outside the home.But school factors also
play a role.For one,educational expectationsare high in Cuba,as reflected in the
curriculum and textbooks used in mathematics.Secondly,and this is what I want to
focus on here,Cuban teachers with university level education are paid salaries much
more like the salaries of other professionals,so entering teaching as a profession
has,until recently with the influence of the tourist industry,required little financial
sacrifice.Teachers also have similar social status as most other university graduates.
Thus,it appears that Cuban schools can implement more demanding curricula in
part because even primary teachers have the capacity to teach those curricula.

There are other key factors that distinguish Cuba'sschools These differences point to a number of factorsthat are likely
from schools in other Latin American countries.Teachers in to have major impact on educational quality,especially in
Cuba are unlikely to take frequent absences,excused or schools attended by lower-incomechildren and therefore on
unexcused.Cuban primary schools offer more hours of school which educational reformersshould focusas part of the Regional
and even more hours of math per week than schools in most Project.
Latin American countries,although this varies among countries
(OREALC,2001,p.45).And the distribution of "good"teachers
in Cuba among rural and urban schools and among schools
serving more disadvantaged and more advantaged populations
is likely to be more equal than in other Latin American countries.
Although we have no hard data on absences or teacher
distribution in Cuba,anecdotal evidence suggests that such
assertions are correct (Carnoy,1989).


The time per day and per year that teachers actually teach The distributionof teacher “quality”(asmeasured by education,
in a classroom is obviously a crucial variable when the total experience,and test score on evaluations of teacher
number of hours per year is low.In Argentina,a highly knowledge in subject areas) among schools serving lower
developed country in many respects,primary school students and higher-incomestudents appears to be highly unequal
attend school an average of four hours per day,or less than even in developed states of developed countries,such as
750 hours per year.However,teacher absencesare relatively New York state in the United States (Langford,Loeb and
frequent in many provinces,and many days per year are lost Wykoff , 2001).Recent findings for Mexico suggestthat there
in teacher strikes.At the other end of the economic spectrum, is even greater polarization of teacher quality among schools
Honduras loses approximately half its already low number in developing countries (Lastra,2001 ; Santibanez,2001).
of “official”hours of primary schooling per year through teacher This makes logical sense for two reasons:more educated
absences,mainly but not only in rural areas (Carnoy and and higher social class teachers are likely to reside in higher
McEwan,1997).Teacher absence is a pervasive problem income neighborhoods and regions so are more likely to
throughout Latin America,yet is rarely discussed or used as teach in a school with higher income students;and more
an indicator of educational quality.Reforms to improveteacher able teachers are in greater demand,so may have greater
attendance are politically difficult since they confront either choices in where they work,hence,everything else equal,
corruptteacher employmentpolicies (forMexico,see Bayardo, will tend to shiftto schools with better conditions and “easier”
1992)or the opposition of the teachers’unions or both. students.Since salaries are generally set by salary schedules
Teacher strikes,which also account for many lost days in negotiated at the national or regional level,teachers get paid
some countries,might be reduced by better coordination of essentially the same salary no matter where they work.Rural
reforms and educational policies with teacher organizations, teachers or those working in “hardship”areas (Tierra del
but often reflect wider conflictual politics in the country Fuego,for example),get higher salaries,but these usually
concerned.Chile has had the luxury of very few lost days are not high enough to compensate individuals who have
from teacher strikes over the past ten years,but this has normal lifestyle preferences.It has been politically difficult
been mainly the result of a consensual period in Chilean almost everywhere in the world to pay teachers systematically
politics,following on the heels of 17 years of military rule and significantly more to teach in low-incomeschools,since
(Cox,2001,Nunez,2001). this represents a transparentshiftofpublic resources to the
poor,a move greatly resisted by middle classes everywhere.
For example,Chile’svoucher plan was designed to pay the
same amount per child regardless of social class.5The effect
of these equal payment regimens is that higher-income
children not only benefit from their own higher cultural capital,
but from a substantial peer effect of attending schools where
the other students are also from higher income families,and
from being taught by more capable,more experienced

Holland is an exception to this rule.The Dutch voucher plan

subsidieslow-incomechildren with a voucher 25 percent
largerthan the normal voucheramount.

If we believe that this distribution of
resources is efficient,then a more unequal
distribution of peer and school resources
should produce better average results
than a more equal distribution.The
Chilean experience suggeststhat greater
inequality in the distribution of students But from an equity standpoint,it is
does not produce higher average student more likely that shifting better teachers
performance (Carnoy,1998).Would to lower-incomeschools should work to
equalizing teacher resources among equalize outcomes.The question is:how
schools with lower and higher-income to accomplish such a shift.Incentive pay
students increase or decrease average schemes,such as the SNED in Chile,
outcomes? This is a difficult question to that reward teachers in schools that beat
answer.Low-incomestudents would average test score gains in similar social not just the result of the quality of teacher
probably do significantlybetter,but would class schools,have not been evaluated pre-serviceeducation,which is notably
higher-incomestudents do significantly for their effectiveness in systematically poor (Lockheed and Verspoor,1988).
worse? One argument is that higher- improving teaching or in shifting good Nor is it necessarily an issue of the current
income parents can offset most of the teachers to lower-performingschools. level of teacher salaries,which are low
bad effects of a poor teacher,but lower- There are advantages and problems with relative to the pay in other professions in
income parents cannot.But we have no incentive schemes based on increasing some countries,but relatively high for
evidence to support this notion.Another value added in the school based on women teachers in many countries
argument is that it takes only small studenttest scores.The main advantage compared to women workers with similar
increments of high quality resources to is that the goal is clear and the school levels of education (Vega,Experton,and
produce positive effects at the low student can organize around that goal.This can Pritchard,1999;Carnoy and McEwan,
performance end of the spectrum,but create a positive organizational effect of 1997;Santibanez,2001).However,as a
much greater increases in resources to “aligning”the school around academic recent study has shown,the higher
produce increases in student achievement (Rothstein,Carnoy,and relative salaries paid to teachers may be
performance among already high- Benveniste,1999).The downside is that misleading.If teachers are divided by
performing students.Chilean estimates such incentives can push schools and levels of education,the higher relative
of cost-effectivenesscomparing public teachers to spend a disproportionate salaries may obtain mainly for those with
schools,subsidized private schools,and amount of time teaching the test.It is secondary education,who either teach
paid (hightuition)private schools suggest also likely that small schools will have a at the primary level or entered the labor
that students in paid private schools greater variance in performance from market in the past when lower levels of
achieve the highest test scores,but that year to year because of the greater education were acceptable (Razquin,
the schools are by far less cost-effective statistical variability of their student body, 2001).Women teachers with post-
than schools serving much lower-income, hence will have a greater likelihood of secondary education are more likely to
lower achieving children (McEwan and being rewarded at least once in a while earn relatively less than women earn with
Carnoy,2000).From an efficiency (Kane,2000). post-secondaryeducation working in
standpoint,some case can therefore be A more profound problem for most other professions.This is even more often
made for resource shifts,but the case is Latin American is the average level of the case for men,whose opportunities
not strong. capacity in their teaching force.This is outside teaching are much greater.


PRELAC Journal

The lower comparativesalaries for in the quality of individuals being drawn To summarize,key factorsconcerning
post-secondaryeducated teachers may into teaching.This could be mitigated by teaching that reformers can focus on to
create a dilemma for educational reform an increased supply of higher educated improve educational quality,mainly for
strategies.Almost all Latin American women entering the labor market low-incomestudents,in the context of
countries have gradually raised the because of changes in values concerning the Regional Project are the following:
educational requirements for teachers women'swork,for example.It also could ........................................ b
over the past twenty years.In periods of be mitigated by the much lower cost of
recession,such as the 1980s,teacher obtaining a teaching degree compared
salaries generally fall in real terms.Yet, to other university degrees.But unless
the relative salaries of teacherscompared teachers'work is highly regarded on
to workers with similar levels of education other grounds,countries in which the
probably rise (because public sector salariesof teacherswith post-secondary
salaries are sticky downward compared education are relatively low compared to
to private sector salaries). In periods of those with higher education degrees in
economic crisis,it is easier to attract other professions,could face a shortage
individualsinto teaching,even individuals of well-qualifiedteachers,particularly in
with more education than required.This secondary education.Many of the most
happened in Mexico in the 1980s,when important educational reforms in Latin
many university graduatestrained for America in the past ten years and in the
other professions chose to go into next decade concern secondary
teaching because of the crisis in the education.Thus,the relative salaries of
private sector.But in periods of economic post-secondarytrained teachers (and
growth and rapid expansion of secondary the supply of newly certified secondary
education--characteristicof the 1990s school teachers)are important indicators
throughout Latin America,recruiting of the potential successof other reforms
teachers with post-secondarydegrees to raise student achievement and
is more difficult,and might mean a decline attainment.

Increasing the number of classroom hours per day and year encountered by an
average student and especially low-incomestudents.Classroom hours have to be
estimated using required hours adjusted for three factors-teacher absenteeism,
student absenteeism,and loss of days to teacher strikes.The first two are difficult
to measure,but are (orshould be) important objectives of educational reform.So
should the reduction of strike days.If real hours in the classroom are increasing,
it is likely that student performance will improve.In somecountries or regionswhere
absenteeism or low numbers of required hours is an important issue,increasing
contact hours may be the most important objective of educational reform.As a
primary school teacher in a low-incomeschool once asked me,"Howcan we be
expected to increase these students'achievement levels when we only have them
in class for three and one-halfhours per d a q

Equalizing the distribution of teachers by education and experience across schools

with students of different socioeconomic background.The more polarized this
variable,the more unequal school capacity and the less likely that government
programs can raise low-incomestudents'achievement.

Paying close attention to the salaries of teachers by level of education compared

to non-teacherswith the same education.Comparisons should be made within
gender group,men and women separately.The higher the relative salaries of
teachers with a given level of education,the more likely reforms aimed at the level
of education where those teachers are teaching will succeed.

Increasingthe content knowledgeof young people entering the teaching profession.

The quality of teacher pre-servicetraining is one of the biggest problems facing
educational reformers.If teachers to not have a high level of understanding of
math,language,and science,how are they to teach more difficult,challenging
curricula in those subjects?


PRELAC Journal

The logic of
educational quality
through educational
expansion Educational Historically,almost all countries in the Which fact is more important in
expansion has taken place in all Latin world have raised academic achievement determining the potential productivity of
American countries over the past twenty in their populations by increasing the the labor force or the level of other social
years (Castroand Carnoy,1998).More average numbers of years of schooling indicators,or even of the quality of the
students attend primary school as a taken by successive generations of educational system?
percentage of the age cohort than in students.The OECD literacy survey, To achieve major increases in
1980 and many more students attend which included Chile,suggestshow large completion rates at a given level of
secondary school and university.Part of the changes in achievement from schooling,governments usually redefine
this increase is due simply to economic generation to generation have been. the nature of a given level of schooling.
growth in the region and resulting There is no doubt,the OECD shows,that They do more that just build more
increases in educational spending.But 25 year-oldsin every country surveyed buildings and supply more teachers,
an important part of the expansion took are more literate than their parents.This although that,too,is an important
place in the 1980s despite economic is largely true because they have higher accomplishment.They necessarily need
crisis.W e know that pressure for levels of education,not because they to reform their education systems to
educational expansion may increase in have gone to “better”schools.Thus, accommodatethe notion that a much
economic crises because incomeforgone incorporating an increasing proportion higher fraction of students will finish a
declines,often raising the private rate of of an age cohort into ever-higherlevels particular level of schooling,whether this
return to taking more schooling.Although of education may be the most important is primary schooling OFuniversity.These
there are exceptions to the rule (for thing that governmentscan do to reforms should not be taken lightly.At
example,Costa Rica,where net increase student achievement.Reforms the same time,their success can be
enrollment in primary and secondary that accomplish that goal should be measured by increases in the proporti‘on
school declined from high initial levels in considered successful even if the of young people reaching higher levels
1980-1990),many Latin American average level of performance of students of schooling.
countries saw gross and net enrollment in,say,the eighth grade,does not
increases in primary and secondary increase at all over the next ten years.
schools in the 1980s.This expansion Put another way,assume that eighth
generally continued into the 1990s with graders in Colombia score somewhat
economic recovery,this largely as a result higher than eighth graders in Chile on
of more funding available for expansion an internationalmath test,but that
but also because countries have long average education (numberof years of
been committed to a politics of schooling in Chile among 15-24year-
educational expansion. olds is much higher than in Colombia.
Should we consider a higher
percentage of an age cohort finishing
higher levels of schooling,as was the
case in many Latin American countries
in 1980-2000,a success of educational
reform that aims to improve educational
quality and educational equity? I believe
that we should,for several reasons.


