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Cristian Cox Donoso

Thesis submitted for the degree of

Doctor of Philosophy

in the

University of London

Institute of Education

University of London

Summer 19
A Rosita, Paulo y Nataniel

A la memoria de Carlos Ortuzar A.


Table of Contents


Table of Contents 1

List of Tables and Diagrams 5

List of Appendices 8

Acknowledgements 9

Abstract 11

Introduction 12



Chapter One

Theory propositions for a sociology of policies of cultural

reproduction 16

1 Education as epiphenomenon: critique 18

2 Tentative principles of interpretation 24

2.1 Institutionalized education and its external contexts 25
2.2 Cultural reproduction as codes reproduction 29
2.3 Schooling and consciousness: distinguishing features 34
2.4 Pedagogic discourse and re-contextualizing 38

3 Summary 39

Notes 42

Chapter Two

Chilean society and education: landmarks in the process of

development of state education and main features of its external
institutional context 47

1 Development of the state educational system 47

1.1 The educational inheritance 47
1.2 Patterns of change 63

2 Division of labour, classes and political (.-,ystc- il 64

2. Chilean development and structural disjunction 64
2.2 Classes and absence of a clear begemon:,./ 63
2.3 Compromise Stata and partial democratization 70

3 Relations between education and its external institutional

context 75
3.1 Education and production 75
3.2 Education, classes and the state 77

4 Summary and prospect 80

Notes 85


Chapter Three

The 'Third Way': the party, the programme and education 95

1 Historical elements 96

2 Social basis 100

3 Habitus and ideology: dispositions and positions 104

4 A broad programme of reforms 111

5 'Revolution in Liberty' and education 116

Notes 119

Chapter Four

Field contexts and contents of the Christian Democrat

educational reform 125

1 Political and intellectual fields of educational policy 126

1.1 The US, underdevelopment and educational reform 127
1.2 International intellectual field of education and the
theories selected for re-contextualizing 131
1.3 Principles of the reform 135
1.3.1 External relations of education 135
1.3.2 Internal relations of education: orientations
of transmissions 136
1.4 Primary contexts of the production of discourse and the
re-contextualizing process: a summary 137

2 Conditions of implementation of the reform 139

3 The reform's measures 145

3.1 The expansion of acces -, 145
3.2 Organisational modifications 152
3.3 Measures on transmissions 158

4 Official pedaF,ogic discourse_ and teachers' practice:,, and

views on their practices 180

5 Summary 194

Notes 196

Chapter Five

Code meanings: Classification and Framing values of the changes

initiated by the Christian Democrat government in education 208

Introduction 209

Code Analysis: a model 209

1 External relations of education 214

1.1 Education and production 215
1.2 Education and class 220

2 Context of system reproduction 227

2.1 Changes in classificatory features 227
2.2 Changes in framing features 229

3 Context of school reproduction 229

3.1 Positional structure of the school 230
3.2 Context of transmission: changes in framing features 233

4 Conclusion r 245

Notes 251




Chapter Six

Unity and diversity in the socialist alliance: class, ideology

and education 257

Introduction 258

1 Historical elements 259

2 Class and field basis 265

3 Habitus and ideology: modes of relation and discourses 270

4 The dominant parties of the Popular Unity and education:

ideological and historical elements 2S I

Notes 287

Chapter Seven

Educational initiatives and conflict 295

1 Power and discursive contexts of educational policy 296

1.1 Official Re-contextualizing field 1970-1973 296
1.2 Constraints on implementation 302
2 The National Congress of Education: system of discourses
on education 304
2.1 Context features 304
2.2 Discourses of the field of education: external
and internal limits 305
2.2.1 External limits: assumptions and orthodoxy
of the field 308
2.2.2 Main internal divides 1: change of code
vs. change of modality 308
2.2.3 Main internal divides 2 310
2.3 Discourses and practices: results of the Congress
and the educational policy of the Popular Unity 312

3 The Decree of Democratization: attempts to alter the

control relations of the Educational System 314
3.1 First Decree of Democratization 315
3.2 Rejection by the Contraloria r 318
3.3 Second Decree of Democratization 321

4 The Escuela- Nacional Unificada: the attempt to found

a school for the socialist transition 323
4.1 Politics of creation of ENU 323
4.2 The ENU Report 326
4.2.1 Ideological principles 327
4.2.2 Changes in category relations 330
4.2.3 Implementation of ENU 333
4.3 Politics of implementation of ENU and macro political
conflict 334
4.4 End of rnaximalism and agreements with the CD of the field 339

5 Continuities in the contexts of, and the contexts within,

education 341
5.1 External relations of education 342
5.2 Transmissions 348

6 Underlying principles 351

6.1 Relations between the Official and the Pedagogic
Re-Contextualizing fields 351
6.2 Two pedagogic projects and their relations to class
and field features 3.56

Notes 364




List of Tables and Diagrams


Diagram 1.1 Institutional contexts and pedagogic code: a model 41

Table 2.1 Schooling system enrolments, 1865-1958 61

Table 2.2 Schooling rates for the 7-15 years old group,
1865-1958 62

Table 2.3 Illiteracy, 1865-1960 62

Table 2.4 Percentage distribution of economically active

population by sectors of the economy, 1930-1970 66

Table 2.5 Percentage of vote received by parties on the

Right, Centre and Left in Chilean Congressional
elections, 1937-1973 72

Table 2.6 Schooling survival at the Primary level for social

class, period 1943-1963 78

Table 3.1 Percentage of the vote received by the Falange

or the Christian Democratic Party in Congressional
elections, 1941-1973 91

Table 3.2 Occupational distribution of Christian Democrat

Party members in three communes of Santiago
(1965-1966) 102

Table 3.3 Correlates of Christian Democratic Party votes

with indicator of administrative lower middle
class (Provinces), 1957-1967 103

Table 3.4 Christian Democratic Paprty percentage share of

CUT (National Confederation of Unions) delegates
and votes, 1953-1972 103

Table 3.5 CD Party members rejecting class basis of society,

by commune (Santiago, 1965-1966) 112

Diagram 4.1 Field relations, discourses on education and the

CD's Reform re-contextualizing field 138

Diagram 4.2 Schedule of implementation of the curriculum

changes of the Reform 144

Table 4.1 Evolution of enrolments of Pre-School, Primary,

Secondary and University education, public and
private, 1960-1970 147

Table 4.2 Growth by educational levels for Government

periods: 1958-1964 and 1964-1970 148

Table 4.3 Rates of schooling 0-24 years old group, 1960-1970 149
Table 4.4 Student aid programmes, 1965-1970 151
Table 4.5 State expenditure in education, 1964-1970 153
Diagram 4.3 Organizational scheme of the curriculum for
the second cycle of Primary education 161
Diagram 4.4 Example of a state defined unit of transmission,
Secondary level 164
Diagram 4.5 Scheme of curricular differentiations, Secondary
education 169
Table 4.6 Curriculum differences between the Scientific-
Humanist and the Technical-Professional modalities
of Secondary education: allocation of the total
number of transmission hours 171
Table 4.7 Teachers who attended courses of the State
programmes of in-service training, 1965-1970 period 179
Table 4.8 Estimate of the promotion rates in the first grade,
Primary education, 1966-1970 182
Table 4.9 Relationship between the use of some teaching
techniques favoured by the CD Reform and
teachers' in-service training (1970) 184
Table 4.10 Ranking of goals for the Educational System
by Primary and Secondary teachers, public and
private, 1980 187
Table 4.11 Teachers' assessment of CD's educational period 188
Table 4.12 Extent to which teachers consider their classroom
practices have changed by period in which they
started teaching (1980) 190
Table 4.13 Teachers' selection of pedagogic principle 191
Table 4.14 Teachers' selection of criteria of evaluation 191
Table 4.15 Teachers' selection of principle of control by
period in which they started teaching 193
Diagram 5.1 Model for the analysis of educational codes 213

