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Chile: The Evolution of Educational Policy, 1980–2014.

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Abstract

This chapter describes and interprets the evolution of educational policies applied in Chile from 1980. Our general conclusion is that this has been a period of great activity in the field of public educational policies, with a strong rupture with the past and a complex evolution over more than three decades, in which different policy approaches have attempted to define a more relevant role for the State, within the framework of a market-oriented educational system. In fact, as a result of recent massive student movements, Chilean educational policy faces complex choices about how to abandon market logic as the basic mode of regulation.
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... 7. Different authors, particularly in the field of education policies, have identified diverse factors to explain why the new democratic governments did not reverse pro-market reforms. Some of them are: the adoption of market principles by the centre-left coalition, the lack of a necessary parliamentary majority to reverse some of these policies, the political and military power maintained by relevant actors of the dictatorship, the pressure of middle and upper-middle social groups, or even the conditionalities imposed by the World Bank and the global hegemony of neoliberal ideas during the nineties (Gauri 1998;Bellei and Vanni 2015;Cox and Avalos 1999). 8. ...
... 8. The Brunner report is the output of the National Commission for the Modernisation of Education, a panel of experts and key stakeholders organised by the second government after the restoration of the democracy to define the long-term challenges of the Chilean education system (Bellei and Vanni 2015). ...
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Mainstream approaches in comparative education have paid more attention to trends in donors’ priorities than to policy processes in recipient countries, overlooking the agency of national governments in the institutional configuration of vocational education and training (VET) in developing contexts. Drawing on constructivist political economy and historical institutionalist frameworks, the paper analyses the role played by global development paradigms and ideas in the VET policy reforms adopted in Chile during the period between 1964 and 2005. The study shows how the selective adoption of international development ideas in Chile was mediated by the ideological orientation of national government administrations in each historical period. It also shows how the main goals of VET policies evolved as the economy tertiarised and the demand for education grew among lower social classes. Finally, the paper identifies the military dictatorship as a path-shaping moment in the institutional configuration of VET in Chile, as it was able to impose a radical transformation of the system from central planning to decentralised market competition. This profound transformation generated institutional path-dependencies that restricted the capacity of future democratic governments to reverse the market model in VET.
... Xile és un dels primers casos on les polítiques de mercat en educació van ser adoptades a gran escala, i, internacionalment, ha estat un dels casos més emblemàtics d'aquest tipus de reformes (Bellei i Vanni, 2015). ...
... Vale la pena recordar que, para hacer competir a las escuelas y desarrollar un "mercado de educación" que permita el libre flujo de estudiantes de un establecimiento educacional al otro, se requiere una "medida de calidad educativa" que discrimine de manera "neutra" cuáles establecimientos son los mejores. Lo anterior, en el entendido de que aquellas escuelas que ofrecerían mejores ofertas educativas e indicadores de calidad educativa podrían competir por mayor matrícula escolar y un financiamiento más grande (Bellei & Vanni, 2015). ...
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En Chile, en 2011, se establecieron ocho indicadores de calidad educativa como respuesta a las fallas del sistema de educación instalado en los años ochenta. Estudios recientes plantean dificultades en la medición de uno de estos indicadores, el de clima de convivencia escolar, lo que afecta su comprensión dentro de las comunidades escolares. Este estudio se propuso abordar las percepciones de estudiantes y apoderados respecto a este indicador para las cohortes 2014-2018, y comparar los indicadores de estudiantes y apoderados según el tipo de escuela y cohorte. Para el análisis secundario se utilizó el ANOVA. Los resultados muestran diferencias en las percepciones entre apoderados y estudiantes, y diferencias significativas en las percepciones de apoderados conforme al tipo de escuela. Las percepciones de apoderados pueden explicarse mediante elementos socioculturales favorecidos por el mercado educativo chileno. En contraposición, la percepción de estudiantes parece vincularse a la propia experiencia escolar. Se concluye que la evaluación de la convivencia escolar en Chile debe avanzar hacia una evaluación diferenciada por actor educativo, y se cuestiona la construcción del indicador de clima de convivencia escolar, pues responde más a un mercado educativo que a la mejora de la calidad educativa.