The case of Honduras

Consider a low performer among normal starting age of seven,clearly a gets a job teaching (Carnoyand
Latin American countries,such as featureof family poverty.But primary McEwan,1997).But beyond school
Honduras.In 1998,31 percent of the teacher salaries are relatively good,so construction and supplying teachers,
Honduran population,15-24years old teacher absenteeism is more a result of raising primary completion rates would
had 5 years of education or less mismanagement than low incentives. require reforms thatwould reduce teacher
(OREALC,Regional Report,Santiago, Repetition rates in the early grades are absenteeism substantially,change
Chile,2001,p.91).Honduras is a poor extreme , leading to high dropout rates. teaching methods,and supply materials
country,but that explains only part of the Improving primary completion rateswould to improve learning conditions in
problem.Honduran primary schools, require construction of large numbers of classrooms -in other words,reforms that
particularly those in rural areas,are classrooms in rural and some urban would reconstruct Honduran primary
marked by severe teacher and student areas.It would also require building many education.
absenteeism and a shortageof classroom more secondary schools,since most
space to accommodate first and second families consider that the main reason
grade pupils who might move into the for completing primary school is to go
third and fourth grades and onto sixth. on to secondary.Supplying teachers for
This is partly due to low levels of new classrooms should be no problem,
resources,but not entirely.Many children since teaching training schools in
begin school two years older than the Honduras graduate 20 for every one that

Chile and Mexico At the other end ofthe spectrum,consider Chile and Mexico’sexpansion of
higher secondary education compared with Uruguay’smuch slower progress at the
preparatoria level.Was this just a product of differential economic growth? The evidence
suggests an alternative explanation.Much of the very rapid growth of upper secondary
education in Mexico was produced by creating new forms of technical and bachillerafo
schools,outside of the elite preparatorias associated with the National University or the
Politecnico Nacional.One of the fastest growing,for example,was CONALEP,an
autonomous system of more than 250 technical schools originally intended to provide
technical training for low-incomeyouth who would end up as skilled workers,mainly in
Mexican manufacturing industry.Despite dropout rates of 50 percent (aboutthe same
as the rest of the upper secondary level),CONALEP was able to combine basic math
and language education with technical training and internships in industry to produce
large numbers of graduates in the past 15 years.Other new institutions,based on various
models of upper secondary education,have also incorporated a relatively high percentage
of low-incomeyouth into the upper secondary system.As the level expanded,all these
institutions changed their “charters”so that graduates could use their degrees to enter
the post-secondarysystem.And even the post-secondarysystem began to change to
accommodate a new “range”of graduates.For example,state and federal governments
have created a set of new,well-funded two-yeartechnical schools -the Universidades
Tecnicas- designed to produce highly skilled technicians for manufacturing and services.
Now,the charter of these institutions has also changed to allow graduates to continue
on to full universities.6

For a review ofthe Mexican “preparatoria”

level,see Bernard0Naranjo.
PRE LAC Journal

Chile also achieved a major expansion of secondary education per student is a product of sustained economic growth,it also
between 1980 and 2000.The Chilean expansion,like Mexico’s, results from a high degree of commitment to education by a
came mainly through the expansion of technical education, series of Chilean democratically elected governments.The
some of it associated with industrial partnerships.Chile’s focus on making secondary education universal for Chilean
expansion also occurred initially in the context of a radical youth and supporting that effort with new materials,new
decentralization and privatization reform under the military technology (including new curriculum)and more training was
government (1981).A significantfraction of Chile’spublic key to achieving high rates of completion.Although enrollment
secondary school students shifted to private education under in universities was expanding rapidly in the period 1990-2000,
a per student subsidization,or voucher plan,that gave private the highly privatized nature of the Chilean higher education
schools approximately the same funding per student as public system,especially universities,allowed Chile to expand
schools (see Cox,1997).In the 1990% however,expansion secondary school completion without placing a high public
was effected mainly through increased funding for technical finance burden on the government from massive growth of the
and non-technicalsecondary education,an attempt to improve university system,But it has also placed barriers to entry for
secondary education through a concerted program of new many capable secondary school graduateswho could
materials,teacher training,improved curriculum,and a major successfullycomplete higher education were more public funds
investment in computersand Internet(ENLACES).As a result, available.Nevertheless,it is apparent that Chile,like Mexico,
Chile’scompletion rate in secondary education is one of the has increased the average education of massive numbers of
highest in the region.A higher percentage of Chilean young low-incomeyouth,mainly by reforming secondary education,
people have 10 years of schooling,or more than in any Latin and hence has raised average achievement levels.
American country but Cuba.Although the increased funding

Uruguay and Costa Rica

In contrast,Uruguay did not change students achieve as highly as students Another type of contrast is the
the nature of its preparatoria education. in Chile or Argentina,the fact that they experience of Costa Rica in the 1980s.
Uruguay does have a fraction of its higher are less likely to complete secondary Because of the economic crisis and the
secondary students in technical school means that their ultimate requirements of World Bank structural
education,but this too has remained achievement levels are probably lower. adjustment loans (SALS),Costa Rica
traditional.Preparatory school in Uruguay The difference can be attributed directly lowered the public expenditure per pupil
has the task of preparing students for to the lack of secondary education reform in secondary schools,began charging
university.Successful completion of in Uruguay-as presently constructed, fees to students io cover costs of
higher secondary education means preparatoria education is not organized pedagogical materials,and began
automatic entrance to a free public for mass producing secondary school replacing experienced,higher-paid
university.Since the university has graduates;it retains its traditional charter teachers with younger,uncertified
expanded enrollment slowly,preparatory of selecting students for universities.This teachers (Carnoyand Torres,1994).
schools remain institutionsthat must suggeststhat reform is a necessary part Repetition and drop out rates increased
decide who is “fit” to continueon to higher of any educational expansion and that and success rates on the secondary
education at public expense.Drop out the successof reforms can be measured school final examinations declined,all
rates in Uruguay’spreparatorias,at about by their ability to increase enrollment and an indication that the quality of secondary
37 percent,are much higher than drop completion rates in a particular level of education went down in the 1980s.
outs from secondary schools in Argentina education.The Uruguayan government
and Chile.Although there is reason to has recognized this axiom is moving
believe that Uruguayan secondary school toward preparatoria reform.


One of the most common critiques of A major problem with most

enrollment and completion rates as a educational systems is that educators
measure of educational improvement is prefer to track students into different
the claim that quality of education in,say, levels so that educational goals can be
secondary school automatically declines adjusted to the human capital the student
as these rates increase.Yet,there is brings to the school.It seems to make
considerableevidence that this is not the sense that some young people are not
case.For example,in the United States, that interested or good at academic work
the massification of high school so should be shunted into less
completion and an enormous increase demanding and more “practical”courses
in the proportion of high school seniors of study.Yet,recent experience in the
who take the Scholastic Aptitude Test United Stateshas shown that it is possible
(SAT)has not led to a significant decline to teach algebra to lower socio-economic
in the average scoreson this test background students if teachers are
(Rothstein,1998).Similarly,in Chile, determined to do so.Eighth grade math
average scores on the high school results for Hispanic students in Texas, 1

version of the SIMCE test have not where academic standards have been
declined in the 1990s despite increases raised for lower income students,are a
in the proportion of the age cohort taking reflection of this possibility (Carnoy,Loeb,
the test (Bellei,2001).The same seems and Smith,2001).Analysis of the TIMSS
to be true for Argentina’stesting results results across countries also suggests
at the secondary level (Cosse,2001). that tracking probably reduces average
One reason that achievement scores test scores because so many students
may not decline significantly even as a (those in lower tracks)are not exposed
higher fraction of the age cohort enters to math and science conceptsimportant
and completesa given level of schooling to developing proficiency in these two
is that the educational system is probably subjects.Lower standards allows
organized to reach particular goals teachers to avoid teaching these
(standardsor quotas) rather than to concepts to students from lower socio-
increase productivity spontaneously.In economic backgrounds.
that sense of being quota driven,schools
are not “entrepreneurial”organizations.
This is frustrating to many reformers,but
if understood,the goal (standard)
orientation of the system can be effective
in producing a similar quality of output
even as the quality of inputs changes.
The system may have to be forced to do
this by reforming it (compareChile with
Uruguay), but once given its new
marching orders,it is likely to maintain
average academic achievement even as
the average socio-economicbackground
of the students declines.


PRELAC Journal

Educational expansion as improving equity I have just made astrong argument that
the most successfui educational reforms in terms of increasing the average level of
achievement in the populations are those that increase educational attainment.
Increasing educational attainment can also be the most importantway that nations
and regions improve educational equity.The way that education is expanded has an
important influence on this equity effect.For example,Colombia and Bolivia have
relatively high percentages of 15-24year-oldswith ten or more years of schooling,
but also relatively high percentages of the same age group with less than 5 years of
schooling.Mexico has a lower percentage with ten or more years,but a very low
percentage with less than five years of schooling.It appears that Mexico may have
achieved greater equity by essentially universalizing primary education,even in rural
areas (OREALC,2001,p.90).

Since many countriesof Latin America system is probably less equitable than secondary schooleducation incorporated
are at the stage of trying to universalize Chile’s,but its income distribution is far the working class in Chile,income
secondary education,the expansion of more equal.One “reason”(notcausal, distribution became more unequal.
this level necessarily is accomplished by just explanatory)for Chile’sgreater Besides the effect of educational
incorporating students whose parents income inequality than Uruguay’seven reforms on educational expansion and
have much lower levels of education.It with greater educational equity in Chile, hence on educational equity,it is possible
is evident in Argentina,Chile,and is that the payoff to completing university that some education policies have
Uruguay that the “new”enrollment in is much higher in Chile than in Uruguay significantimpact on the academic
secondary education over the past twenty (,2001).Accessto university performance of lower income students
years is urban working class and rural, in Chile is lower than it might be because within a given level of schooling even if
and that the main challenge of of high tuition charges.But access to larger,structural reforms have little effect
educational reform is to bring these lower university is also restricted in Uruguay on the average productivity of education.
socioeconomic class students to by an upper secondary system that W e have collected a considerableamount
successful completion of secondary induces students to drop out before of information on the relative impact of
schooling.Besides raising the average completing.In both countries,less than structural reforms such as
level of educational achievement in the 25 percent of the age cohort is enrolled decentralization and privatization on
society,as I have argued above,reforms in university.The much higher payoff in overall student performance in countries
that significantly increase average levels Chile,however,means that those that do such as Chile,Mexico,and Argentina.A
of educational attainmentgenerally have complete university are distant,income- number of studies that assess the impact
to increase educational equity because wise,from the mass of students who of policies targeted at low-income
they incorporate an increasing fraction compete secondary education but do students are also available.
of lower socioeconomic class youth first not continue.In Uruguay,the incomesof
into primary schooling,then secondary, those who complete university are not
and eventually university. much higher than the incomes of
Nevertheless,greater educational secondary school graduates.The
equity does not mean economic equity. difference may be due to higher growth
Chile’seducational system can be rates in Chile and a more “dynamic”
regarded as highly equitable compared economy,but it may also be due to past
to Brazil’s, for example,but the income policies that allowed those with higher
distributions in the two countries are incomesto gain ground on the poor and
similarly unequal.Uruguay’seducational middle class.In any case,even as


Some brief conclusions Based on what we know about how educational systems
increase a society’sknowledge,I have recommended a number of ways that Latin
American countries can work within the general goals of the Regional Education
Project to improve how much children -particularly lower-incomechildren- learn
and to make education more equitable.

Expanding access to more years of education is still the most common way that
societies increase young people’smath and language skills.Countries in Latin
America with higher average schooling are better at complex production and have
children who are easier to teach even higher levels of academic skills in the next
generation.Increasing the number of years of education taken by students does
not have to wait until achievement rises in lower grades,and historically,it has not.
So a rising average level of schooling is an objective in and of itself and a measure
of the success of education reforms.

Policy makers should aim at raising the average number of years of schooling
attended and keeping average test scores at the same level in a level of schooling
that is raising its enrollment and completion rates rapidly.This would mean that
schoolsare increasing their effectiveness.That level would have,in effect,absorbed
students with less cultural capital and brought the new student body to similar
levels ofachievement as past groups.

Increasing growth of enrollmentand completion of lower levels of schooling--first

primary,then secondary,provides benefits for lower socioeconomic class children,
since these are the groups that are absorbed into these levels of schooling when
they are universalized.Furthermore,educational improvement programs that target
these groups generally seem to work.

