Democratic Citizenship Education and the State in Latin America: A Critical Overview

Since the political transitions and economic reforms of the 1980s, and especially since the end of the 1990s, Latin American states have been active in revising programs for civic education in order to create a more broadly democratic political culture. Yet what does this democratic citizenship education consist of? What kind of citizen, for what kind of democracy? And how does the State, primarily through its ministries of education, but also in concert with a variety of national and international organizations, use schools to form democratic citizens? This article undertakes an initial conceptual mapping of the complex, ever-expanding landscape of democratic citizenship education in Latin America. The article begins by surveying the policy environment, as well as the organizational and institutional landscape that drives programs in democratic citizenship education. It then moves on to a content analysis of major programs, documents, and policies, in order to examine definitions and assumptions about “democracy” and “citizenship education for democracy.” Finally, the article briefly examines pedagogical and structural-administrative issues, noting how democratic citizenship education often posits changes in the forms of policy making, school governance, school-community relationships, or student-teacher relationships.

Key words

The State, public education, policy, democratic citizenship, culture

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Levinson, B. y Berumen, J. (2007). Democratic Citizenship Education and the State in Latin America: A Critical Overview. Revista Electrónica Iberoamericana sobre Calidad, Eficacia y Cambio en Educación, 5(4), pp. 1-15. Cited (Date).