Table 5.1 Enrolments Secondary education by modality

(scientific-humanist and technical-professional),
state and private 217

Table 5.2 Comparison of growth of Scientific-Humanist and

Technical-Vocational modalities, Secondary
education, Governmental periods 1958-1964 and
1964-1970 218

Figure 5.1 Estimated survival rates of a cohort of students,

Grades 1 to 12 222

Table 5.3 Average years of schooling for seven occupational

groups, economically active population, 10 years
and more, 1960-1970 224

Diagram 5.2 Summary of classification and framing values of

the changes established by the CD in education 247

Table 6.1 Percentage of the vote obtained by the Communist

Party in Parliamentary elections, 1937-1973 261

Table 6.2 Percentage of the vote obtained by the Socialist

Party in Parliamentary elections, 1937-1973 263

Table 6.3 Percentage of the vote obtained by the Radical

Party in Parliamentary elections, 1937-1973 • 265

Table 6.4 Occupations in the leadership of the Socialist

Party (Central Committee elected in January 1981) 267

Table 6.5 Political orientation of CUT Congress delegates

and votes 269

Table 6.6 Occupations of the members of two representative

'Asambleas' of the Radical Party, Santiago (1960s) 271

Table 7.1 Party distribution of the Councillors of SUTE

(Amalgamated Workers of Education Union), 1971 299

Diagram 7.1 Field relations, discourses on education and the

Popular Unity's Re-contextualizing field 301

Diagram 7.2 Main discursive constituents of consciousness

of the field of education (1971) 307

Table 7.2 Enrolments Secondary education by modality,

Scientific-Humanist and Technical-Professional,
public and private, 1970-1973 343

Table 7.3 Comparison of average annual percentage growth of

the Scientific-Humanist and Technical-Professional
modalities, 7eriods 1964-1970 and 1970-1973 344

i;)1e 7.4 Percenta,re distribution of state expenditure

in Seconda;- y ednc,ation between modalities,
CD and PU govern.nents (1969-1973) 344

Table 7.5 Evolution of enrolments by levels of the ES,

public and private, 1970-1973 346

Table 7.6 Average percentage annual growth by levels of the

ES, Government periods 1964-1970 and 1970-1973 346

Table 7.7 Education of fathers of applicants to the

University, 1971-1972 347

Table 7.8 Rates of schooling, 0-24 years old group,

1970-1973 349

Table 7.9 Number of teachers who attended courses and

seminars of the Centre for Re-training,
Experimentation and Pedagogical Research during
the 1970-1973 years 352

Table 7.10 Estimate of promotion rates in the first grade,

Primary education, 1970-1973 352

Table 7.11 Teachers' party preferences within SUTE

(Amalgamated Workers of Education Union), 1972 354

Diagram 7.3 Underlying principles of the two educational

projects of the parties of the Popular Unity 359

List of Appendices

Appendix 1 The social division of labour and class structure:

basic data 410

Appendix 2 Dependency 415

Appendix 3' Percentage of the vote received by major

Chilean political parties, 1937-1973,
Parliamentary elections 417

Appendix 4 Results of the 1958, 1964 and 1970 Presidential

elections in Chile 418

Appendix 5 Evolution of enrolments, public and private

schooling system, 1958-1970 419


My debt to my tutor, Professor Basil Bernstein, is immense. The fundamental

model and concepts of the thesis come from his seminal work and his intellectual
mark on the study is profound and far reaching. He was furthermore unfailingly
generous with his time, providing sustained help, encouragement and constructive
criticism. Finally, his passionate commitment to, and his stimulating ideas about the
struggles and issues with which the dissertation deals, were a major inspiration.

I am thankful to Dr Charles Posner, without whose help I would not have

come to the Institute of Education of the University of London, and who provided
counsel and support during the initial phase of the project.

I should like to acknowledge the Ford Foundation who financed my studies at

the University of London and a year's field work in Santiago. I am also indebted to
the British Council who awarded me a small but important grant.

I thank Patricio Cariola, director of the Centro de Investigacion y Desarrollo

de la Educacion, CIDE, Santiago, who made it possible for me to stay in the centre
in 1980, and in particular Sebastian Donoso, Jorge Ochoa and Marta Ceballos for
their help and cooperation while I was there.

I owe much to Carlos Vergara and Janet Holland who spent long and tiresome
hours helping me to process the results of a survey to teachers. I am also grateful
to Jorge Chateau for authoritative advice on the questionnaire of that survey and
to the teachers who, in spite of difficult conditions, answered it.

I should also like to acknowledge Mario Leyton, Ivan Nunez and Jorge Tapia,
whose collaboration was crucial for me in learning about the contexts and
practices of creation and implementation of educational policies during the
1964-1973 period.

I thank especially Felicity Edholm, Jeremy MacDonald, Annabel Bosanquet,

Pete Osborne and Ann Zammit for not despairing whilst trying to render my English

I want to express my gratitude to innumerable people who have contributed

to make the project possible: Manuel A. Garreton, Jose J. Brunner, Enzo Faletto,
Raul Urzua, Susan Boyde, Audrey Hanson, Jose Puga, Cristian Cox, Jose Cox, John
Rowlands, Rosa Diaz, Francisco Gazitua, Owen Cunningham and Catherine Kenrick.

I am grateful to Jo Foster for typing the thesis with care and skill.

Finally, the dissertation would not have been completed without the loving
animo and help of Rosita Puga.


Between 1964 and 1970 the Chilean state schooling system was the object of
a major reform directed towards social integration and economic development,
within the context of general social changes led by a Christian Democratic govern-
ment whose ideology combined - evaluations found in Catholic doctrines, science and
the democratic credo. The socialist alliance which acceded to government in 1970
attempted to modify state education according to egalitarian principles present in
the evaluations of marxism as well as in the traditions of the working class move-
ment in Chile. Generalised political conflict impeded the new changes and the
socialist alliance ended with a military-corporate dictatorship violently seizing
power in 1973. Against this historical background, the object of the thesis is to
understand relatinships between mobilised class actors in control of the state's
comprehensive democratizing projects of social change and educational policies.

In the initial section the main concepts of a language for the sociological
analysis of cultural reproduction through schooling are defined and the key
features of the structural position and internal characteristics of state education
in Chile, from the 1880s to the 1960s, are outlined. Parts II and III, the first
dealing with the Christian Democratic government period, and the latter with the
Popular Unity one, follow the same order of exposition in their first two chapters.
First, the class basis, political identity, ideology and relation to education of the
relevant actor are determined. A detailed descriptive account of the measures
affecting three distinguished contexts of an Educational System follows. The
contexts are: (1) External relations of education (education-class; education-
production), (2) Intra educational system relations (between levels and modalities of
the system), and (3) School reproduction relations. An analysis of the deep level
rules (educational codes) discernible in the changes implanted by the CD
government closes Part II. No comparable effort is made with respect to the
Popular Unity in Part III, as its proposed changes were nationally debated but not
implemented. A concluding chapter draws comparisons between the two periods and
relates their educational alternatives with the fundamental dilemmas and
contradictions confronting developing societies.


In the last two decades Chile saw three comprehensive and markedly opposed
attempts at changing its economic base and the principles of its moral integration.
Between 1964 and 1970 a Christian Democrat Government applied a 'third way'
programme of reforms oriented towards both economic development and a more
egalitarian and participatory social and political order. An alliance of the Left led
by marxist political parties succeeded this government in 1970 and attempted to
create the basis of a transition to socialism. In 1973, amid conditions of economic
crisis and generalized social and political conflict, the Chilean military staged a
violent coup against the Popular Unity Government inaugurating a period of
political repression and laisser faire economics which has not yet closed.