... Hence, the economic criteria of the market colonized almost all areas of life. The expansion of the educational system at all levels has been achieved through increasing its level of privatization to the detriment of public education (Bellei & Vanni, 2015), and one consequence of this process has been that the level of spending by families to finance the education of their children has increased, reaching one of the highest proportions in the world (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2015). ...
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This chapter provides insight into the achievements and weaknesses of the Chilean transition and its relationship with recent social mobilizations and the present and future of its democracy. We begin by describing the main achievements of the transition, followed by its major shortcomings and how the social unrest (generated by the unresolved issues) grew and erupted into a massive social outbreak and strong police repression in October 2019. Next, we seek to connect the exposed antecedents with some contributions from social psychology, to better understand the individual, group, and intergroup aspects that operate in these historic processes. Finally, we outline some possible lessons that could inform other transition processes and be relevant to the sustainability of Chilean democracy. A peaceful transition may require compromising certain demands and understanding that not all the desired changes will be possible in the short term. However, leaders must keep in mind that, in the medium term, it is necessary to change the political and economic models implanted by the authoritarian government. Otherwise, sooner or later, inequities could lead to social unrest and even to social crisis.
... El propósito perseguido por el gobierno era incorporar importantes regulaciones a las lógicas de mercado que regían en el sistema educativo chileno desde la dictadura, considerado un caso emblemático de aplicación de políticas neoliberales (Bellei, 2015;Santa Cruz, 2016). En sus aspectos medulares, el gobierno propuso terminar con el copago, la selección del alumnado por parte de los establecimientos y la posibilidad de lucrar con fondos públicos en la educación escolar. ...
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Resumen: El sistema educativo chileno, considerado un caso emblemático en la aplicación de políticas neoliberales, vivió una profunda reforma educativa en 2014. El gobierno de centroizquierda aprobó la Ley de Inclusión, la que buscaba evitar la selección del alumnado, el cobro de copago a las familias en establecimientos con financiamiento público y terminar con el afán de lucro en colegios privados que reciben subsidios estatales. Durante la tramitación de la ley, un conjunto de actores educativos, políticos y sociales se articularon y movilizaron para frenar su aprobación. El propósito de este trabajo fue identificar y describir los giros argumentativos presentes en la comunidad discursiva asociada en torno a la oposición a la Ley de Inclusión. El corpus utilizado fueron 139 columnas publicadas sobre la Ley de Inclusión o temas anexos, publicadas entre marzo de 2014 y enero de 2015 en El Mercurio y La Tercera, los dos principales diarios políticos de Chile. A partir del análisis de los principales giros argumentativos identificamos una comunidad discursiva articulada en torno a la defensa de la libertad de enseñanza. Las creencias y representaciones de la comunidad discursiva se condensan en: la necesidad de una política gradualista y basada en evidencia, la libre elección de escuela como racionalidad y herramienta dominante del cuasimercado educativo y la defensa de la educación privada como forma de asegurar la existencia de ofertas educativas diferenciadas y plurales en el sistema escolar. Palabras clave: política educativa; mediatización; Chile; políticas de mercado.
... In both countries, the market competition approach is characterized by the adoption of a voucher scheme and high levels of decentralization. In Chile, market reform in education was adopted at the beginning of the 1980s, in the context of the military dictatorship led by General Augusto Pinochet (Bellei and Vanni, 2015), whereas in Sweden it was adopted at the beginning of the 1990s by a conservative government. The market reform in Sweden surprised the world in the sense that it became a counter-intuitive case of a market approach in a highly developed social-democratic welfare state (Klitgaard, 2008;Wiborg, 2013). ...
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The availability of public funding for private schools, in both primary and secondary education, has become a common feature in a number of OECD countries. The expansion of public subsidies for privately owned schools has consequences that go far beyond the involvement of private actors in the provision of education. These include deepening forms of regulatory governance in educational systems and the blurring of frontiers between public and private education. Public subsidies for privately owned schools have been adopted following diverse rationalities and in pursuit of different goals. In light of the diversity, this research examines the regulatory configurations of private subsidized education provision across OECD countries, from a policy instruments' perspective. Based on a systematic review of the literature, the article identifies four models of regulation of private subsidized education, and analyses why and how these models have been problematized and have evolved accordingly. The paper pays particular attention to recent educational reforms adopted, in most cases, to tackle the equity challenges posed by publicly subsidized private provision. Finally, the paper elaborates on the implications that this form of provision has for public education and the achievement of equity goals, and reflects on the potential and limits of regulatory reforms when confronting these issues.