Increasing contact time for studentswith teachers through increasing student and
teacher attendance and longer school days may be the most important strategies
for Latin American countries of improving educational quality for lower-income
students.By focusing on these “simple,” easy to measure objectives,educational
strategies have the best chance to improve low-incomestudent attainment,which
will have the singlegreatest educational impact on economic and social opportunities.e



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in the Commonwealth Caribbean
Errol Miller

Director of the Institute of Education/University of the

West Indies,Mona Campus,Kingston-Jamaica.

fining the Caribbean The Caribbean as a region has always been variouslydefined.
The most inclusive definition describes the region in geographical and cultural terms
as that area bounded to the north by Bermuda and the Bahamas,to the west by
Belize located on the Central American mainland,to the east by that arch of island
extending to Barbados and to the south by Guyana,Suriname,Cayenne and Venezuela
on the South American mainland and the islands of Aruba,Curacao and Bonaire.
This definition of the Caribbean would include Dutch,English,French and Spanish
speaking territories.Less inclusive definitions have grouped some Caribbean territories
with other groups and left the rest as the Caribbean.For example,Cuba and the
Dominican Republic are often classified with Central America or Latin America as a
whole.Martinique,St Martin,Guadeloupe and Cayenne are officially a part of France.
Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands are often not included in Caribbean conclaves
based on their relationships with the United States.Then again there are the Dutch
and British dependences that sometimes get excluded on the basis that they are not
independent countries.The point is that while using geographical criteria,the
Caribbean can be defined in inclusive terms,political,cultural and language factors
often act as exclusive criteria to sub-dividethe region.
While this paper would like to take the most inclusive definition of the Caribbean,
the time available for its preparation precluded such an approach.This paper is
therefore restricted to the English-speakingterritories,or Commonwealth Caribbean
as this sub-regionis often labelled.This includes both the independent English-
speaking countries and the British dependencies.


PRELAC Journal

Purpose and clarification The purpose of the distinctions.Many persons are employed
of terms paper is to identify and discuss policies
and practices that have been adopted
as teachers before they are formally
trained (formaci6n especifica)as
in teacher education and training in this teachers.In these cases the professional
sub-region.The primary focuswill be on training of teachers followemployment.
new policies,projects and programmes The term initialprofessional training more
in teacher education and training since accurately describesthe Caribbean
the beginning of the 1990s. situation than pre-serviceteachertraining.
Focusing attention on the topic of Formacidn docente pre o antes del
teacher education and training represents servicio.Likewise,in-servicetraining is
renewed interest and emphasis on an one modality through which initial teacher
old subject.Not only is teaching an old training has been delivered.In the
profession,but mass schooling in the Commonwealth Caribbean,in-service
Commonwealth Caribbean has a history training therefore,could refer to both
that parallels that of the developed world. initial and non-formalon-the-jobtraining.
Hence,teacher education and training For the purpose of this paper where the
in the sub-regionhave long and strong terms pre-serviceand in-serviceare
traditions. employed,they are used with their
Given the close relationship that exists Commonwealth Caribbean meaning.
between schooling,teachers and the
structure of society,it would be unwise
to proceed to a full-blowndiscussion on
new policies,projects and programmes
in teacher education and training without
taking note of a fewsalientsocial features
of schooling and teaching as they have
evolved in the CommonwealthCaribbean.
The first teacher colleges in the
Caribbean were established in 1830just
around the time that similar institutions
were established in England.While there
are many similarities in both history and
organisation,there are several differences
in practice.
One that has relatively unimportant
differencesin practice,but could be
source of much confusion,is the use of
the terms pre-serviceand in-service
teacher training.The term pre-service
training is generally used for formal
training before teachers enter the
profession,while in-servicetraining
generally refersto non-formaltraining on
the job.Commonwealth Caribbean
practice does not conform to these neat


Background From its inception in the

1830s until the 1950spre-serviceteacher
education basically followed the same

Pre-servicetraining was restricted to primary teachers.There was no indigenous

capacity to train secondary school teachers.

The proportion of teachers trained was very low compared to the teaching force
in the schools.For example,in the Commonwealth Caribbean in 1955,the proportion
of trained teachers in the primary school systems in the various countries ranged
from 7to 45 per cent.

The vast majority of teachers in primary schools were recruited from the most able
students of the primary school.They were recruited into the pupil teacher system
and from that pool,into teachers colleges through an examination process.

The teachers college programme was for two or three years and paralleled the
high schools in terms of subject matter content but added pedagogic training.

Secondary school teachers were recruited from among the most able student
passing the Cambridgeexaminationsthat came at the end of high schooling and
qualified expatriates,mainly from Britain.Where locals desired teacher training
they went abroad to obtain it.

Beginning in the mid-1950sand up to the end of the 1980s,there were vast

improvements and changes in the provision for the pre-servicetraining of teachers.
The most significantadvances can be listed as follows:

Substantial expansion in enrolment of colleges training Indigenous capacity was established to train secondary
primary school teachers with the resultthat the vast majority school teachers and teachers for special schools.As a
of primary school teachers in the region currently result,the majority of secondary teachers and teachers in
trained.Indeed,all primary school teachers in the Bahamas special schools are professionally trained.
and Barbados are trained through pre-serviceprogrammes.
Initiativeswere launched to prepare teachers for early
The academic level of the programmes for primary teachers childhood education within the formal system of teacher
has been raised substantially,as the pre-serviceprogrammes training and separatefrom the training of primary school
require successful completion of secondary education as teachers.
their starting point.Primary teacher training no longer
overlaps with secondary education.


PRELAC Journal

A wide variety of models of delivery of pre-serviceeducation have been created.

These include the two-yearintramural plus one-yearinternship model that was
developed in the Western Commonwealth Caribbean from the 1960s to the 1980s;
the three-yearintramural programme now employed in Jamaica;the two-yearintramural
model common in the Eastern Commonwealth Caribbean;the three-yearschool
experience model now being used in Belize and the Advanced Placement Model
where trainees with Bachelor and Associate Degrees and GCE Advanced level can
be credited with subject content and follow a one-yearprogramme of professional
Despite these fundamental quantitative and qualitative changes in teacher
preparation in the Commonwealth Caribbean between the 1950s and the end of the
1980% by the latter half of the 1980s it was clear that new imperatives had overtaken
pre-serviceteacher education.Indeed,these new imperatives shifted the ground
from celebration to dissatisfaction and demanded further change.These new
imperatives could be briefly summarised as follows:

While teacher education had advanced over the period, Shrinking resources demanded that new modalities of delivery
teacher status had declined.One of the roots of this decline of training had to be employed in addition to conventional
was the advance in the general level of education of the full-timeface-to-faceinstruction.
population.Teachers who in the past had commanded respect
on the basis of their superior education compared to the vast Advances in information technology that had transformed
majority of parents and the general community,no longer factory and home production,entertainment,transportation,
held such an overwhelming advantage.While the content of and communication,had made many approaches and
the teacher credential had improved,teachers were still being processes used in colleges and schools obsolete.College
certified through certificates and diplomas in circumstances and school processes had to be re-engineeredto incorporate
in which persons with degreeswere becoming more numerous information technology in both management and instruction.
in the general population.
Increasingly greater economic and cultural linkages between
The rapid rise of global economy combined with the spread Caribbean countries and across language groups have
of democratic process throughout the society demanded stimulated greater demand for foreign language acquisition.
workers who could be self-directedand citizensthat
participated in the apparatusof the statesand the enterprises
within civil society.These imperatives dictated changes in
teachers’roles and relationshipsamong themselvesand with
studentsand parents.Traditionalauthoritarian,teacher-centred
sage on the stage teaching methodologies which gave priority
to teaching,had to give way to teamwork and collaboration,
greater networking with communities and parents,student-
centred approachesand guide by the side teaching strategies
which gave pride of place to learning.


Policy responses in pre-service

training beginning in the 1990s The innovations
and developments in pre-serviceteacher
training beginning in the 199Os,a few of
which started in the latter part of the
1980% have to be seen and interpreted
as policy responses to the imperatives
cited above.The scope of this paper
only permits a brief description of the
major policy responses.

Upgrading the Several Governments have decided to move to a fully trained graduate teaching
academic and force by the end of the first decade of this century.Associated with this policy decision
professional standing is the upgrading of colleges training teachers to offer pre-servicetraining through
of pre-service degree programmes,as is the case with the Bahamas.Indeed,all new teachers
programmes graduating from the teacher preparation programmes in the Bahamas since 1999
hold Bachelor degrees in Education.Bahamas therefore is well on its way to achieving
the end of decade target.Consistent with this policy direction,several other tertiary
institutions have joined the University of the West lndies (UWI)in offering first-degree
programmes in teacher education.These include the College of the Bahamas,the
University of Belize,Northern Caribbean University,The University of Technology,
Church,Mico and Shortwood Teachers Colleges in Jamaica and the Sir Arthur Lewis
Community College in St Lucia.These degree programmes are invariably follow-on
programmes from certificate and diploma training previously received.The transition
to the degree programmes,as the new modality for teacher preparation programmes,
is associated with new status and standings for the teacher training institutions and
new alliances with regional and foreign universities.The College of the Bahamas has
been upgraded from a two-yearto a four-yearcollege.Belize Teachers College is
now the Faculty of Education within the University of Belize.West lndies College has
been upgraded to Northern Caribbean University and the College of Arts Science
and Education has been upgraded to the University of Technology.Mico,Shortwood
and Sir Arthur Lewis Community College have formed alliances with the University
of the West Indies.Church Teachers College has formed an alliance with Temple
University of the United States.


PRELAC Journal

Changing If teachers are to use less didactic approachesin the schools then it is imperative
pedagogical that trainees in colleges be taught using pedagogic practices that are student and
practices in the learner centred.Several reform initiatives within the region have included components
training of teachers addressing this objective.These include the DFID/UWI project in the training of
primary school teachers in colleges in the Eastern Caribbean,the EDUTECH Project
in Barbados,the World BanWGOJ ROSE,U.SAID/IIEQ the IDB/GOJPESP projects
involving the training of primary and secondary school teachers in Jamaica and the
IDB/GOGBasic Education Project in training primary school teachers in Guyana.

Introducing new The Organisation of Eastern These are to subject areas of themes
content in teacher Caribbean States (OECS)long term that are specifically addressed in teacher
preparation education strategy document Pillars for preparation programmes.The implication
Partnership and Progress,which sets of these urgent societal imperativesfor
education targets for the nine member teacher education is the need to develop
countries to achieve by 2010,is probably new content that in most instances cut
the most comprehensive policy paper in across disciplinary boundaries.Currently,
the Commonwealth Caribbean.In the urgent societal imperativesare
addition to the usual areas that addressed in an impulsive and ad hoc
educational policies routinely address, manner.On the other hand,Pillars for
Pillars for Partnership and Progress Partnership and Progress is requiring a
identifies a category labelled 'urgent planned and systematic approach that
societal imperatives'facing the is fully integrated into the programmes
Commonwealth Caribbean.The category preparing teachers.The exact way in
includes natural disasters,health which this is to be accomplished has not
promoting schools,gender inequities, yet been determined.
improving the participation and
performance of boys in schools,
promoting partnerships between
governments,civil society associations
and non-governmentalorganisations and
improving parenting.In all of these areas
teachers and teacher preparation are
seen as vital to the achievement of the
targets set and the strategies to achieve
them.In addressing the targets and
strategies in the area of information and
communication technology in addition to
mastering the various skills involved,
Pillars for Partnership and Progresssees
it as essential for teachers to become
producers of software and courseware
that are derived from knowledge
generated from Caribbean experience
and that are rooted and embedded in
Caribbean culture.


Expanding the
modalities used in the
delivery of teacher
Several countries have launched The Jamaican application used much using a combination of face-to-face
policy initiatives that add distance the same elements as was used in Belize instruction in summer and vacation
education and school based modalities except for the monthly visits to the classes,distance teaching modules
delivering teacher education and training. schools.A less successful but equally during school time and clinical
For example,in expanding access to important innovation was that of the use supervision of teaching in the classroom.
prospective teachers from rural areas in of a school-basedapproach to training The trainees are teachers in secondary
1994,the Belize Teachers College secondary school teachers in Grenada schools in the OECS holding degrees,
introduced its distance-teachingroute to through the LOME Ill Project in Tertiary associated degrees or their equivalent
formal teacher training.This modality of Education in the OECS countries.While or having passed two G C E Advanced
delivery included four elements:self study the project did produce graduates,it was level subjects.
using distance teaching materials severely hampered by the limited number
developed by the college and school- of master teachers that were available.
based group interaction,monthly In addition,the multiple involvementsof
supervisoryvisits of the trainersby college the few that were available severely
tutors,monthly workshops at regional limited the quantity and the quality of the
resource centres and annual summer guidance given to the trainees in the
workshops held at the college schools.Another OECS initiative is the
[Thompson,19991.Another successful SecondaryTeachers'Training Programme
example is that of the use of the distance- mounted by the OECS Tertiary Education
teaching mode to upgrade teachersfrom Project.The project is designed to train
a certificateto a diploma level in Jamaica. secondary school teachers on the job

Pre service teacher Another major policy initiative starting in the 1990sis that
training and the use of using information technology to modernise instruction and
of information management in tertiary institutions training teachers.The
technology assumption and assertion has been that teachers in training
need to be instructed using modern information and
communication technology if they are to use the same in
teaching students in schools.