All three periods saw major attempts at changing the structures and
practices of institutionalized education. The thesis represents an attempt to
understand the social basis of the pedagogic projects of the Christian Democrat
and the Popular Unity governments. Our aim is to explore how the macro-processes
of social and political mobilization, change, and conflict, defining the 1964-1973
years in Chile, affected the structures, contents and practices of the State
schooling system and so, a given patterning of consciousness.

We first analyse and describe what we shall call the class and field location
and origins of the political parties. Secondly we should give a description of the
pedagogic projects of each party. Our basic concern is to show the relations
between what we shall call the political habitus of the party, the ideology it
generates and its relation to the pedagogic project and the underlying code of
cultural reproduction. In this way we hope to reveal continuities in and change of
codes of cultural reproduction across dif-ferent projects of social change.

The thesis is divided into three parts. Part I opens with a chapter in which
we formulate and discuss the theoretical framework and model we are going to use
to organize and interpret the historical material which follows. The second chapter
provides a historical account of the development of the educational system and an
analysis of the structural relations ,vh1c_Lh positioned education by mid-century, that
is, the relations between the prodzive systexi, the class structure and the state.
Part includes three chapters on the Christian Democcat period. The first chapter
examines its class/field location, its project '7)f social change and the role of

education. The second chapter is devoted to a detailed description of the

educational reform the CD government introduced. In the third chapter we attempt
to derive the underlying grammar of the educational reform, that is, its code of
cultural reproduction. Part III is concerned with the project of radical social
change of the Popular Unity Government. In the first chapter of Part III, as in the
case of the CD, we examine the class/field location of the parties of the
government alliance, the political habitus and the general project of change and
education. In the second chapter we describe in great detail the three major
educational initiatives of the Popular Unity government and their political context.
We analyse these initiatives and show the cleavages, dilemmas and contradictions
within the Popular Unity. Finally we attempt to show how these contradictions,
cleavages and dilemmas are generated by the class/field location of the three main
political parties constituting the Popular Unity alliance.

We have been faced with a difficult problem. The few works which cover our
period and problematic are, from our point of view, inadequate. ' As a consequence
we have had to find and write our own history. The reader will see that we have
had to provide greater detail than would be necessary if we could have referred to
more extensive sources. However, the history we have constructed is itself a
construction of our theory.

In our conclusions we order our findings according to the levels of our

theory. Finally we attempted to derive from our specific study an insight into the
general relations between complexity, commonality and divisiveness.



1 There are four significant works which cover the educational policies of both
the Christian Democrat and the Popular Unity governments: J. Bermudez,
Sistema educational y requerimientos del desarrollo nacional. La educacion
chilena en el periodo 1964-1974, mec., Santiago, 1975; P. Castro, La
educacion en Chile de Frei a Pinochet, Ediciones Sigueme, Salamanca, 1977;
K.B. Fischer, Political ideology and educational reform in Chile, 1964-1976,
Latin American Center, University of California, Los Angeles, 1979; I.
Nunez, Reformas ocurridas en Latinoamerica en los ultimos 50 anos y
orientaciones pedagogicas que las han sustentado. Un analisis comparativo.
Estudio de base: Chile, mimeo, 2 vols., OEA, Programa Regional de
Desarrollo Educativo, Santiago, 1978.

Although we benefitted to a considerable 6Z-tent from data provided by these

sources, all four are particularly inadequate with respect to the Popular
Unity period. The critical contradictions within the governing alliance are
considered only by Castro's work, and here only in a very stereotyped form.


Conceptual and historical setting


Chapter 1

Theory propositions for a sociology of policies of cultural reproduction

"Access to, control over, orientation of

and change in critical symbolic systems
... is governed by power relationships as
these are embodied in the class struct-
ure. It is not only capital, in the strict
economic sense, which is subject to
appropriation, manipulation and exploit-
ation, but also cultural capital in the
form of symbolic systems through which
man can extend and change the bound-
aries of his experience."

(B. Bernstein, Class, Codes and Control,

Vol.1, 2nd edition, Routledge and Kegan
Paul, London, 1974, p.172)


In this opening chapter we shall discuss the concepts which will guide our
analysis. We shall attempt to explain changes in, and conflicts about, the structure
of cultural transmission. We require concepts to integrate •in one analytical pers-
pective the macro-level of the power distribution and relations in society with the
micro-level of the contexts and contents of interaction in schools. We start off by
criticizing those marxist analyses which establish too crudely, or in a reductionist
way, the links between the structures of power in society and those of cultural
reproduction. We shall propose a model of analysis of the external institutional
contexts of education based upon the concepts of field andclass. We shall then
discuss concepts connecting our analysis of modifications in power with the ana-
lysis of variations and changes in education. Finally we shall put forward some
propositions on the essential features of the symbolic resources typically trans-
mitted by schooling, together with a summarizing model.

Education as epiphenomenon: critique

We consider that the period of our analysis of Chile requires a model where
material and symbolic boundaries have their basis in conflict rather than consensus,
where macro and micro levels can be linked in a non-reductionist. way and where
class relations are viewed as the fundamental principles of the social formation.

A discussion of some representative Marxist works on the relations between

education and society will help us to introduce concepts which satisfy the above
mentioned prerequisites. We shall focus this section on those works in which a
'correspondence principle' between society and education is generative of the
analysis and we shall argue for the need to qualify this form of analysis.

S. Bowles' and H. Gintis' political economy of the evolution and present

characteristics of the schooling system in the United States is probably the most
explicit realization, in an empirical study, of the '-correspondence principle'. I To
these authors, the relevant features of schooling are the internal social relations
of the institution and these cannot but reflect the social relations of production.
What school does, according to this perspective, is to produce individuals specific-
ally attuned to a social division of labour defined by hierarchical relations, the
alienation of labour and the fragmentation of work, via a replication of these
features in its own system of internal relations. Through vertical authority, the
lines between teachers and students, the contents and evaluation procedures
replicate the work process and wage forms of industrial capitalism and alienate
students from the process of knowledge acquisition. Finally, through exacerbated
competition among students, it divides and fragments every school category and
practice, and the schooling system inculcates the technical and cognitive skills
required for adequate job performance and produces the personality characteristics
which befit a subservient work force.

"(The) educational system's ability to reproduce the consciousness of

workers lies in a straightforward correspondence principle: for the
past century at least schooling has contributed to the reproduction of
the social relations of production largely through the correspondence
between school and class structure—"2
"The educational system helps integrate youth into the economic
system ... through a structural correspondence between its social
relations and those of production. The structure of social relations in
education not only innures the student to the discipline of the work
place but develops the types of personal demeanour, modes of self-

presentation, self-image and class identification which are the crucial

ingredients of job adequacy."
' 3
A corollary of this positing of the relations of production as wholly deter-
mining the characteristics and results of education is to conceive of any attempt
at reform of the educational system which does not partake in general transform-
ation of the economic structures as futile. The liberal tradition of reform in the
United States, and any effort of transformation within the boundaries of the
educational system, according to the authors, reveal that:

"The educational system, basically, neither adds to nor subtracts from

the degree of inequality and repression originating in the economic
sphere. Rather, it reproduces and legitimates a preexisting pattern in
the process of training and stratifying the work force."4

We want to argue that this kind of analysis is affected throughout by a

double reductionism. Firstly, society, or the idea of the major social context in
which education is situated, is reduced to its relatiOns of production and even
here, to their narrower 'productive' meaning (and not to the more inclusive 'class
relations' meaning). Thus, in a strong sense, what seems to determine education are
the specific requisites of capitalist forms of production. Secondly, schooling is
reduced to its organizational or institutional features - the 'social relations of
schooling' - without any consideration of what the educational system explicitly
attempts to transmit, i.e. its discursive features.