... Professionalism before the pandemic: external control over educators' work and emphasis on academic outcomes In the 1970 and 1980s, the civic-military dictatorship that controlled Chile introduced neoliberal educational policies, reshaping the school system and the teaching profession through decentralization, marketization and privatization (Bellei and Vanni, 2015). The Chilean Government transferred school administration from the state to municipal governments, introduced a voucher-based funding formula relying on students' monthly average attendance and private providers were allowed to run schools with government funding. ...
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Purpose This essay explores the effects of school buildings closure during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on Chilean teachers' and principals' professional role and values, highlighting implications for reconceptualizing educators' professionalism for the post-pandemic era. Design/methodology/approach Competing versions of Chilean educators' professionalism during the pandemic were analyzed based on government guidelines, national teachers' association statements, news reports and testimonies from teachers and principals collected from webinars. Findings The guidelines that the ministry issued after school building were required to close motivated educators to challenge a version of professionalism founded on new public management (NPM) policies, which mandated external control and emphasized students' academic outcomes. By challenging the dominant NPM perspective of professionalism, educators advocated for professional autonomy as well as students' and communities' well-being. Originality/value This essay offers insights into how the Chilean school system's response to the crisis evidenced competing notions of educators' professionalism. As the pandemic continues to be an ongoing phenomenon, four implications for reconceptualizing educators' professionalism are drawn, which could inform and offer guidance to practitioners and policymakers in the post-pandemic era.
... for families' preferences, and a paid according to the student's ing private and public schools competition, public school ional Ministry of Education to Vanni 2015). Since then, from there has thus been no difference introduced during 'the postof the marketized system have The Student Mouements 67 been deepened, rather than modified Bellei and Vanni 2015). For instance, in 1.993, a family fee-charging mechanism was designed, creating what is called "shared funding," a co-payment system that allowed (and encouraged) private schools and secondary public schools to charge a tuition fee without losing access to the state subsidy. ...
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Los contextos contemporáneos de política educativa convergen en torno a elementos de regulación post-burocrático que incluyen tanto a las fuerzas del mercado como esquemas de gobernanza a partir de resultados y rendición de cuentas. Ambos modelos se abren paso como respuesta a un diseño burocrático profesional del sistema educativo basado en la planificación central y la racionalidad como normatividad sustantiva (Maroy y Dupriez, 2000, Maroy, 2004, Van Zaten, 2005). Comprender los mecanismos y dinámicas que están en la base de las desigualdades educativas en las sociedades contemporáneas supone explorar las nuevas formas de regulación de los sistemas educacionales en un contexto post-burocrático e indagar cómo la morfología y características institucionales de los sistemas educativos influyen en las lógicas de acción que desarrollan las escuelas en un espacio de competencia específico.
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Despite the growing number of researches about performance-based accountability (PBA) in education, there is still scarce evidence on the mediating role of subjective variables (e.g., perceived pressure and alignment to PBA mandates) in the enactment of PBA in socially disadvantaged contexts. This is paradoxical because marginalized schools are usually those that are on probation and have to cope with the threat of sanctions more frequently. Existing investigations on PBA enactment have put increasing attention to the role of situated and material contexts, but there is still limited knowledge on how subjective variables can mediate policy enactment processes and enable the adoption of different school responses. To address these gaps, the article aims to explore how the perceived accountability pressure, the school performative culture and meaning-making processes at the school level are mediating the enactment of PBA policies in disadvantaged schools. At the theoretical level, the study is informed by sense-making and policy enactment frameworks. Methodologically speaking, the investigation uses a comparative case study approach based on two extreme cases, which have been selected on the basis of a factorial analysis that combines both survey and secondary data. The extreme cases represent two different scenarios, which, despite operating in similar situated contexts, are characterized by having opposite levels of perceived pressure and alignment with the performative culture. The case studies combine survey data (n=39) with documentary analysis and semi-structured interviews with the management team and teachers (n=7). The findings show that subjective variables, in interaction with other contextual factors, can exacerbate or inhibit PBA regulatory pressures, and trigger diverging school responses. Full-text view-only version of the paper: https://rdcu.be/cbdEv
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