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Changing meanings of public education in Argentina : a genealogy

Oria, Angela Ines (2013) Changing meanings of public education in Argentina : a genealogy. PhD thesis, UNSPECIFIED.

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This thesis explores the changing meanings of ‘public’ education and its process of construction. More specifically, I focus on how Argentine education governance resulted from the meaning policy-makers attached to ‘the public’ at a given juncture, how such meaning evolved over time without a corresponding change in governance, and how there seems not to be within public discourse any significant questioning of this divergence between rhetoric and actual structures. I explore early and current discourses which used and defined ‘public education’, and analyse how these paradigmatic definitions shaped policy and constrained practice. The historical ‘junctures’ addressed in this thesis are firstly, the period of preinstitutionalisation of the Argentine education system, focussing especially on the seminal figure of Domingo F. Sarmiento. Secondly, the actual consolidation of the ‘official’ version of ‘state-public’ education, mainly achieved during Jose Ramos Mejia’s administration of the National Education Council, and over and against alternative discourse regimes, such as that emanating from the anarchist circles. The third period explored in this thesis is the contemporary. ‘Common sense’ definitions regarding the ‘public’ nature of ‘public’ education are breaking and the discursive space is opening. Newly admitted voices and versions of schooling seem to be emerging as a result of new understandings of the meaning of what constitutes ‘the public’. However, are these signs of structural reform? Is there any significant questioning within state-public education of its own forms of governance? The reconstruction of the Argentine educational past can be used as a framework for thinking about the reconstruction of its present. I deploy ‘Genealogy’, as understood within the writings of Michel Foucault, as my research strategy. The thesis is organised into seven Chapters. The first are introductory and subsequently I develop a detailed analysis of the varying positions of the public within different discursive paradigms. Finally, I offer some conclusions.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Controlled Keywords: State, society, public sphere, meanings of public education, forms of education government, centralisation, decentralisation, participation, Argentina, Sarmiento, Ramos Mejia, Barcos, National Law of Education
Subjects: Departments > Humanities and Social Sciences
Depositing User: Mr Graeme Naylor
Date Deposited: 25 Apr 2014 09:03
Last Modified: 23 Mar 2015 11:24
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