With respect to the discursive dimensions of education the authors' focus is

upon the alienated relationship imposed by capitalism on the practice of knowledge
acquisition. They do not consider the internal features of the symbolic resources
which schools typically transmit, but consider only the social relations of the con-
text of their acquisition. Here, the authors argue for an equivalence between the
production of commodities by workers and the work of knowledge acquisition by
students, on the ground that both are similarly expropriated of their product. This
is plainly nonsensical and shows the extent to which Bowles and Gintis are caught
in the internal logic of their own model. Even if marks, grades and diplomas may
be made to appear as homologous to wages and salaries, what is acquired symbolic-
ally cannot be expropriated as if it were a commodity.5

Against this strong version of the 'correspondence principle' we want to

counter-argue that only a small fraction of the school output, as a transmitt:ing

agency, has a "direct relation to the mode of production in terms of its appro-
priateness of skill and disposition"6 and that what the school explicitly tries to
inculcate ma y be discourses more related to distant historical origins than to the
present-day requisites of capitalist production. We consider that the intellectual
field and political and ideological dynamics are irreducible to the power of one
class over the economic level. The relations between class relations, education and
production are more complex and ambiguous than these authors allow for. Their
analysis prevents them from examining the curriculum of the school as the focus of
multiple alignments within, for example, the dominant groups themselves. Schooling
is not merely, nor always to the same extent, a means of social control in the
hands of those groups which control the economy. Evidence for this is given by, for
example, Bernstein, who has referred to the contradictions which exist in England
between the control on the 'less able' student in education and their typical
control in the factory. This "indicates an independence of education from produc-
tion in the area of regulation".7 In Latin America, the explosive development in
the educational systems since the 1950s has been interpreted as a particularly
visible case of an "against the economy" dynarnic.8 Moreover, a number of the
constitutive features of the school, such as its hierarchical organization, the
disciplinary character of its social relationships, the division and growing specializ-
ation of the contents transmitted, were present well before the advent of capital-
ism and, as Bowles seems to have found in Cuba, they may well survive beyond its

But perhaps the most significant consequence of this blunt reductionism

which we think underlies the 'correspondence principle' in Bowles and Gintis is
their own difficulty in relating the history of the development of education in the
United States with the simple symmetries and correspondences assumed by their
model. Far removed from an image of unidimensional determination of education by
production, they found that the movements for the expansion and reform of the
educational system were inseparable from contexts of generalised social unrest and
political protest and that the reforms were always the result of compromises
between the groups in power and those in subordinated positions, _mediated by
groups of 'liberal and enlightened school reformers'. In one of their conclusions,
they make explicit how the history they uncovered cannot be fitted into their own
postulated model of a simple correspondence:

"We note in closing, however, that no very simple or mechanistic rela-

tionship be tween economic structure and educational development is

likely to fit the available historical evidence.... Political factors have

intervened between economic structures and educational outcomes in
complex and sometimes, apparently, contradictory ways."10

At the basis of Bowles' and Gintis' work is an unqualified use of the 'base-
superstructure' Marxist metaphor. The argument about educational reform and its
foregone failure, when not accomplished in a context of revolutionary social
change, seems to be no more than a particular application of the principle which
sustains the d4-termined nature of the superstructure. It is the unqualified use of
this metaphor which, we think, impeded them from including in their theorization,
the intervention of politics, the presence of contradictions and the school's own
internal dynamics and features of autonomy, in the shaping of education in the
United States. II

. In his introductory but vastly influential paper Ideology and Ideological State
Apparatuses, Aithusser posits the problem of the relationships between society and
education in more comprehensive terms than a direct correspondence principle, but
he fails to go beyond simply stating a new principle of analysis, which renders his
view of the school abstract and ultimately functionalist.12

Building on the already mentioned Marxist metaphor of base and super-

structure, he states the problem of the 'relative autonomy' of the superstructures,
that is, their specific effectivity in the reproduction of the social relations of pro-
duction. This view of reproduction allows Althusser to supersede the descriptive
status of the original metaphor, and establish analytical principles which make it
possible to consider in a non-reductionist way both the processes of 'determination
in the last instance' of the superstructures by the base, and the 'relative auto-
nomy' and reciprocal action of the superstructures on the base. Thus, the central-
ized institutions of the state or the political-legal level of the superstructure
create a set of discourses and their supportive institutions at the ideological level
of the superstructure, which both cooperate to reproduce the social relations of
production. The social conditions for the continued existence of the 'base' are
insured in the 'superstructure'. Within chis general framework, the educational
system is conceived of as one of the 'Ideologic:a! State Apparatuses', i.e. an
apparatus within the state which functions 'massively and predominantly' by
ideology. Violence, instead, is the basic means of functioning of the 'Repressive
State Apparatuses'. As a constituent of the superstructure and, moreover, as an
'ideological' constituent of it, the school and its functioning is relatively autono-

mous and the site of struggles and contradictions between the classes. We are
apparently now far from a simple correspondence moc,4(-21. 13 Nevertheless, stepping
down from the general principles of theory inscribed in the concepts of base, super-
structure and reproduction, to the actual definitions of the school's role in class
societies, we find a system of propositions which on the whole do not realize the
principle of the relative autonomy of education nor give any significant weight to
the• contradictions and. social conflicts within and external to education.

To Althusser, the school, historically replacing the Church, plays an essential

role in the reproduction of the dominant ideology: it produces people endowed with
a consciousness adequate for each position of the class doff) inated hierarchies of
the social division of labour. Its functions are exhausted within the webs of the
dominant ideology. Althusser writes:

II — each mass (of children and youngsters) ejected (by the educational
system) is practically provided with the ideology which suits the role it
has to fulfil in class society.
"It is by an apprenticeship in a variety of know-how wrapped up in the
massive inculcation of the ideology of the ruling class that the relations
of production in a capitalist social formation i.e. the relations of
exploited to exploiters and exploiters to exploited, are largely repro-
duced. The mechanisms ... are naturally covered up and concealed by a
universal reigning ideology of the school ... an ideology which
represents the school as a neutral environment purged of ideology."15

If we ask the Ideological State Apparatus's paper in general, for the actors,
arenas and practices which constitute the social foundations of the stated relative
autonomy of the school, or if we ask about the struggles to which allegedly the
educational system is both stake and site, we find silence. In fact, Althusser does
not provide answers to any of these questions and the only passing reference to
social agents within the school is by way of asking the pardon of those teaches
who try to act against "the ideology, the system and the practices in which they
are trapped", for revealing to them the futility of their endeavours.

Although Althusser does distinguish the Ideological State Apparatuses from

the Repressive State Apparatusc-s, insisting on the relative openness to contra-
diction and struggles 'within' the former, he fails to indicate where to search for
the social basis of those contradictions ar:Li strugsles. The analysis fails to colsid: -.
altcgeth2r the practices of the agents of education and leaves therefore un-
specified the concrete social basis of the educational system's relative autonom

In fact, any struggle over and within the processes of formal education are assent
from this model, which on the whole represents the thorough and unidimensional
reproduction of the dominant ideology.