PRELAC Journal

This has not been without controversy. policy initiativeby the Barbados More recently,several colleges have
There has been a heated debate Government which proposes to spend established web-sitessetting out their
concerning feasibility and US$175 million to modernise all schools programmes and activities thus making
appropriatenessof introducing and colleges in information technology it easier for students and the general
information technology in school systems over the ten years.The training of community to access information.
in the region especially in circumstances teachers and education officers in the However,over the last three years,
where basic provisions are lacking or use of information technology in attempts are being made to use
inadequate.At the beginning of the education is one of the four main areas information technology in relation to the
199Os,most governments did not make of focus of this programme launched in core business of teacher training and the
the introduction of information technology 1998. operations of the colleges.Probably the
in schoolsa priority.However,by adopting An interesting innovation in this regard most systematic approach has been that
policies that invited communities and the is the linking of teachers colleges with a of the Joint Board of Teacher Education
private sector to become partners in the cluster of primary and secondary as is of the University of the West lndies in
delivery of education,the way was being done in the case of Bethlehem and conjunction with the 14 colleges training
opened for information technology to be Mico Colleges in Jamaica.The colleges teachers in the Western Caribbean.
introduced in schools.The position provide leadership,technical support
generally taken by communities and the and training to teachers and members
private sector is that the Commonwealth of the school communities in the cluster
Caribbean will not be competitive in the and in return gain access to the schools
world of the future if school leaverscannot with respect to the teaching practicum
competently use informationtechnology. and action research by staffand students.
By the end of the decade,all Another aspect is that of upgrading
governments formulated information teacher trainers in the use of educational
technology policies for schools and technology in their teaching in the
colleges and included corresponding collegesas is being done through the
components in reform projects.Further, JCSEF/MulticareFoundation project in
international donor agencies that had Jamaica.
taken a stance similarto governmentsat Over the course of the 199Os,almost
the beginning of the 199Os,had changed all colleges have acquired computer labs
their stance in the same manner as by means of donation from some
governments. elements of the college community.They
The firstefforts involved the donations have engaged in the training of students
of computer labs to colleges by various and staff in computer literacy,particularly
interest groups and foundations and also with respect to productivity applications
through grants from Ministries of and the Internet,particularly e-mail.One
Education.Examples are donations of college,Bethlehem in Jamaica,requires
computer labs from the Ashcroft all its teacher traineesto enter the college
Foundation to the Belize Teachers computer literate.Such students that are
College,IBM Bahamas to the College of not computer literate are required to take
Bahamas,the JamaicaComputer Society a pre-collegecourse,organised by the
Education Foundationto severalteachers college,to acquire the requisite skills.
colleges in Jamaica and government The MULTICARE Project plans to provide
assistance to establish labs at Erdiston all colleges training teachers in Jamaica
College in Barbados.The most with computer labs for their staffs to be
comprehensiveand spectacularinitiative, trained in information technology and to
however,is that of the EDUTECT 2000 allow them access to the Internet.


The Joint Board has been using

information technology in the
operations of its Secretariat since
1982 However, the 1990s brought
new challenges. These can be
listed briefly as follows:

The demand to modernise instruction to bring schools and In response to the demand to
colleges in line with technology now common in homes, meet these educational
offices,factories,commerce and entertainment.In this regard objectives as well as to find
it is imperative that teachers learn through these new solutions to these very real
technologies. problems as they affect teacher
education, the Joint Board has
The need to improve the quality of teacher education in the embarked upon the following
light of the higher education standards required by the initiatives:
information age.
1. Developed a management information system,College
The need to provide continuing professional development Manager,which will allow colleges to manage their operations
to teachers in-service.The rapidity and profound nature of more effectively.The range of operationsstretch from student
the changes taking place dictate career-longprofessional admission,registration,examinations,financialmanagement,
development by teachers in order to keep abreast of the plant management to all personnel matters related to staff.
transformations in progress. College Manager also allows colleges to carry out on-line
transactionswith the Joint Board and the Ministry of
Shrinking resourcesas structuraladjustmentsand the financial Education.While the technology has been put in place to
woes of the country continueto threaten,and actually impede, achieve these objectives,the transformationfrom manual
the flow of resources to the education sector. and paper based systems to the electronic system,with the
attendance change in culture,has proved extremely
Globalisation,especially with the rapid growth of the Internet. challenging and has slowed implementation.

The necessity to not only a COnSUmer but a Producer 2. Established a web site that will be at the hub of many ofthe
of knowledge. JBTE operations in the future.The site has been designed

a) Provide information about the JBTE programmes,courses,

and events.
b) Providetraining and technical supportfarSchool and College
c) Host the JBTE on-lineconference capability.
d) Host the JBTE distance teaching operations.
e) Host the tutorial system planned to assist students.


PR E LAC Journal

3. Introduced on-lineasynchronous web conferencing among 5. Pilot tested a wireless system of connecting colleges to
the staffs of colleges in the 24-subjectdisciplines that each other and to the UWI and primary schoolsto colleges.
comprise the teacher-training curriculum.Using Virtual U, This wireless network permits the transfer of voice,video
developed by Simon Fraser University,the intention is to and data between the nodes in the system.At its core,this
give Boards of Studies additional means of collaboration, network allows a group of trainee teachers in a college to
knowledgebuilding,sharing best practices,sharing Internet observe and interact with a teacher or colleague teaching
and other resources,and conducting routine Board of a class in a school.This pilot test has formed the basis for
Studies business on-line. the information and communication technology component
of the USAlD sponsored Caribbean Centre of Excellence
4. Pilottested the delivery of UWI Masters in Education courses in Teacher Education and has as its principal focus the
on-line,starting with courses in teacher education. improvementof the teaching of reading in the early grades
of primary schools.The intention is that over the next five
years each of the eighteen tertiary institutionstraining
primary school teachers will be linked to approximately six
primary schools in ways that will promote a learning
community devoted to achieve excellence in the teaching
of reading in Grades One to Three.Information and
communicationtechnologywill be used to supportdiagnostic
and performance testing,the development and exchange
of materials,teacher training and action research.

Policy initiatives in In-serviceteacher training in the Educational reform projects that have
in-service teacher Commonwealth Caribbean in the 199Os, been implemented in the sub-region
training and to the present,has largely served include the Government of Belize/World
and has been supportive of the Bank Primary Education Project in Belize,
educational reform agenda being The EDUTECT Project in Barbados,the
implemented in the various countries. Government of GuyanaiWorld Bank
Accordingly,in-serviceteacher training Secondary School Reform Project,the
policies have been intricately bound up ClDA In-serviceTeacher Training Project
with policies to improve the quality of in Guyana,the IDWGovernmentof
education and policies to reform the Guyana Basic Education Project in
curriculum.Invariably,in-serviceteacher Guyana,the Government of
training has been included as a JamaicaNorld Bank Reform of
component of reform projects supported Secondary Education Project,the IDB
by bilateral and multilateral donor Primary Education Improvementand
assistance. Primary Education Support Projects in


Jamaica,the World Bank and IDB

Projects in Trinidad and Tobago and the
World Bank Projects in Dominica and St
Lucia.The Governmentof JamaicWorld
Bank ROSE Project was the earliest.The
first phase of the reform was implemented
in 1993and completed in 1998.This
project was one of two that received the
World Bank'sQuality Award in 1999.
Within the limited scope of the paper,it
is not possible even to give a brief
synopsis of each of these projects.The
ROSE project will therefore be used as The definingfeaturesOfthe
an example of Government curriculum and teachertraining
reform policies implemented through aspectsOf thereformcan be
donor assistance that include an in- summarised briefly as follows:
serviceteacher training component in
support of the curriculum reform. A common curriculum in Grades 7to 9 in all types of secondary schools and all

Mixed ability grouping and multi-levelteaching among these groups.

Studentstaking responsibilityfor their own learning.

Co-operativelearning among students.

9 The teacher as a facilitator and guide in promoting student learning.

Team planning and collaboration among teachers.

Integration across subject areas.

The infusion of career guidance in all subjects in the curriculum.

The Joint Board of Teacher Education (JBTE)implemented

the In-ServiceTeacherTraining Componentof the ROSE Project.
The philosophy adopted by the JBTE in the execution of the
In-serviceTraining was that of continuing professional
development and not ofteacher supervision.The latter implies
universal compliance of all teaching in meeting minimum
standards set out in regulations or guidelines laid down by the
Ministry of Education.The essence of the former is voluntary
commitmentto strive to realise the ideals prescribed by the
ethics of the teaching profession and to achieve the goals set
for quality education.


PRELAC Journal

The basic elements of the a) The employment of 25 subject specialists,in both content
in-sewiceteaching training and methodology,whose sole full-timeresponsibilitywas
strategy were as follows: the in-servicetraining of teachers to supportthe
implementation of the ROSE Reform in their schools.These
subject specialistswere deployed in five regional teams
located in five strategically placed teacher colleges across
the country.

b) The development and delivery of 45-hourmethodology

courses taught over ten days by the subject specialists in
the summers during the five years of the project.These
methodology courses were designed to orient and prepare
teachers to implement the defining featuresof the ROSE
Reform in each of the five subject areas included in the
Project - Language Arts,Mathematics,Science,Social
Studies and Resource and Technology.

c) Regular school visits over the course of each school year

by the subject specialiststo support the teachers in the
implementationof the methodology courses in their classes.

d) The mounting of one and two-dayworkshops among clusters

of schoolsas dictated by the subject specialists’observations
and teachers’requests resulting from the school visits.

e) The development and use of self study distance-teaching

modules for teachers in both content and methodology as
prescribed by the ROSE curriculum in Grades 7to 9 in the
various subject areas.

1) Continuing professional development for the subject

specialiststhrough regularworkshopsand other collaborative


Some of the lessons learned from

- the implementation of the
In-serviceTeacher Training
Component of the ROSE Project
can be listed as follows:

leachers and students alike

overwhelminglysupport the
pedagogical shifts prescribed by the
ROSE reform,[Brown,19981.

While teacher and student behaviour The desired changes in teaching and
do undergo some change in the learning strategies are most evident
directions intended by the Reform,the where supporting elements of the
extent of the change is much more reform have been implemented.Hence
modest than the level of expressed the prescribed shifts are more evident
acceptanceand support. where curriculum materials have been
supplied and are used,buildings have
The changes required in teacher and been refurbished,more teaching
student behaviour are by no means materials have been provided,and the
cosmetic.The fundamental nature of prescribed textbooks have been
the shifts demand concerted,co- supplied.
ordinated and sustained effort in order
to bring about the changes to the leacherstend to revertto the traditional
desired behaviours among the vast teacher centred approaches in The supportof principals forthe reform,
majority of teachers. circumstanceswhere the in-service and heads of departments in large
teacher training was the only element schools and their instructional
of the reform that was implemented in leadership within the school,is critical
the school and where that supportwas to the desired transformation.
scaled down or withdrawn.
Success in effecting the shift in the
teachers’roles and relationships as
prescribed by the Reform not only
varies considerably between schools
but also within schools.

The developmentof quality self-

instructionaldistance teaching
materials is a slow process.



- of pre-serviceand An important Another example of the integrationof
in-servicetraining feature of the ROSE Project was the links
established in pre-serviceand in-service
pre-serviceand in-servicetraining
through colleges training teachers and

training.One link was that the methods collaboration with the Ministry of
courses developed and delivered in the Education,is the case of Belize. In the
in-servicetraining summer workshops World Bank and DFlD project,the in-
became the prescribed methods courses service training of teachers to support
for teaching Grades 7 to 9 in the five the reforms to primary education was
subjects in the pre-serviceprogramme. carried out by the Belize Teachers
Hence,all graduates f r mthe pre-service College,which established regional
training programme since 1995 had been centresacross the country.Collegetutors
trained in the teaching of the five subjects responsible for the delivery of the pre-
in Grade 7-9using the strategies that service programme played a critical part
defined the ROSE reform.Another link in the delivery of the in-servicetraining
was the subject specialistsof the Project related to the reform of the National
were employed to,and operated from, Curriculum.Likewise,supervisors
five teachers colleges strategically employed in the regions to deliver in-
located across the country.In effect, service training,undertook some of the
during the course of the Project,these supervision of student-teachers,normally
regional teams were de facto In-service done by College staff.
Departments of the Colleges.
An understanding between the
Ministry of Education and Culture and
the JBTE was that if this model of
integration of pre-serviceand in-service
training proved successful,then steps
would be taken to institutionalise the links.
On reviewing this element of the Project,
the Ministry of Education and Culture
was sufficiently satisfied with the
achievements to establish in-service
departments in the five colleges and to
retain the teams of specialists in
permanent posts.In this new
arrangement these colleges will work in
close collaboration with the Regional
Office of the Ministry in their area to
continue to carry out in-servicetraining
in supportof the reform.Further,colleges
will organise to rotate tutors between
teaching the pre-service programmes in
colleges and in-servicetraining in
schools.Such rotation,it is envisaged,
should strengthen the pre-servicetraining
of teachers through the closer links with


................................................................................... The synchronisation of the reform of the National Curriculum being delivered
The essential elements of the approach
in the school system with consequential reform of the curriculum in the pre-
to integrating pre-serviceand in-service
service teacher training programmes.
training in both Belize and Jamaica can
be identified and listed as follows: Organising the teacher-trainingcurriculum in the various subjects in units and
writing distance-teachingmodules that corresponds to the curriculum units.
Using the distance teaching modules to deliver systematic and sequential
instruction to those teachers who are being formally trained in-service.
Using the distance teaching modules on a cafeteria basis to deliver in-service
training in support of the reform process.
The use of regional teams to provide school based assistance in the
implementation of the new teaching strategies.
Close collaboration between the territorial education officers of the Ministry
of Education and the colleges.

