Secondary Education in Five South American Countries

Guillermo Ramón Ruiz


In this paper I focus on the Secondary Education in few countries of South America in order to identify recurrences among the problems, their possible interpretations, and their current processes of reforms. I analyse the changes of secondary education in four countries that are members of the MERCOSUR: Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, and I also take into account one country which is located in same region: Bolivia. Thus, I track the recent trajectories of government policies on secondary education, which have been modified by these five States of South America. For this purpose, first, I analyse the global level and the regional contexts in which educational reforms have taken place in the last decades. Second, after mention few historical characteristics of education development in Latin America –in general– and in these five nations –in particular–, I look at the reforms of secondary education in this region doing a normative analysis of the government policy documents of these five countries. This analysis shall allow us to define a period starting in the ‘1990s and continuing until the second decade of the current century, in which we can identify normative changes in the countries studied and also recognize some of their actual scope and limitations. Third, recognizing the complexity of current global networks and the dynamic of interaction, we approach the secondary education reform challenging the assumption that globalization leads to homogenization and results in the international convergence of educational systems. Finally, we discuss the meaning of secondary education for all from a regional perspective in order to identify current convergences in academic forms of secondary school and the constraints of their implementation according to academic traditions and the educational local settings.


Secondary Education; Educational Reforms; Borrowing Policies; MERCOSUR

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