Baudelot and Establet's analysis of the class nature of schooling in France is

a direct application of the Aithusserian theses on education and, accordingly,
illustrates both the strengths and shortcomings of the principles in question.16
Thus, they provide an account of the class character of the internal divisions of
the French schooling system, where they demonstrate that the appearances of
variety and neutrality hide the existence of two fundamental streams which
transmit different contents through agents, means and practices which greatly
differ and whose addressees correspond to the dominant .and dominated groups of
French society. At the same time, however, their analysis is unsatisfactory in ways
not dissimilar to those we have noted in the work of Althusser. Firstly, they fail to
treat contradictions in the general processes of cultural reproduction through
schooling. They restrict their notion of social confrontation about education to a
within the school conflict between the system's practices and orientations as these •
refer to the working class - as geared to the inculcation of a down-graded version
of the dominant bourgeois ideology. Hence, they focus on evidence of working class
students' resistance founded in their "spontaneous consciousness of exploitation"
and typically expressed in "brutal forms of indiscipline". We would argue instead
that the principal sites of contradiction about cultural reproduction lie outside the
-schooling system itself and involve more what loosely can be called the middle
classes and the different fractions of the dominant groups, than directly the work-
ing or popular classes. It is only at very particular historical junctures that the
working class becomes a direct protagonist within the educational system. Norm-
ally, its influence is indirect and through the complex mediations of other classes.
The simple two-classes model which underlies Baudelot and Establet's effort oblige
them to dismiss these mediations and, to our view, misplace the social basis of the
principal contradictions about cultural reproduction. Concretely they obscure the
specific place in the educational system, and their role in the development of
education, of middle class groups whose position and influence cruciaVy depend
upon, cultural capital ly This results in a further failure to theorize the conditions
for variation and changes in the cultural reproduction of class domination and loads
to a repetition of the uHdirnensional functionalist image of an educational
system which wor'r(s in unison with the needs and directions defined by the ruling
groups in the economy. Finally, Baudelot and Establet do not -refer to the sped-
ficity of institutionalized education, of its means, agents and practices. Here they
do not -go beyond the point of recognizing that school works fundamentally through

The validity of a sociological account of education rests upon how its

internal structures and processes are conceived of and related to its external con-
texts. The works we have considered so far have the merit of pointing towards the
class basis of the fundamental features of cultural reproduction in a class ordered
society. However, they establish very inadequately the distinguishing features of
institutionalized education; they are restrictive in their consideration of its exter-
nal contexts and conceive of the relations between education's internal features
and its external contexts in functionalist terms, establishing a 'short-circuit'
between the social class controlling the context of production, and education. All
three works implicitly dismiss the possibility of an education which is inefficient
from the viewpoint of the dominant groups; a foregone result of a model of
analysis focused upon the structural causation of a 'given' from which the category
practice is absent. More concretely, they provide a model of analysis from which
both the political dimension and school practices are on the whole lacking.

Some decades ago Sartre referred to the "inflexible refusal to differentiate"

of some versions of Marxism which he characterized as formalist. Their aim was
"not to integrate what is different as such, while preserving for it a relative
autonomy, but rather to suppress .it".'8 The conceptual search which follows is an
attempt to find principles of analysis of education which, whilst allowing us to
formalize structures and relationships, permit us also to differentiate and retain
the level of practice and therefore the concrete.

2 Tentative principles of interEetation

Our questions on educational policies presuppose concepts of three distinct

levels: firstly, the level of the pellicles' social basis or their fundamental ground of
generation; secondly, the level of the policies' political imple:nentation and,
thirdly, the level of the policies' meanings for the deeper symbolic principles
inculcated by school. No single theory provides concepts for this elusive totalty.19
The conceptua" discu>sion below follows the paths opened by the works of Basil
3ernstei!-) and Pierre i3ourdieu on the reproduction of culture. Set in different

intellectual arenas and addressing different levels of the question of reproduction,

their sociologies are comple:-nentary and offer the possibility of an integrated
examination of the different levels of our object.20 We shall firstly propose con-
cepts referring to the relationships between an Educational System (ES) and the
critical features of its external contexts. We shall then present the main concepts
of a language for analysing the translation of power and control relations into sym-
bolic (mental) codes. Thirdly, we shall refer to the defining features of the sym-
bolic resources typically implied by school discourses and practices. Finally, we
shall attempt to specify the relevant mediations which relate the 'macro' external
contexts of education with a given Pedagogic Code and provide principles of
analysis for the notion of the 'Relative Autonomy' of education.

2.1 Institutionalized education and its external contexts

The external contexts of institutionalized education we propose to con-

ceptualize in terms of fields and class relations. We shall confine our analysis here
to a very brief description of the fields of our concern. Later in the thesis more
detailed descriptions of these fields in Chile will be given.

A field results from relations of force between agents and/or institutions in

struggle for specific forms of power, e.g. economic, political, cultural. Intrinsic to
the concept of field is the notion of a positional space - e.g., dominant, dominated
- structured in terms of a specific contest and producing specific competences and
interests. A field functions simultaneously as instance of inculcation and market
where competences receive their price.21

"In a field, agents and institutions are in struggle, with different forces
and according to rules constitutive of the space of play, for appropriat-
ing the specific profits which are at stake in the contest. Those who
dominate the field have the means of making it work to their advan-
tage; but they have to reckon with the resistance of the dominated.
A field becomes an apparatus when the dominating have the means to
annul the resistence and the reactions of the dominated.. That is ...
when every movement is from the high to the low and the effects of
domination are such that the struggle and dialectics constitutive of the
field come to an end."
An analysis of the grounds of generatioil of __
what is to be culturally repro-
duced by a given ES and, inure specifically, of given educational policies, should
consider the relationships between and within the Field of Production, the Field of

Symbolic Control and the Field of the State, as well as how class principles are
realised:in these relationships.

The Field of Production is constituted by the agents and agencies whose

practices create and reproduce the means, contexts and possibilities of material
production. Its specificity lies in the predominantly physical nature of its typical
resources and accordingly, the object-oriented character of its typical practices.
Economic capital is the direct and primordial stake in the struggle which consti-
tutes the field and which confronts the two fundamental classes in a capitalist
society, i.e. those who own property and those who own labour-power.

The Field of Symbolic Control is constituted by the agents and agencies

whose specialised practices create and reproduce the means, contexts and
possibilities of cultural production. The specificity of the field rests on the
predominantly symbolic nature of its typical resources and the predominantly
person-focussed characteristics of its practices. Cultural capital is the specific
stake and means of the conflicts constituting the field. Further, a division of
labour of symbolic control may be seen as producing sub-fields,* i.e. a sub-field of
shapers or agencies and agents creators of what count as developmerits within, or
change of, symbolic forms in the arts, sciences and design; a sub-field of diffusive
agencies and agents, like mass and specialised media; a sub-field of repairing
agencies and agents, like the social and medical/psychiatric services; a sub-field of
regulating agencies and agents, like the Church; finally a sub-field of reproduction
agencies and agents, centred upon the Educational System. 23

The Field of the State (or Politics) is constituted by the agencies and agents
who "define, maintain, vary and change what count as legitimate order and the use
of legitimate force". The stake in politics is the appropriation of the monopoly
of legitimate intervention upon any dimension or field in the social order. Accord-
ing to this definition not all the institutions which form part of the state in a
juridical-bureaucratic sense we consider as constituting the 'Field of the State' (or
politics). Thus, the state schooling system, according to cur definition, is one of
the central agencies of the Fi,±ici of Symbolic Control located in the Field of the
Simi (or politics). Similarly, F.t.ate-owned predictive enterprises form part of the

* Sub--finds can also be determined in file Fields of Production and of the State'.

Field of the State located in the Field of Production. We can complement ,our
initial definition stating that the Field of the State (or Politics) is constituted by
the agencies and agents primarily concerned with the mobilization of the resources
of authorisation, that is, "capabilities which generate command over persons".
Accordingly, the Field is generated not only by the relations between the political
institutions of the state but also by the relations between collectivities outside the
state whose prime focus is the conquest of the power to intervene legitimately
upon order as a whole, e.g. the political parties. Both the Field of Symbolic
Control and the Field of the State are person-focussed. However, only in the Field
of the State are the capabilities at stake ultimately founded on the use, actual or
potential, of force.

Between and within Field relationships are, in a class society, dominated by

class principles. Class is the fundamental dominant cultural principle created and
maintained by the Field of Production. That is, we take class to be the principle of
principles of the physical, social and symbolic classifications constitutive of a
social order. Although cultural categories other than class are critical for the
production of concrete types of collectivities - like ethnic, gender or religious
categories - these, today, we consider "speak through class regulated modes".