............................................................................. +
The teacher preparation programmes of colleges will keep abreastof educational
The anticipated outcomes of this
reforms in the school system.Consequently,teachers emerging from colleges
integration of pre-serviceand in-service
will be adequately prepared for the challenges being addressed in the schools.
teacher training are as follows:
Colleges will become intimately involved in the continuing professional
developmentof teachers.Pre-serviceteacher training will therefore not be
conceived in terms of being a one-shotevent but rather as the commencement
of life-longcontinuing professional development.
Involvementin continuing professional development of teachers in the schools
by college tutors will enrich pre-servicetraining by virtue of keeping the tutors
abreast of the current realitiesin the school system.

c Full-timepre-servicetraining of primary school teachers.
Probably the most comprehensive
approach to the integration of pre-service Initial training of secondary school teachers through the in-serviceDiploma
and in-serviceteacher education and in Education Programme.Entry to this programme is limited to persons who
training is that of Barbados through the have first completed at least a bachelor'sdegree in their subject area of
Erdiston Teachers College.For the past specialisation.
six to seven years Erdiston has been
In-servicetraining of school principals through the in-serviceCertificate in
offering a full range of pre-serviceand
Education programme.
in-serviceteacher education and training
programmes.There are about eleven Non-formalin-servicecourses for school principals and guidance counsellors.
different teacher training programmes
Non-formalin-serviceteacher training courses designed to promote the
and courses being offered by the college,
which can be classified as follows: continuing professional development of teachers at all levels of the education
In-serviceteacher training courses in support of the educational reforms being
implemented through EDUTECT.


PRELAC Journal

Upgrading the teacher trainers In addressing the issue of teacher education and training,
especially as it relates to policies to reform the primary and secondary school systems
in the Commonwealth Caribbean and also of reforming teacher preparation,a recurring
concern has been that of transforming and upgrading the teacher educators.For
example,if teachers are to be prepared through programmes at the bachelor’sdegree
level,then it is imperative that the teacher educator should have higher degrees.
Also,if new curricula require new pedagogical teaching strategiesand approaches
then teacher preparation programmes should include these strategies.However,if
teacher educators have not mastered and used these strategies,then it is hardly
likely that these strategieswill be successfully incorporated in the teacher preparation
The traditional route for such upgrading has been scholarships,bursaries and
fellowshipsto overseas universities.This is an expensive proposition that many
individuals and governments cannot afford.In addition,the overseas offerings
sometimesare not appropriate or relevant to Caribbean needs.
Over the last 30 years,Commonwealth Caribbean universities have begun to
address this need through higher degree programmes,especially at the Master’s
level,offered in the region.In this regard,the University of the West lndies has been
the leader but not the sole provider.The University of Guyana has developed its own
programmes at the higher degrees level.
The first efforts of Commonwealth Caribbean universitiesin providing higher
degree programmes that have addressed the need to produce teacher education
have been largely confined to full-timeor part-timeface-to-faceprogrammes.The
limitations of this approach is that colleges training teachers cannot afford to release
most of their staff to enter full-timeprogrammes,and part-timeprogrammes are
restricted to those who can come to university campuses to attend evening classes.
An interesting innovation approach was that the collaboration between the University
of the West lndies and the University of Alberta through the JBTENniversity of
AlbertdCIDA Projectfor the staffof collegestraining teachers in the Western Caribbean.

. ..
. ..........
* UWI Masters courses taught by Twelve scholarshipsto the University
The elements of this Project were as University of Alberta staff during the of Alberta to pursue higher degree
follows: summer.By taking these summer courses.
courses,college staff enrolled in the
UWI Masters in Education programme Several Bursaries to undertake one-
could accelerate their completion of semester programmes at the
the programme. University of Alberta.


Over the five years of the Project,over adapted tothe An interesting facet of the summer and on-
250 staff members (about half)from the 14 teacher training line modality of delivering the master's
colleges and Ministries of Education in the development programme is that it is self-financing.Moreover,
Bahamas,Belize,and Jamaica,participated the fees charged are very competitive with
in the courses either for credit or on a non-credit needs respect to overseas universities currently offering
basis.While not originally included in the Project, programmes in the region.In other words,
six tutors went on to enrol in the doctoral programme at programmes customised and tailored to meet the
the University of Alberta.By 1998 when the Project ended,one developmental needs of teacher education are being offered
had already graduated and since then four others have on a competitive basis in the market place of international
successfully completed the doctoral programme and returned competition in the region.
to their posts.The JBTE/Universityof Alberta/CIDA Project Based on the success of this initiative,the three Schools of
provides a model that is both feasible and applicable for staff Education located on the three campuses of the University of
development within and outside of teacher education. the West Indies,have begun to explore the possibilities and to
More recently,the School of Education,UWI,Mona,has make plans to jointly and cooperatively offer all UWI Master's
begun to offer Master'sprogrammes through summer and on- Programmes in Education through the summer and on-line
line courses.This innovation started in September 2001 with modality.The first steps in this direction are the plans to mount
33 students enrolled in two programmes:Educational the Master'sprogramme preparing Caribbean leaders in the
Administration and Teacher Education.This modality of delivering Early Childhood Education,starting in the summer of 2003.
masters programmes allows students to do two courses,face- Development financing for this effort has come from a grant
to-facein the summerand one or two on-lineduring the semester. from the Inter-AmericanDevelopment Bank through the
A student could therefore complete the Master'sprogramme Caribbean Child Development Centre.
over two academic years while still remaining in full-time In the Primary Education Support Project (PESP)being
employment.This is a very importantfeature both to the students, implemented by the Government of Jamaica through a loan
who could not be released from their employment and the from the Inter-AmericanDevelopmentBank there is a component
institutionsthat could not afford to release them. that addressesthe reform of the curriculum of colleges training
An importantfeature of this modality of training teacher primary school teachers to make the pre-serviceteacher
educators is that not only the students but also the tutorial staff education programme consistent with the new National
can be drawn from all countries of the Caribbean.Indeed,both Curriculum being implemented in primary schools.This
studentsand the staff teaching the courses have been resident component not only includesthe reform of the primary teacher
in different countries including Cayman Islands,Barbados, education programme but also the upgrading and in-service
Jamaica,Japan and Turks and Caicos Islands. training of the college lecturers in the new methodologies
The point to note is that the summer and on-linecourses prescribed by the curriculum.The training programme for
are but another modality of delivering the Master'sprogramme college lecturers include workshops in the new methodologies,
in Teacher Education at the School of Education,Mona.Students visits to primary schools to observe the implementation of the
follow the same curriculum,do the same assignments and sit new curriculum,workshops in utilising techniques being
the same examinations as students being taught through the developed from brain research and the application to advance
face-to-facemodality.As such,the summer and on-linemodality learning,and clinical supervision of the college lecturers as
is subject to the same quality assurance mechanisms and they implement the new teacher training curriculum in their
standards as the face-to-facemodality.The results to date have college classrooms.
shown no difference in standards.


PRE LAC Journal

Concluding discussion When teacher

education and training policies,
programmes and projects in the
Commonwealth Caribbean are taken as
a whole over the last fifteen to twenty
years the following trends can be clearly

1. All countries have moved to the policy

position that admission to teacher
education programmes is based on
successful completion of secondary
schooling.Because the 2. Most countries have moved to the
Commonwealth Caribbean has a position where the vast majority of
common standard for successful primary school teachers are college
completion of secondary schooling, trained in two or three-year
admission criteria are written in terms programmes and substantial
ofnumbers and types of passes in initiatives have been mounted to
the Caribbean Examination Council achieve similar goals with respect to
(CXC)exams or their equivalents.The the professional training of secondary
policy shift has been made possible school teachers.It is no longer
by the significant expansion in accepted that mastery of subject
secondary schooling that took place content is sufficient for secondary
in the decades of the 1970s and school teaching.

3. Several countries have been raising

the academic and professional
standard for teachers to the
bachelor'sdegree level and setting
timeframesfor achieving this.In this 5. Governments have largely carried
regard the Bahamas leads the sub- out pre-serviceteacher education
region. programmes with little direct support
from multilateral and bilateral
agencies.Where such agencies has
supported pre-serviceteacher
4. In-serviceteacher training has training it has been most indirectly
invariably become a part of through in-servicetraining initiatives.
educational reform programmes. Put another way,pre-serviceteacher
Almost all loan and grant programmes training in the Commonwealth
from multilateral and bilateral Caribbean has for the most part gone
agencies have supported in-service out without many major capital
teacher education programmes. investments over the last twenty years.


6.Several countries have implemented

measures to expand the modalities
through which teacher education is
delivered.Modalities implemented
include part-timeface-to-face
programmes,vacation courses,
distance education programmes and
combinations of these. 7. Over the last ten years almost all
countries have moved to include the
use of information and communication
technology in teacher education.The
degree of funding such efforts has
varied considerably in the sub-region. 8. Over the last two decades several
initiatives have focused on upgrading
teacher trainers in the tertiary
institutions preparing teachers.Over
the last five years several of these
initiatives have begun to include
measures to transform the pedagogy
being employed in colleges.

While these policy directions have all advanced teacher

education and training in the sub-region,invariably they have
had at their core the assumption of the teacher as an agent of
change and transformation.However,in the current socio-
cultural context of the Commonwealth Caribbean concentration
on the professional development of teachers,especially as this
relatesto mastery of subject content and pedagogy,is not
sufficient.Teachers need to understand themselves in relation
to their societies and the changes taking place locally and
globally in order to effectively relate to themselves and their
students.The increasing complexity of the social and cultural
issues facing teachers in schools is bewildering to many of
them who do not perceive themselvesto be equipped to address
the challenges presented.Teacher education and training
policies now address the personal developmentof teachers
especially as this relates to the rapid social and cultural changes
occurring in the sub-regionand globally. e


Some dimensions of the

Considerations and
policy agenda themes'
Emilio Tenti F a n M

Coordinator of the Area of Education Diagnosis

and Policy/InternationalInstitute of Educational
Planning (IIPE),Buenos Aires-Argentina.

Content This document begins by postulating the strategic

character of the human factor in the provision of educational
services.W e then present the resultsof research on the attitudes
and expectations of teachers in regard to their professional
role,to new educationaltechnologies,and to certain dimensions
that comprise the career of teaching (teacher assessment
systems and work aspirations).*
Finally,we propose certain themes and goals in order to
develop an education policy agenda related to the medium-
term professional enhancement of teachers and suggest some
policy criteria specifically aimed at transformingthe subjectivity
'Revised text ofthe work presented at the First of teachers and the set of rules and resourcesthat structure
Intergovernmental Meeting of the Regional Education the profession.
Project for Latin America and the Caribbean (PRELAC),
Havana,Cuba. November,200.2.
* W e here utilize some of the outcomesof a program of the
study ofteacher professionalizationdeveloped by IIPE-
UNESCO in Buenos Aires.The study is based on
information produced for applicationof a questionnaire
to national representativesamplesof (public)primaty and
secondary teachers in Argentina,Peru,and Uruguay.


PRELAC Journal

I Teachers are the determining factor

in the quality of education The qualityof human resourcesis of key strategic importancein the
delivery of personal services.The case of education is paradigmatic.This would
seem to be a platitude or even demagogic (politicians like to flatter school teachers,
especially during elections).Nevertheless,many policies do not follow this postulate.

a) Some argue in favor of simply replacing teachers with technology.This is the case
of those strategiesthat believe that new educationai technologiescan make
possible the developmentof learning through a direct relation between people
and socially accumulated knowledge.Replacing teachers with some sort of
teaching machine is a utopia that is as often repeated as it is demonstrably a
failure.First learning,basic learning,will always require a mediating,specialized
adult,and the new information technologies are necessary and valuable always
and whenever they are used in an intelligent and creative manner by highly
qualified teachers.They can never be a substitute for teachers.On the other
hand,we should not forget that self-learningis never a starting point;rather,it is
a goal of all successful pedagogy.

b) Other policies,moreover,especially reform policies,seek to transform education

more through institutional and legal devices than through addressing educators
themselves.From this point of view,teachers are seen as parts of structureswho
are acted upon by these same structures.It is assumed that what teachers do -
their classroom practice,is determined by rules and resources (laws,decrees,
resolutions,circulars,etc.)and financial resources,physical infrastructureof the
school,etc.It is therefore argued that if one wishes to change education,it is
necessary modify legal frameworks,regulations,and budgets.According to this
view,it is in these areas that reform must be undertaken.

