A Defense of the Role of History in Education Through the Analysis of the Chilean School Curriculum

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Lubiano, Wahneema

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In 2010, the Chilean Government tried to cut the school hours per week of social sciences in the 5th to 10th grade school curriculum in order to increase the hours of language (Spanish) and mathematics. This reform tried to follow the trend of “successful” schools and the recommendations of the OECD based on the experience of countries that have more hours of language and mathematics and higher scores in national and international quantitative standards of measurement. The example of the Chilean case represents how humanities and social sciences have been left aside since a “humanistic” approach to education is less amenable to testing. This research project develops a qualitative analysis of the contradictions between the current objectives of education and the role of the subject of history in the school curriculum. The goal of this work is to understand 1) how the benefits of history education might be recognized within the current discussion about education and its objectives, and 2) what has been the role of the history subject in the Chilean schools´ curriculum. To develop this purpose, the paper is organized in three different chapters that explain why the study of history is important during high-school years and how the Chilean government has been modifying the history school curriculum considering the political evolution of the country. The last chapter examines the tenth and eleventh grade Chilean social studies programs in order to analyze if the current way history is taught helps students to develop higher learning outcomes and abilities, such as critical thinking, analytical and creative abilities, and social consciousness. The inconsistency between the history school programs and how they are put into practice is a key element to understand the design of educational policies to develop students´ effective learning outcomes.





Brahm Rivas, Maria Trinidad (2017). A Defense of the Role of History in Education Through the Analysis of the Chilean School Curriculum. Master's thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/13492.

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