"Class relations constitute inequalities in the distribution of power

between social groups, which are realized in the creation, organization,
distribution, legitimation, and reproduction of material and symbolic
values arising out of the social division of labour."27

Implicit in our definition is the distinction between relational and intrinsic

properties constitutive of class inequalities. A class is defined both by its position
in a hierarchy and by in trinsic properties, like a certain type of work or material
conditions of existence. The explanatory weight of relational or intrinsic types of
propositions about classes varies "according to the position of the social classes to
which they are applied and according to the extent to which positional (relational)
proper ties are irreducible to properties of the situation (intrinsic ones)".28 Thus,
class principles of articulation of conflicts within the middle class groups are much
more productively explained in terms of positions in a hierarchy or structure, than
in terms of more or less similar conditions of e)tistence. In general, class
'within' the broader positions of the social. dvis:on of labour are better e:plaineJ
in relational terms, whereas in the case of relations 'between', the focus should be
on intrinsic properties (manual/mental labour; stable/unstable employment, etc.). At
the same. time relational and intrinsic properties can only be distinguished for
analytical purposes; relational properties are always based upon intrinsic

Class principles and the fields in which they are realized constitute the
basic terms for the analysis of the macro-institutional positioning of education.
Positioning refers to the definition of a given ES's fundamental limits by its exter-
nal relations. The main premise of our approach at this level is that the 'between'
relations of education (external relations) cannot be validly reduced to the cultural
reproduction needs of the dominant class, i.e. the dominant agents of the Field of
Production. A key source of positioning or setting of an ES's 'bias', we shall argue,
derives from the dominating agents of the Field of Symbolic Control. In general,
the positioning of institutionalized education we consider as a result of relations of
force between, on the one hand, agents and agencies of the Field of production
and, on the other hand, agents and agencies of the Field of Symbolic Control, as
mediated at any given moment in time by the State: From this perspective, differ-
ent historical formations express different relations of force between the dominat-
ing agents of the mentioned fields and therefore produce different limits for the
basic positioning of education. Thus, we shall argue in Chapter 2 that, in the case
of Chile, the Field of Symbolic Control was particularly developed and influential
upon the State, as compared to the Field of Production, and this 'positioned' the
development of the state ES in a fundamental way.

It is important to emphasize that the struggles about education's positioning

express both class and field principles, i.e. inequalities and difference. The ex-
ternal relations of education express both the logic of domination and the differing
principles of, on the one hand, a field constituted around the production and cir-
culation of physical resources and, on the other hand, a field founded upon the
production, circulation and reproduction of symbolic resources. Further, following
Bernstein, we would argue that education is directly constitutive of the conscious-
ness of the group in the Field of Symbolic Control and indirectly constitutive of
the group based in the Field of Production. 29 According to this, in our analysis of
Chile, we should expect to systematic differences in educational policies both
in terms of dorninantidomina.ted crir.,,2cia and P:- oduction/Syrnbolic.: Control criteria.
In our analysis of the key a;encies of generatic.)n of the changes implemented in
education, the oolitical parties (see inf:- a. oil nAicial re-contextualizing field), we
shall attempt to identify both tiwir class roots and Field basis.

2.2 Cultural reproduction as codes reproduction

In order to inquire into the inner structure of cultural reproduction we need

concepts which relate social to mental categories and which therefore make it pos-
sible to link variations and changes in power with the deeper structure of the sym-
bolic orders communicated by schooling. We shall resort here to the theory of
educational codes of B. Bernstein and, specifically, to his concepts of classification
and framing. These will allow us to integrate the 'macro' features of education
with the level of interactional practices and forms of discourses, and to relate
both levels to the shaping of consciousness.

The concept of code originated in the context of a socio-linguistic quest,

and it initially referred to general interpretative procedures (or rules) which were
demonstrated to underlie attributes of different speech forms associated with dis-
tinctive communication patterns developed in families of different social classes.30
From the start the concept linked the social structuring of meanings with linguistic
realizations and this. reference to two levels of the social, articulated by principles
or rules which are, at the same time, 'result' (of social structures) and 'generative'
(of texts) is the conceptual core which ruled the development of the theory. The
latter's advancement, strongly associated with a wealth of empirical research,
produced theoretical concepts for conceiving of the two levels of the social and
their interrelationships, which permitted the expansion of the application of the
concept of codes well beyond its original socio-linguistic context to provide the
fundamental basis of a theory of cultural reproduction.31

At its centre, the language of codes has the notion of meaning and social
identity as relational properties which arise from systems of 'differential posi-
tions.32 These latter presuppose the existence of boundaries which define the dif-
ferent positions, and it is in terms of the variable strength of boundaries that the
theory conceives of both social and men- cal structures, social categories and their
realization in physical and symbolic texts.33 Codes are regulative princi es tacitly
acquired during socialization which are both the result of the boundaries of a
social order, and the grammar which, incorporated into the subject, functions as
generative of a vast range of texts - practices and discourses - which realize both

the categories and the relations between categories, inscribed in the boundaries of
the structure.

"Class codes and their modalities are specific semiotic grammars which
regulate the acquisition, reproduction and legitimation of fundamental
rules of exclusion, inclusion and appropriation by which and through
which subjects are selectively created, positioned and oppositioned."3

The crucial dialectic of codes is between their generation by a given order

of differently positioned conditions of existence (class and field relations) and their
realization in practices and texts (interactional practices, communication), and the
possibility. of variations and change which inhere therein. The concepts of classi-
fication and framing specify the terms of this dialectic.

We shall define Classification and Framing in general and then as they apply
to the different dimensions of schooling and its external relationships (within and
external to the Field of Symbolic Control).

Classification, at its most general, refers to the principle of the insulations

created by the social division of labour (of production and/or reproduction) and
defining of the different categories of practice, material and symbolic, and their
relationships. It is the insulation between categories or agencies, agents, practices
or acts which generate the specificity of each category and its most elementary
basis of meaning. (Social meaning fundamentally arises, in terms of this theory,
from the relation between categories.) As the strength of the insulation varies, so
will vary the relations betWeen categories, their degree of speciality and their
identity. Insulation maintenance and change presuppose power relations. The
principle of classification makes substantive power relations.

"Any attempt to change the classification necessarily involves a change

in the degree of insulation between categories which in itself will
provoke the insulation maintainers (reproducers, repairers, surveyors)
to restore the principle of the classification and themselves as the
dominating agents. In order for this to be accomplished the insulation
maintainers must have power and the conditions to exert it. Thus
insulation presupposes relations of power for its creation,_ reproduction
and legitimation."
Power relations constitute and reproduce a given social order not by
cominL:iiication but through the 'sik.'.11CCSI produced by the de-locations, interva:
breaks, -which establish tl. te most fundamental categories for the structuring of
practice and the perception and representation of practice. That is, the equ:il and

the un:yqual, the high and the low; the spiritual and the material; the rare and the
common; what can be put together and what :-rust be kept apart; ultimately, the
thinkable and the unthinkable. The principle of classification refers to the number
of intervals and relative strengths of the insulations or boundaries which constitute
a socially defined world and therefore to its foundation upon power relations.

Framing refers to the principles regulating the form of the social relations
within the divisions or breaks constituted by the principle of classification. Fram-
ing refers to the regulations on communication processes or controls on what is
made available, how it is made available, where and when it is made available, to
the different categories of agents in any given interactional context. Thus, in
education, framing refers to the principle of the relations of transmission and
acquisition whereas in production it refers to regulations on the act of production
as a communicative consequence of an agent. If the principle of classification
constitutes the different categories of practice and their degree of specificity,
framing corresponds to principles regulating the realization of those categories.
Framing makes substantive the modality of control ope-rating in any interactive
context; it describes variations in the form of control over principles of communic-
ation. The principle of framing refers to the extension and strength of the public
regulations on communication.

"Inherent in the classification is the distribution of power, inherent in

the framing is the principle of control."

"Class structure and relationships constitute and regulate both the dis-
tribution of power and principles of control; that is, constitute and
regulate the relations between categories, the hierarchical forms of
their constitution and regulate the realization of the categories - that
is, the principles of control•"38

Class relations regulate relations between categories (power) and through

them the relations within categories (control).