It should be noted that most reforms are based on this quite During the 1990% most Latin American countries carried
deterministic and structuralist perspective that sees teachers out reforms in the legislation,structure,content,financing
as mere automatons who behave according to the effects of models,management,and administration of their education
certain objective factors.This partial and limited view of what systems.But these reforms did not take the human factor
teachers do leads to the proposal of reforms that are partial, sufficiently into account.In effect,little has been done in terms
and therefore limited in their practical effects.Countless changes of initial and on-goingtraining,work conditions,and salaries
in laws,regulations,and curricular designs have been unable of Latin American teachers.If what one really desires is to
to change teaching practices,which continue to obey traditional change the way of doing things in the classroom in order to
models that are incorporated into the culture and subjectivity improve the quality of learning that actually takes place within
of teachers.All social agents are able to simulate compliance children in the coming years,education policies should place
with particular normative rules while at the same time maintaining at the center of their agendas the question of the professional
most of their routines and modus operandi. enhancement of teachers from a comprehensive perspective.


Some have rightly defined teaching But the task of teachers is

as a “moral profession”in the sense that characterized as well by a series of
it has as its objective producing particular contradictionsand tensions.Among
changes in the subjectivityof students. these suffice it to mention here those
Teachers seek to “influencethe lives of which stem from their condition of being
their students”.Most teachers know what during one and the same time salaried
they are doing.At least this is what many employeesand education professionals.
of them say when they explain why they In effect,on the one hand,in most cases
chose the profession.In other words,the teachers are salaried employees who
task of teachers has to do with change; work within a dependent relationship and
or rather,with the production of certain receive a salary (and not an honorarium).
changes in the livesof children and young As such,they are workers who are often
people.The experience soon frustrates unionized and who struggle collectively
them.The dissatisfaction of teachers is for the defense and improvementof their
in part the result of unfulfilled working conditions.But on the other hand,
expectations. teacher employees are also teacher
What does one require in order to be professionals,in the sense that carrying
a change agents in the lives of students? out their profession requires mastery of
According to Fullan in “WhyTeachers rational skills and techniquesthat are
Must Become Change Agents”in exclusive to their office and which they
Educational Leadership,vol.50,No.6, learn at specific times and places.On
March,1993),being a change agent the other hand,teachers,in spite of
requires at least three characteristics: traditionally working within institutionalized
the ability to build a personal point of contexts,within the classroom enjoy a
view (“personalvision-building”), a variable margin of autonomy.Technical
predisposition to seek,and the mastery competence and autonomy are classic
of knowledge,skills,and collaboration. components of the ideal definition of a
A successful teacher enhancement
policy should not be based only on an
analysis of these objective factorswhich,
one way or the other,introduce new
challenges to the activities of teaches.
Rather,we must also consider the state
of representations (opinions,attitudes,
value judgments,expectations,etc.)of
teachers themselves regarding
substantive aspectsof their activities and
regarding the context in which they are

The data produced within the context of the research

program on professionalization of teachers in Argentina,
Peru,and Uruguay that has been carried out since the
year 2000 by IIPE/UNESCOin Buenos Aires show that
substantial proportions of teachersthemselves live within
households that are below the poverty line.On the other
hand,much evidence indicatesa greater probability that
poorer teachers work in schools attended by children of
the same social condition.


PRELAC Journal

Opinions Of teachers in regard to the W e here present some findings that deal
with the opinions of teachers regarding certain questions related
functions of education to their work and their own social and professional identities.
and the meaning of their These opinions have to do with some substantive dimensions
of a policy of the professional enhancement of teachers in the
own professional roles region.W e here examine some of the findings produced within
the framework of the IlPE research program on the working
conditions of primary and secondary school teachers in
Argentina,Peru,and Uruguay. The themes to be examined
have to do with the opinions of teachers themselves regarding
the function of education and their own professional roles,their
future professional aspirations,attitudes regarding new and
information and communication technologies (NICT),and their
views regarding the possibility of introducing differentiations
into the teaching career according to merit and the quality of
student learning.

a) Teachers and the functions of education

The questionnaire applied to national representativesamples

of primary and secondary school teachers in the aforementioned
countries asked teachers to choose among a list of proposed
purposes those that they considered as the most important
(Table 1).


Purposes that education should
pursue (twomost important) % % %
Develop creativity and a critical mentality 61,3 57.6 69.6
Prepare for life within society 44,6 35,3 42,7
Transmit up-to-dateand relevant knowledge 27,8 25,l 24,9
Create behavior patterns 6,4 56 6,4
Transmit moral values 25,6 47,l 31,l
Select the most able individuals 0,9 2,9 1,1
Provide minimal levels of knowledge 2,8 1,4 3,5
Train for employment 13,5 14 7,3
Integrate the most relegated social groups 15,5 10,9 12,9


Beyond the meanings that teachers Nevertheless,one may say that this field.Accumulated knowledge has this
lend to each of the listed purposes emphasis on the developmentof complex virtue:it is not only the knowledge per
(somethingthat a survey is not able to skills,when it is combined with a sethat is involved,but method,strategy,
delve into) a number of readings can be devaluation of the idea of education as instrument,and resourcesto criticize and
made of these results.First,we note the the appropriationof knowledge and of to go beyond the given.This is a
overwhelming consensus in regard to a cultural capital in general,may have distinctive characteristicof contemporary
non-traditionalformulationof the purposes negative consequences.In effect,the culture.In other words,when we speak
of education,such as the development exclusive preference given to creativity of complex knowledge and skills,
of Creativity and a critical mentality.But and critical thinking skills may remain reproduction is intimately linked to its
this consensus acquires particular only a statement of good intentions when own renewed production.Complex
significancewhen compared to a minority separated fromand opposed to the idea culture conserves itself and transforms
(lessthan one-third)who say that of education as the appropriation of the itself at one and the same time.
knowledge is the major purpose of fruits of human culture and civilization. The relative undervaluing of
school-basededucation.I clearly Unless one conceives creativity as an knowledge as a cultural heritage that
appears that we are looking at a almost-magicalquality;that is,as the must be transmitted to new generations
paradigm,or way of seeing things ability to do something with nothing (just comes into conflict with certain social
regarding education that is quite like a divine ability),this is nothing more expectations.For example,it is likely that
dominant among teachers in the Southern than a mere expression of wishes if not many families send their children to
Cone of Latin America.The accompanied by a strong emphasis on school in order that they learn a number
predominance of this preference,beyond the appropriation of those tools for of things of obvious value (such as
its content,may be associated with the thinking and for acting that human beings reading,writing,oral expression skills,
influence of certain currents of have developed,codified,and numeracy,foreign languages,natural
pedagogical thoughtthat have developed accumulated during their history.In any and social sciences,aesthetic and ethical
as the result of criticism of traditional and field of complex activity,whether values and criteria,mastery of tools that
schematic ways of understanding the scientifichechnical or aesthetic/athletic, are useful for life and for production,etc.).
purposes of schooling which have been those who have the highest probability
caricatured and criticized.Many of inventing and creating are individuals
specialists in the teaching field have who have best appropriated cultural
argued in favor of the development of elements previously developed that stem
certain intellectual and ethical-moral from the concrete ability to think new
abilities in students in face of the thoughts and do new things.Those who
emphasis given to the transmission of are most like to write valuable literature
knowledge understood as information are those who have best appropriated
that students should absorb.In its most the literary capital available.The same
schematic form,education consists of can be said for any discipline or scientific
“memorizing”a set of factswhich society
has accumulated through its history and
which are seen as valuable for the solution
of both individual and social problems.
PRE LAC Journal

b) Opinions regarding the role of teachers

The questionnaireoffers respondentstwo typical definitions

of the role of teachers.One says that 'teachers are,above all,
transmittersof culture and knowledge'. The other says that
"teachersare above all facilitatorsfor student learning'. The
first correspondsto a more *classical'and 'hard"conceptof
the teaching task,while the second expresses a more
contemporary,and probably more 'soft' formulationof the
teacher'srole.Teacher preferences leaned decidedly toward
the second option (seeTable 2).


Table 2
Role of Teachers

- 100,o
..- ,*--,,


Only a minority identified with none of the options offered. This popular identification of teachers as "facilitators"of
These data indicate that the definitions cited embrace quite learning in some ways coincides with the responses given to
well the range of possible alternatives regarding the role of the question of the principal functionsassigned to education.
teachers.Among Argentine teachers,the predominance of the Latin American teachers do not appear to place the theme of
idea of the teacher as "facilitator"is quite generalized in all knowledge and its inter-generationaltransmission at the center
sub-groupsthat can be identified within the universe studied. of their concernsas education professionals.This relative under-
However,its intensity varies according to particular valuing of knowledge probably has two sources.One is the
characteristicsof the subjects.The data indicate that primary difficult "educability"conditions of many children whose basic
teachersare more likely to view themselves as "facilitators" nutrition,affective,and health needs are unsatisfied,thus
than are secondaryteachers.The difference is particularly obliging schools to limit their objectives in the field of cultural
strong when we consider male teachers.Moreover,perceived transmission.The other fact that conspires against giving due
social class is associated with role definition,with the image attention to the value of knowledge is the weight of certain
of the teacher as a transmitter of knowledge and of culture pedagogical currents (non-directivepedagogy,pedagogical
being more frequent among those who identify themselves as spontaneity,etc.)in the training and self-imageof Latin American
being part of the upper middle class than for those who say teachers.In effect,criticismsagainst the narrowness and
they belong to the lower middle or lower classes.The data excesses of traditional pedagogy (rationalism,formalism,
suggest that the image of the teacher as "facilitator"is weakest memorization,encyclopedic,etc.)may have glided in the
among male teachers and among teacherswho see themselves direction of a different narrowness just as infertile and harmful
as being within the higher levels of the social structure.In these as the former.
groups,the old image of the teacher as a transmitter of culture
and knowledge is the most present,although it is always a
minority view.

However,the instrumentapplied in this case does not justify function.Another,less optimistic and positive may be associated
us in interpreting the meaning that respondents assign to the with the weakening of the role of teachers in regard to the
adjective “facilitator”, and other conjectures may be made in development of peoples’knowledge.
this regard.The most positive of these would be to understand Whatever the case,what is certain is that the emphasis on
that the role of a facilitator of learning convertsthe teacher into creativity,when not accompanied by a concurrent valuing of
a kind of manager of the process of student learning.From this the appropriation of accumulated knowledge,runs the risk of
perspective,the teacher’sdirect function would be not so much being an empty phrase in an objective statement of dubious
to transmit knowledge he or she possesses,but rather to act achievement in practice.This hypothesis is plausible when one
as a mediator between the learning needs of students and notes the under-valuingof the idea of cultural transmission,
socially available knowledge.Good teachers would be those which may be associated with a certain barrenness in terms
able to interpret what students need to learn and to guide them of the learning of basic cultural content such as the mastery of
toward the sources where this knowledge is available (other language,numeracy,the basic elements of the social and
people,specialists,bibliographic references,on-linesites, natural sciences,skills related to the search for and analysis
etc.).In this interpretation,teachers are not the ones who know; of information,foreign languages,aesthetic appreciation,etc.
that is,those who possess knowledge and transmit it; they are One would not go too far in recalling that the mastery of these
people who know where the knowledge is and know the contents constitutes and essential condition of any creative
procedures that guarantee the most effective learning.But this and critical activity.
is only one among the possible interpretations of the “facilitator”

Teachers and new

education technologies The pedagogical In regard to the availability of
potential of the new information and equipment for teachers,it is notable that
communication technologies (NICT) more than one-halfof Argentine and
represents a challenge for the Uruguayan teachers have a computer
construction of a new professional role available in their homes (53.4%and
for teachers.On the one hand,not all 54.8%,respectively),while among
teachers have access to this information, Peruvian teachers,this proportion falls
nor are they “intensive”consumersof the to 19.9%.The percentage of teachers
NICT.They are not so in their daily lives who have internet access in their
nor as education professionals.On the households is lower (Uruguay,45.2%,
other hand,a positive view tends to Argentina,18.3%,and Peru,3.3%),
predominate regarding the impacts of although together they make up a
the NICT on teaching and learning significant minority.In both cases,access
processes.There is,however,some to the new technologies is more frequent
uneasiness in regard to specific among secondary than among primary
undesirable effects that should be kept school teachers.As should be expected,
in mind in formulating any teaching place of residence strongly determines
innovation policy.In any case,the view access to these new technologies.The
that appears from the information availability of computersvaries from 60%
analyzed is quite positive.However,it is in Buenos Aires to 38% in the poorer
probable that the problems are based regions of the country (Northeastand
more on the deficits and defects of Northwest). The same is the case for
education policies (both in terms of internet access in the home,in which
human resources training and of case the differences are even ~tronger.~
On the other hand,it is symptomatic that the great majority technological equipment of schools)than
of teachers in the countriesstudied indicated that they
‘neveruse the Internet’(70% in Argentina,59.3% in Peru, on the culture and attitudes of teachers.
and 58.2% in Uruguay). The same proportion ofteachers
“neveruse e-mail”in their communications.