It may help to clarify the notions of classification and framing to connect

the distinction between power and control with the opposition between Weber's
concept of power as individual relatinsl-iips of force (i.e. the probability indi-
viduals have of re.alizing or not their J, ills against the resistance of others) and
both Durkheim's and Marx's ot*:ctivist, and tiffecing, power
undivided social (:onstrant and class do'nination, respec-tively). The concept of
power, as defined in the theory and therefore classificatico, is

both to Viarx's and Durkheiin's notion of power, i.e. simultaneously, to the idea of
objective social constraints, and the class basis of those constraints. At the same
time, the concept of control, and therefore framing, is close to Weber's
interactional, individual-based concept of power. Luke's more recent discussion of
the concept of power also impinges upon our basic distinction. He criticizes the
views on power which restrict it to phenomena of 'actual behaviour' and the
'paradigm of decision' (in our terms, phenomena of control, framing relations) and
argues for the need to define power not only in terms of actual behavioUr by
individuals taking decisions about explicit issues, but fundamentally as a system
bias, produced by collective forces and social arrangements, and a crucial regulator
of the political agenda or, in more general terms, the limits of the perceived as
possible (in our terms, phenomena of power, classificatory relations).39

Historically defined configurations of class relations determine particular

structurings of power and control which generate distinctive classification and
framing values defining the character of the social-relations and forms of commun-
ication. Forms of communication, in the theory, shape .mental structures, though
not in any final way.

Classificatory features of an educational system define the basic social

meaning of its knowledge transmissions, the characteristics of its internal organiza-
tion and social relations, as well as its links with other agencies within the Field
of Symbolic Control and beyond. Thus, with respect to knowledge or, in general,
discourses, classification refers to the strength of the boundaries or insulations
between the knowledge which the school transmits and non-educational knowledge,
as well as to the strength of the insulations between the different contents trans-
mitted by school. Likewise, basic classificatory features of an ES's organizational
framework and social relations are the insulations between its different levels and
modalities (primary, secondary and tertiary education; humanistic, scientific; voca-
tional, non-vocational, etc.) and between its different agents (transmitters,
acquirers, administrators).

Strong principles of classification can create clear-cut insulations between

school and non-school knowledg', 1-)et., ....cen different subjects of the curriculum,
betv;e:n levels et hierarchy, between specific- pro.ctices, identities and competencc.;
and t.tween the fields of education and production. It does not necessarily follow'
that all these relations and practices are subject to the same principle of strong

classification. Conversely ,veal< principles of classification would reduce the :Isula-

tions between the above categories and therefore the degree of their specialisa-

In the analysis of an Educational System framing uncovers the form of the-

communication context or the set of transmission-acquisition relationships. Varia-
tions in framing correspond to strong or weak regulations on the what, when,
where and how of the transmission-acquisition processes. Thus, framing refers to
the principles which regulate the selection, organization, pacing and criteria of
school transmissions as well as the posture, position and dress of the communicants.
It regulates, in general, the realizations of pedagogy, including its spatial or
locational features. Where framing is strong, for example, there will be a sharp
boundary between what may be and what may not be transmitted; the transmission
will follow explicit sequencing rules and the acquirer will have little control over
the what, how, when and where of his/her learning. Weak framing creates blurred
or 'open' insulations between what is and what is riot communicable in school; it
also means that the transmission process will tend to follow implicit sequencing
rules and that the acquirer will generally be accorded more control over the
selection, organisation and pacing of what she/he learns, and over position, posture
and dress.40

From the perspective of codes, the crux of cultural reproduction lies not in
a structure of roles or in a system of explicitly transmitted contents, but in classi-
fication and framing relations which are tacitly acquired in the course of socializa-
tion. Acquisition then does not accrue from any specific set of practices or
messages but rather from the whole of the processes of exploring the boundaries
constituting the fundamental hierarchies and grids of experience (classification) and
the forms in which these are communicated and lived in the realizations intrinsic
to practice (framing).41 Put differently, the nucleus of cultural reproduction is
defined by what is tacitly incorporated by the individual. What is incorporated are
the classificatory schemes that the subject tacitly acquires in the process of experi-
encing the order of transmissions (the hierarchy of disciplines); the order of social
relations (the hierarchies of social categories); the order of rules which regiment
his/her space, time and practices (hierarchies of sections, sub-divisions and spaces;
herarchies o exercises and [;alictions, Schoo!ir)g, as a crti.cial instaricc2 of
socia!izalion, is about the incorpo!. ation. of the socid!. The transformation of
objective boundaries and classifications of a s -)cial order into incorporat.,:d

arses and classificatory schemes; the transformation of social categories into

mental -.categories. Social reproduction is accomplished to a critical extent by
cultural reproduction.

2.3 Schooling and consciousness: distinguishing features

Ultimately, what is at stake in schooling and, accordingly, in the social and

political confrontations about its definition, is a specific structuration of con-
sciousness, not only in the restricted sense of self-reflection and the symbolic
resources implied by it, but in the wider sense of tacitly acquired schemes of
thought, perception, appreciation and action (i.e. including the structuring of a
specific body hexis).42

As formal education is not the only agency which ensures the reproduction
of the symbolic conditions of existence of a given order through the transmission
of its cognitive and moral maps to each- new generation, we need to clarify the
specialty of its results in order to approach the general meaning of the battles for
its control.

Any social phenoMenon is fundamentally a structure of contextualized mean-

ings, at once - the result of interactional cognitive and evaluative procedures which
organize the vision of the world in a coherent form and a producer of the sense of
limits and their legitimate or illegitimate transgression; the basis of any form of
social order 43 Thus, formal or informal contexts like the family, the peer group at
work or play, the school, a church, a political party or any socially structured
space, create different, particular structures of meanings, constituted around the
sense and rules about what "should be put together" and what "should be kept
apart", what is "right" and what is "wrong", what is "profane" and what is "sacred",
what is "real" and what is "impossible". From this viewpoint primarily contextualiz-
ing, or consciousness forming experience, takes place in everyday informal pro-
cesses of communication, especially within the family and peecgroup. Indeed, the
family is the irlitial and in lany ways cardinal context of internalization by the
individual of society's principles. This deter nines that any formal educational
experience (7041.; always as a second-order conte);tualizing of rfloaDii-igs, it vc,irks
over principles a;id meanirv,s already present in its addresscs. Thus, schooling is a
process of de-contextiializing and re-cont::, xtaalizing, of meanings. The results of its

organizational characteristics, transmission practices and discourses amount to a

particular transformation of meanings informally produced and communicated within
the contexts of the family and peer group relationships.

"Formal education acts selectively, abstracts from and re-focuses

procedures and performances acquired through the process of primary
contextualizing. This process of selection, abstraction and re-focusing
leads to re-contextualizing."44

A fundamental distinguishing feature of cultural transmissions through the

modality "formal education" is that the above form of re-contextualizing is domin-
ated in the theory which orients this study by elaborated codes. That is, grammars
or systems of generative principles which determine a relatively context-
independent orientation to meanings through relatively explicit rules. Communica-
tion processes ruled by elaborated codes tend to abstract aspects of experience
from the local situation in which they occur, emphasizing the trans-situational,
general features of contexts, actors, objects and relationships, and are realised
through explicit languages or forms of communication which typically do not pre-
suppose sharing of initial assumptions.* Alternatively meanings which have a direct
rather than an indirect relation to a local context, or to a specific material base,
which presuppose a range of closely shared assumptions which privilege the group
rather than differentiate the individual from it, give rise to a restricted code and
45 Restricted
communicative competences of an implicit rather than explicit form.
and elaborated codes differ in terms of the social structure which constitutes their
basis, the meanings they realize and the language or model of communication which
materializes their realization. Restricted codes are local with reference to their
originating social contexts, particularistic in their meanings but universal in their
language or speech model, in the sense that their use can arise at any point in the
social structure. Restricted codes are available to every socialized individual. In
present day, class societies, elaborated codes are specialised to a particular social
base although they are potentially available to everyone. The principles of the
meanings they realize are relatively abstract, explicit and de-contextualized, and

* However, as wIth all forms of communication, elaborated codes rest on implicit

assumptions given by their classification and framing values.

distributed according to class positions. Elaborated and restricted codes
rnately-have their origin in Durkheirnian forms of solidarity, organic and mechan-
ical, whereas their distribution, whether by the school or by work, is regula te d by
the distribution of power. Thus codes point to both .Durkheim. and Marx.