PRELAC Journal

Paml De-humanues Encourages Rewrces Wiilnnpfove Willboach

repiacemru leeching less effm
on that taciiltate the quallly opportunitiesof
of teachers HI UWpartd Iasks ofeducahon ecc888 IO
tte daswm atudents knowledge
Table 3: urugucly
Teachersand education
technologies (in %) yes 19,9 23,3 43,l 84,7 72,7 87,3
No 73,O 65,8 42,3 73 12,9 6,4
Don'tknow 7,O 10,9 14,6 7,5 14,4 62
Total 100,o 100,o 100,o 100,o 100,o 100,o

Yes 28,l 27,8 42,4 79,7 82,8 89,O

No 59,9 56,7 41,2 11,7 9,3 3,7
DW NR 12,o 155 16,4 88 7,9 7,3
Total 100,o 100,o 100,o 100,o 100,o 100,o
Yes 18,5 24,O 30,3 79,2 68,4 85,6
No 69,2 58,8 51,4 9,6 13,7 53
DW NR 12,3 17,2 18,3 11,2 17,9 8,9
Total 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 ' 100.0

Attitudes in regard to the pedagogical although one-fourththem do share this improve the quality of education and of
impacts of the new technologies vary view (24%). learning'. However,this majority is relative
(Table3).The data indicate,first of all, Another fear which is held by many since significantnumbers still share
that most teachers do not believe that teachers is that related to the fact that certain fears regarding undesirable
the new technologies replace classroom the new technologies may 'encourage impacts both in terms of encouraging
teachers.However,slightly less than one- less effort among students".As for the "lesseffort"among studentsand in terms
fifth sharethis suspicion in Argentina and others,the attitude of teachers is very of 'de-humanization'of teaching.On the
in Uruguay.The percentage is even larger receptive.The majority believe that the other hand,it should be noted that many
in Peru.Nor do Argentine teachers have technologies will 'increase opportunities teachers have not formed an opinion on
a generally negative attitude in regard to for access to knowledge by students', the subject,which indicates the
these technologies;the majority (58%) that they are 'resourcesthat will facilitate importance of developing a
do not believe that they 'de-humanize the tasks of teachers in the classroom', communication and informationstrategy
teaching and pedagogical institutions', and that 'they will make it possible to in this regard.

Some dlmenslons ofthe PROFESSIONAL E N H A N C E M E M OF TEACHERS

The social and economic level of manifestations such as having a PC in

teachers seems to be associated with the household,the use of e-mail,internet
attitudes regarding the new technologies. connections,etc.
The data indicate that a positive attitude In general,a positive attitude
is much more frequent among higher regarding the new technologies is
social and economic levels.A reason common among teachers,independent
that perhaps could help explain this of the level at which they work (professor
association is the greater probability that or instructor),gender,region,age,and
those on higher levels are in fact in other relevant characteristicsconsidered
contact with the new technologies,at in this report.
least regarding the more common

Of the task Of teachers For most teachers in the three

countries studied,teaching is their only remunerativeactivity (Table4).In effect,only
a minority carry out other professional activitiesfrom which they receive income.
These data indicate that those who practice this activity do so exclusively.This is
positive from the professional point of view.


Table4: Have 13,2 14,4 17,3
Percentage of teachers who have
another remunerated activity Don'thave 86,5 85,6 82,5
Total 100,o 100,o 100,o

According to Max Weber,one of the foundersof modern social science,professions

have at least three basic characteristics:a)they employ rational technical knowledge;
b)there is autonomy in the exercise of the activity,and c)they involve estate recognition,
i.e.,prestige and social recognition.In this sense,Weber stated that a professional
lives from and for his or her profession.This means that professionals possess a
vocation,or a characteristic and strong affective orientation that is subsumed in the
classic concept of "vocation".But at the same time,professionals live from their
professions.It is from them that they obtain the necessary resources for individual
and social existence.The results of an IlPE research program on professionalization
indicate that vocational content is very much present in the self-descriptivestatements


PRELAC Journal

On the other hand,objective data in regard to the weight of the majority,in no case represents more than 50% of income.
that salary has in the total perceived household incomes of This fragmented situation points toward the probable existence
teachers show the existenceof various typical situations (Table of distinct relations with teaching activity.Even when for the
5).In effect,the data indicate that for a relative minority of absolute majority,teaching is an exclusive activity (few carry
teachers (significantlystronger in the case of Uruguay),teacher out other remunerative activitiesoutside of teaching), this
income has a very small relative weight in the total perceived exclusivity has different meanings for different statisticalsub-
income of their households (30% or less). In this extreme case, groups that can be identified in the data analysis.It is likely
it is probable that teaching has for them a very special meaning that these objective differences are associated with different
in a certain measure different compared to those colleagues assessments,attitudes,and evaluations,especially those
for whom their teaching salary is the major determinant of total referring to working conditions,salary,careers,etc.5
available household income.This latter situation,although that


: Up to 30 % 19,8 12,9 26,6
Percentage of household income
provided by teacher’ssalary 31 %to 70% 359 443 43,2
More than 71 Yo 354 42,8 27,l
No response 8,9 3,O
Total 100,o 100,o 100,o

This differentiation should be considered when defining

changes in the regulations that structure the work of teachers
in that it indicatesthe presence of a heterogeneity of conditions
that may be associated with differences in ways of living,
perceiving,and valuing the work of teachers.These results do
no more than identify once more the existence of differentiation
factorswithin a professional category so homogenized as that
of teaching.The different relative weights of teacher salaries
can have specific effects to be added to the differentiating
impacts related to other more well-knownfactorssuch as social
class,living and working conditions,gender,and age,institutional
context in task performance,initial training,and opportunities
for in-servicetraining,among others.

’For the lime being the state ofthe data analysis does not
allow us to speculate regarding the specificimpacts of
these differentoblectivese situalions on important
dimensions ofthe Situation 01 teachers


Future professional plans Finally,any policy reform Two activitiesaccount for most of the
related to the working conditions of desires for changeof activitiesexpressed
teachers should be carried out taking by teachers:administration and
into account the future professional plans management and carrying out other
of teachers.It is obvious that a given professional activities within education
structure of incentives will produce a such as producing texts,planning
particular system of professional pedagogical activities,carrying out
aspirations. projects with colleagues,etc.The overall
Empirical evidence available in the impression is that,given the current
three countries studied presents results structure of job promotion opportunities
that are complex,and reason for concern for teachers,a professional who wishes
(Table6).First,we note that,except for to improve his or her situation is obliged
Uruguay,only a minority intend to remain to abandon classroom work.Obviously,
in their current posts 'in the coming years'. no system provides opportunitiesfor
The remainder of preferences are supervision,management,planning,etc.
distributed largely around professional in a sufficient number to respond to the
activities within the education system, demands expressed by classroom
but in nonclassrm work;that is,in non- teachers.In order to resolve this
teaching activities strictly speaking. contradiction it is necessary to design
teacher career paths that offer
opportunities for promotion and
professional enhancement without
obliging the individual to abandon the
classroom.This is a subject that needs
Table 6: to be incorporated into the agenda of
Employment and professional teacher career reforms in most Latin
aspirations in the coming years ARQENTINA PERU URUQUAY
American countries.
% % % Finally,the responses of teachers
Continue in present post 43,6 20,4 52,6 indicate that those who hope in the future
Occupy managerial and administrative positions 19,9 24,6 10,l
to work outside of education are a minority
(in all cases less than 10%).This means
The same activities as now,but in another school 2,3 10,6 7,8 that the overwhelming majority of current
Carrv out another Drofess.activitv in the area of education 21.5 32.5 16.1 teachers have a strong interest in
Follow another occupation 5,8 7,7 32 remaining in the profession.
School supervisor 2.6

Don'tknow 7,O 2,4 3,7

Total 100.0 100.0 100.0


PRELAC Journal

In summary,we can state that a large challenges presented by new information regarding teacher working conditions,
majority of teachers in the countries and communication technologies, career paths,and salaries provoke
studied work full-timeand hope to although a significantminority express different reactions.Therefore,any policy
continue working within education concern about some negative impacts innovation in these areas should take
systems in the mid-term.Nevertheless, that may arise from the systematic use these divided opinions into account.It is
except in Uruguay,only a minority state of such technologies in education.Finally, likely that the necessary innovations,if
they with to continue in their present when asked about the possibility of they are to be successful in attaining
position,that is,to continue working as establishing salary differentials based hoped-forresults,should be preceded
classroom teachers.Moreover,it is upon the quality of their performance, by discussion and debate.Otherwise,
probable that the relationship that the opinions of teachers are divided,as resistance,conflict,and failure are highly
teachers maintain with their activity is they are when asked about the possibility probable.It is thereforeuseful to be aware
partially determined by the weight that of taking student achievement into of the distributionof opinions and attitudes
the teacher salary has on the total account as one of the factors for of teachers as related to characteristics
available income in the households in determiningteacher salaries.Finally,most such as their time in service,educational
which they live. Argentine and Peruvian teachers are in level,and kind of school (public or
Earning a living from teaching and disagreementwith the mechanisms used private), gender,origin,social position,
carrying out the activity merely as a to assesstheir professional performance. etc.,in order to have the best idea
vocation and for personal self-realization Even in Uruguay,opinions regarding possible of the obstacles and facilitating
are not the same.Additionally,teachers these mechanisms are extremely divided. elements of particular professional
exhibit a positive attitude in regard to the The data show that the questions enhancement policies.

Assessment of teacher Performance Assessment is an integral part of the teacher'stask.

But teachers are not only "systematicand professional assessors'; they are also,as
it were,objects of assessment,but by their superiors (school principals,supervisors,
etc.)as well as by the education system itself (nationallevels of assessment of teacher
quality).The assessment of teachers is a growing trend within the agendas of most
Latin American countries.Given the labor implicationsof this practice,it is a subject
that interests and concerns both leaders and militants of most teacher unions.
Common sense tells us that it is not easy to "assessthe assessor".All countries
have regulations and mechanisms that comprise a teacher assessment system.This
assessment determines the place that teachers occupy within the occupational
structure of the education system,and therefore contribute to determining salaries,
career paths,etc.
A clear majority of teachers in Argentina and in Peru express discontentwith
current mechanisms used to assess their work (Table 7).This critical posture is also
the case of the majority of teachers in Uruguay,although there,positions appear to
be more balanced.In Argentina,this disagreement is greater outside of Buenos Aires
and among public school teachers,those from the middle class,male secondary
teachers,and those who are heads of households.


Table 7: The questionnaire asked teachers to rate the degree of

Opinion regarding currentteacher pertinence of given criteria to determine salary categories.
assessment mechanisms
Among these criteria was 'periodic assessmentof professional
performance' as well as other classical factorssuch as degrees
% ARQENTINA PERU URUOUAY held,time in service,and the geographic area in which the
teacher works.For Argentina,the results indicate that
'assessment"is third in importance after time in service and
Adequate 14,7 16,8 42,2 degreesheld (Table8).This ordering indicatesthe predominance
Not adequate 60,8 75,6 47,6 of a traditional view in regard to the factors that determine
Don't know 243 7,6 10,2 teacher salary.There are,however,some factors that are
associated with the probability of granting more importance to
Total 100,o 100,o 100,o
assessment.These are:being a male secondary teacher,
working as a teacher in private schools,and being a member
of the middle and upper social classes.

Periodic assessment is given the highest value by teachers Table 8 :Criteria that should be used to
in Peru and is in second place in Uruguay and third in Argentina. determine teacher salary categories (rating
However,we may say that in general,all include in some way from 1 to 10,according to importance)
periodic assessmentas an important criterion.The consensus
evaporates when it comes to opinions regarding concrete CRITERION AROENTINA PERU URUQUAY
systems of measurement and assessmentof criteria used in Time in service 8,3 7,O 9,o
each one of the countries studied. Degree(s)held 8,2 7,8 9,7
When teachers were asked to identify the most appropriate
Periodic assessment a,o 7,s 9,s
agents for carrying out assessment of their work,responses
showed that not all such agents enjoy the same degree of Other academic factors 7,7 6,3 8,7
legitimacy.Some of them are more "traditional"than others. Geographic area of service 7,8 6,8 8,8*
Among the former one may cite school authorities (supervisors,
* In Uruguay the term used was 'social
school principals,etc.).More recent are proposals to include
context of the s c h d
as assessment agents groups that make up the demand side
of the education system (students,parents,community
representatives,etc.)Table 9 presents data regarding the
distribution of the opinions of the teachers surveyed.

PR ELAC Journal


Who should participate in
teacher assessment School authorities (principal,supervisor) 73,7 453 (a) 76,O(c)
Supervisor or Inspector not applicable not applicable 76,8
Other education specialists 48,3 36.1 41.1
More-qualifiedteacher colleagues 41,4 383 54,2
Representativesof the national ministry of education 30,6 52,3 not applicable
Representatives of provincial departments of education 30,4 27,4(b) not applicable
Students 23,5 17,8 256
Parents and the school community 20,o 34,4 12,6
Teaching staff of each school not applicable 31,5 not applicable

(a)school administrativeteam
(b)specialists from Intermediary organizations (USES,Region)
(c)the principal

It is evident that the category that is have formal authority over teachers are 'outstanding colleagues'as legitimate in
most accepted by teachers are school those who have the responsibilityto such as role.
authorities(principalsand supervisors). assess the quality of teachers' Finally,only a minority of teachers
The other categories,with exceptions, performance.Other types of authorities, grant legitimacy to those to whom
are recognized as legitimateby less than non-formalor institutional,such as education is directed,their families,and
half of teachers.These figures show that specialists,are more outstanding the community to participate in the
teachers see themselves as members of colleagues are acceptable as assessment of their work.Therefore,any
an organization who have a well- assessment agents by a minority of proposal in this sense is likely to provoke
determined position within an teachers.One should note that 54% of critical reactions from most teachers.
organizational hierarchy.Thus,those who Uruguayan teachers recognize

Attitudes Concerning differentiation Any assessment results in a classification and

and classification Assessing consists in establishing an order or hierarchy.In this sense,
assessment is more complex than a simple measurement.For example,a school that
obtains a high level of performance in an area ofknowledge is 'better' than another
that obtains lower averages.As such,it involves establishing value judgments.But
in all cases,assessments (ofstudents or of teachers) have as a result a formalization
and objectives establishment of differences (in the quality and quantity of learning,
in the quality of teacher performance,etc.)In this sense,one should seek to learn
about the legitimacy that this general idea has among teachers.In order to do so,
we may analyze the responses given to questions formulated in this regard.


The first has to do with the very idea

of establishing salary differentiationsin
order to award "thebest teachers'. The Table IO:
I agree with the statement,"Appropriate
question may appear naive or even mechanisms should be found for the best
obvious at first glance if directed at a teachers to earn more than the others'.
sample of traditional professions such
as physicians or lawyers.It is probable
that the majority of those questioned Resmonse ARQENTINA PERU URUQUAY
would respond positively to the question, Yes 42.9 64,l 39,l
"Doyou believe that appropriate No 40,l 31,8 459
mechanisms should be found so that the
best engineers earn more than the Don'tknow 16,9 41 15,O
others?"Nevertheless,this question did Total 100,o 100,o 100,o
not find a consensual response among
teachers of the countries examined.On
the contrary,in the three cases we find
a polarization of opinions regarding this
question which,might seem to provoke
a uniform response (Table IO).
Once again,the case of Peru differs
from that of Argentina and Uruguay.While
in Peru there is a clear majority in favor
of this proposition,the contrary is the
case in Uruguay,while in Argentina there
is a balance between possible answers.
Moreover,in Peru there is a low
percentage of teachers who do not
respond,while a non-responseis more
common in Argentina and in Uruguay.
Table 1 1 shows some of the factors
Table 1 I: associated with the probability of
Factorsassociated with oppositionto the idea
of establishing appropriate mechanisms for expressing a critical position in regard
better teachersto earn more than the others to the idea of establishing differentiations
and awards as a function of the quality
Primary level X X X of teacher performance.Disagreement
Public schools X X X is more probable among primary
teachers,those who work in public
Women X X
schools,women,and those whose social
Lower middle class and lower class X positions and paths are more unfavorable.
Living in poor households X Another variablethe behavior of which
With downward social mobility x + x X may aid in understanding resistanceto
the establishment of salary differentials
With upward social mobility among teachers is that which deals with
'Learning facilitators" X the value that teachersthemselvesassign
"Transmittersof learning and culture" X to equality (vs.freedom). In effect,the
questionnaireasks teachers to choose
Job insecurity X between the following statements:


PRELAC Journal

A. "For me, freedom and equality are equally important. But if I had
to opt for one or the other, I would consider personal freedom to be
t e most important;that is, everyone should live in freedom and
develop without barriers".

B. "Freedom and equality are both important,but if I had to decide

in favor of one of the two, I would pick equality as being the most
important;that is,so no one would be disadvantaged and social class
d rences wouldn't be so strong".
Table 12:
Opinions regarding Freedom 34,4 40,8 33s
freedom and equality (%)
Equality 39,3 47,6 42,2
Neither of the two/depends 19,6 8,4 20,7
The resultsshown in Table 12 indicate DKINA 67 3,2 3,6
that teachers tend to favor the value of Total 100,o 100'0 100,o
equality over freedom.This predisposition
to value equality has a special meaning
with an historical context noted for an But this attitude also may be
increase in inequality in the distribution associated with resistances
of such strategic goods and resources demonstrated by a large proportion of
such as wealth,income,and power.From teachers to the establishment of salary legal bureaucratic historical framework,
this point of view,teachers represent a differentials related to the quality of does not favor the establishment of
social category that opposes and resists teacher performance.One should criteria resulting in differences in material
public policies that produce inequalities. remember that the legal status of the compensations related to quality of
profession,carried out within very performance.In this regard,it should be
structured institutional contexts,and a noted that in these contexts,the classic
principle of 'equal pay for equal work' in
regard to salaried professions still applies.

T el3:
Factors associated with the
preference for equality


Young (under30 years of age) X X
Downward mobility X X Moreover,in this case,the preference
Low perceived social class X X X for these values which in a sense
Public sector X X structure the cultural and ideological field
Private sector X of the majority ofmodern capitalist
Male teachers X societies is associated with certain
Teachers heads of households X characteristics of citizens.Table 13 offers
information regarding the factors
Job insecurity X positively associated with the preference
Poor regions X for equality.


At first glance,the position and path of equality,while in Uruguay the opposite social structure that is very egalitarian.
of teachers within the social structure is true;that is,this preference is more The gap between the highest and lowest
would seem to be associated with the frequentamong private school teachers. salariesvaries from 2.7in Uruguay to 3.3
probability of adhering to certain social Another indicator of the value that in Argentina,and 4.5in Peru.In all cases,
and political values.The most teachers assign to equality may be these ideal gaps are "egalitarian"
underprivileged (in both objective and deduced from the reply given to a compared to actual salary and income
subjective terms)would seem to be more question regarding the salary that different distributions in the societies considered.
predisposed to valuing equality over occupational categories should receive In summary,there is every indication
freedom.In the case of Argentina, (among them primary and secondary that the dominant culture among teachers
teachers who live in the poorest regions school teachers). Responses allow us to strongly favorsthe value of equality.This
of the country and who feel insecure in have an idea of the salary differences preference for equality should be taken
their jobs show the same preference. that teachers are disposed to recognize into account when establishing
On the other hand,in the case of among different social groups.In general, mechanisms that in some way may be
Argentina and Peru,public school we see that teachers in Argentina and in perceived as a threat to attaining this
teachers show a preference for the value Uruguay share an ideal image of the ideal objectively valued by teachers.

Themes on the agenda and policy criteria Almost all education ministries and
secretariats in the region have incorporated into their policy agendas the major
dimensionsthat contribute to the professional enhancement of teachers.These range
from selection and recruitmentcriteria for teacher training candidates,through initial
and in-serviceeducation,mechanisms for entry into the educational system,the
structure and dynamics of the teaching career itself,incentive systems,and appropriate
mechanisms for the assessment of teacher performance.
There is more agreement on the diagnosis and criticism of the measures and
institutions present at each phase of the teaching profession than there is in regard
to the answers and proposals that are necessary in each case.Thus,everyone agrees
that it is necessary to improve recruitmentmechanisms in order to guarantee the
selection of better candidates for entry into teacher training institutions.Likewise,
there is consensus that in most cases,initial training is not up to the professional
challenges that future teachers will encounter in their classrooms;that the in-service
training currently available is neither continuous nor pertinent:that incentive systems
do not function adequately to attract and maintain the best human resources;that
in many cases the only way that a teacher has to improve his or her professional
status is to carry out another activity - that is -to stop being a teacher in order to
be a principle or supervisor (a highly likely scenario for the majority,given the small
number of managerial posts within the structure).


PRELAC Journal

This consensus of diagnosis is not reflected in policy proposals.Beyond specific

policies,what one can propose are strategies,or policy-makingmodes that guarantee
a greater probability of success for reforms in order to assure better opportunities
for professional enhancement of Latin American teachers.
As an example,we offer below a list of objectives and goals that may be useful
for discussion and consensus.Most of them have been projected for the mid-term
(until the year 2015,for example).

Using the themes presented

above, these goals include the Institutionalization of annual
following: performanceassessmentmechanisms,
according to criteria and indicators
100% of primary and secondary school developed in association with teachers
teachers with basic pedagogical and the definition of teacher career
training. paths including levels of professional
excellence and criteria for promotion
50% of such teachers with basic without abandoning classroom
training in NICT. teaching.

Promotion oflines ofcredit to facilitate Definition of a significantpercentage

access of teachers to basic of salarieslinked to the level of training
technological tools (PCs,e-mail, attained and of the results achieved in
internet access,etc.). annual performance assessment.

Annual training and up-date All primary and secondary teachers

opportunities for all teachers. who serve the 30% poorest sector of
the school population to work full-time
Guarantee of appropriate pedagogical and during full school days.
follow-upduring the first phase of job
experience for teachers. Concentrate the work ofteachers in
one school only (50% of secondary
Establishment of a financialincentive school teachers to work full-timeand
program (study grants)for initial the entire school day in a single
teacher training. institution).

Up-dateand strengthening of teacher Fherve 15% oftheschool day of

training programs,establishing basic teachersforPrOfeSSiOnaltasks outside
criteria at the national level for the classroom (participation in working
accreditation of teacher training groupswith colleagues,tutoring
institutions. students,production of materials,etc.).

Design and implementation of a Assign more experienced teachers to

national exam forentry into h e teaching the firstthree years of basic education.
profession,with the participation of - -
qualified representativesof teacher


It is obviousthat the character and Any effective

dimension of the goals will depend upon
the possibilities and conditions within the policy for
societiesin question.It is necessary here, improving the
however,to emphasize the utility of the
idea of goals;that is,of objectivesthat
conditions of
have not only justifications and bases, Finally,goals and the strategies teachers needs
but that also are expressed quantitatively adopted to achieve them should take to envision a
within a defined time frame.Goals,once into account both the objective situation
they have undergone discussion and (for example,budgetary limitations,
long time frame
have been collectively agreed upon,are institutional frameworks,interestsand
able to lend meaning to the efforts that power relations of the principal actors in
each actor makes in order to fulfill them. the field of education,etc.),as well as
In addition,there is an interdependent subjectiveconditions such as attitudes,
relation between goals and the resources opinions,values,predispositions,etc.,
that are necessary to fulfill them. of the social actors that we have
Resourcesdetermine the number of goals considered above.This second
to be addressed.But the goals dimension of reality,which has to do with Any effective policy for improving the
themselves,when they are meaningful the culture of the actors (theiropinions, conditionsof teachers needs to envision
and socially desirable,have the ability expectations,attitudes,aspirations,etc.), a long time frame.This is a resource that
to justify the generation and mobilization is among the least considered factors of must be produced collectively through
of resources.Otherwise,they will remain education reforms,which are always agreement and the participation of all
on paper,or will be directed toward other more disposed to change structured than the actors involved.Experience shows
ends.It is in this dialectic,between the to transform the culture of those involved. that agreement is always the result of a
possible and the desirable,that goals Changes in these subjectivefactors combination of three necessary
have meaning and can fulfill a politically- cannot be produced by decree,as can ingredients:(a)a political will for
determined function. reforms in structure.Restructuring is not agreement;(b)a set of technical skills
the same as changing cultures.In order that make possible argument,discussion,
to change the subjectivity of actors (and and realistic and rational negotiation;and
hence their practices)within a pluralistic (c)basic ethical qualities (sincerity,
and democratic political context requires responsibility,respect for assumed
two fundamental resources:a long time commitments,etc.)that are required for
frame,and a set of predispositions and creative dialogue.It is hoped that the
skills specifically guided by negotiation, major actors within the field of education
discussion,and agreement. policy in Latin America (politicians,
specialists,union officials,leaders of
education organizations,etc.)possess
what is required and do what needs to
be done in order to improve the
professional enhancement of teachers,
and in this way guarantee the best
learning opportunitiesfor all Latin


Regional BLireau for CduCatloflin Latiti America and the Caribbean