Institutional access to and realisation of forms of communication of the

general and explicit discourses of control and innnovation in society are crucially
regulated nowadays by schooling, as they were before by the Church. Schooling,
beyond and above national and temporal differences, beyond and above the variety
of contents which it may transmit, is first and foremost, in present day societies,
regulating forms of consciousness. From the point of view of hegemonic and
counter-hegemonic socio-political processes the school, at a level deeper than any
specific set of functions it is serving, is about the social distribution of different
forms of consciousness.47 Schooling represents the institutional access to discursive
resources which make possible the production of texts whose principles are explicit
and therefore amenable to exploration, critique and consciously produced variation
and change.

From a sociological standpoint, the elaborated codes of formal education

realize different orders of meaning according to their classification and framing
principles. Durkheim wrote some seventy years ago that education was "at the same
time one and manifold" and that,

U ...each society sets up a certain ideal of man, of what he should be,

as much from the intellectual point of view as the physical and moral;
... this ideal is, to a degree, the same for all the citizens; ... beyond a
certain point it becomes differentiated according to the particular
milieux that every society contains in its structure"48

thus laying down the fundamental double meaning structure of school's transmis-
sions. Schooling produces differences as well as unity and integration.. Schooling
messages may he considered as organised around two axes of meaning. On the one
hand, the school seeks to transmit images of conduct, character and manner, a
social type, a moral order. By means of determinate organizational features, prac-
tices and judgements, the schoc;! tran..imits the values and beliefs of the mc)jor
society in which it is included. These vat. es and beliefs, a particular idea of the
,.iccompli;hed man /woman, arc integrd.tive.! of. Society's different groups. On r;-le
other hand, formal education corn:nicAte fac,:ts, information and prc,ced-
ures necessary for the acquisition of the variety of specific skills required by a

complex division of labour. By means of its different organizational and communic-

ative features the school produces specialized differences. To these two basic
dimensions we shall refer as the regulative and instructional discourses of the

Bernstein has developed these distinctions between regulative and instruc-

tional to provide the basis for an approach to the analysis of pedagogic discourse.

Bernstein considers that pedagogic discourse, the principles generating trans-

mission/acquisition procedures and practices, their contexts and organizational
principles, is an embedded discourse; embedding a discourse of competence in a dis-
course of order, relation and identity in such a way that order, relation and iden-
tity penetrate competence, and competence penetrates order. Briefly pedagogic
discourse embeds the what (competence) in the whose (order). Pedagogic discourse
to Bernstein embeds instructional discourse in regulative discourse. RD (Regulative
Discourse) refers to the transmission rules positioning the acquirer in order, rela-
tion and identity. ID (Instructional Discourse) refers to the transmission rules
positioning the acquirer in legitimate pedagogic competences and the relations
between such competences. Thus pedagogic discourse is always about power - the
power to evaluate what is the legitimate orderings of competence. At the heart of
pedagogic discourse is its principle of evaluation. This principle is similar to the
principle of measurement in the natural sciences. Without measurement, that is a
ruler or equivalent, there would be no natural science; without evaluation, the con-
densed core of pedagogic discourse, there would be no ruler of consciousness and
therefore no cultural reproduction. The question is whose ruler of what

Bernstein argues that the pedagogic discourse of the school (Primary,

Secondary, Tertiary, Vocational, etc.) has no discourse of its own but always
recontextualizes other discourses and practices to create its own structure and
practices. In the process of recontextualizing other discourses and practices, he
argues that these suffer an ideological transformation or positioning and that
different recontext, _ializing principles (classification and framing relations) are
imposed by different dominating groups in their attempt to establish their specific
symbolic ruler (evallation). is cecontextualized is not necessarily
what is acquired. And finally, whar. is acquired does not necessarily become a
rule/ruler of consciousness quite in the way it wa; originally designed. Pedagogic

discourse of reproduction is transmitted by a code, according to Bernstein, which

carries both the possibility of positioning and oppositioning according to the rela-
tions between fields and class. We will he exploring these conceptual matters more
concretely and specifically later in the thesis.-

2.4 Pedagogic discourse and recontextualizing

In Bernstein's approach to the analysis of pedagogic discourse the concept of

recontextualizing and the field to which it gives rise (a field containing the legiti-
mate positions of orthodoxy and heterodoxy for the circulation of pedagogic
theories, texts and practices from the field of their origin to the field of reproduc-
tion) plays a crucial role. For Bernstein the dominant principles of a society are
explicit and implicit in the various discourses of the state and these principles
regulate what theories and practices may be appropriated by the recontextualizing
field and its various sub-sets and used both to legitimate and provide the principles
of official pedagogic discourse which regulate the various levels of the educational
system. The concept of recontextualizing provides for Bernstein a measure of the
relative autonomy within the ES. The range, locations and conditions of this
internal relative autonomy, according to Bernstein, depend upon (1) control on the
range of different legitimate positions within the recontextualizing field, (2) the
control on the credentials of the agents who have access to those positions and (3)
the degree of insulation between recontextualizing fields, that is their classifica-
tion. The latter refers to the extent to which recontextualizing fields are special- •
ized to and enjoy control over specific discourses, primary, secondary, tertiary, and
the degree to which these fields are insulated from other fields, e.g. production.
Today Bernstein would argue that increasingly the state attempts to gain control
over the recontextualizing fields and their various sub-fields and interrelations. In
this way the st a te reduces the relative autonomy of the ES over the principles of
its own discourses and of its agents, transmitters/acquirers, contexts, and contents.

In the diagram we give a brief outline of Bernstein's mode

ai a considering Chile then -,ve reed initially to take into account an

Internat. ; mai Field consisting }hut not ,extensively, of the USA, whose
theories, practices and control affect the internal conditions, contexts and prac-
ti:.:(!.; of the Chilean stat. and its various agencies. The State, Production and

Symbolic Control at the next level, through their social relations, inter-regulations
and hierarchical relations, determine the dominating principles of the social forma-
tion and their intrinsic contradictions, cleavages and dilemmas. The dominating
principles in turn create their own specialised Official Recontextualizing Field
(ORF) which provides the theories, practices, specific texts on which the Official
Pedagogic Discourse is based. Both the Fields of Production and Symbolic Control
may be regulators of the dominant positions in the Official Recontextualizing
Field. Depending upon' the range, location and conditions set up by the agencies of
the state depends the extent to which a Pedagogic Recontextualizing Field may be
active either in consent or independent of the Official Recontextualizing Field in
the formation of the Pedagogic Discourse of Reproduction.5I When such a field is
active it itself will be influenced by the Field of Production acting both as sponsor
and marketer of its texts, and by the Field of Symbolic Control (including of
course the ES itself) as the primary source of its theories, practices and texts.

The Pedagogic Discourse of Reproduction wiH generate the range of legiti-

mate specific ID/RDs and distribute them in time and space. The modalities and
relations of the pedagogic codes to which they give rise will be given by the
classification and training values. However, we must also take into account what
Bernstein refers to as the primary contextualizing context to which we have
referred earlier. This is the context where the acquirer is initially contextualized
in his/her own specific culture within the family, peer group and community. We
can see in the diagram that between this context and that of the pedagogic code
of the school is a recontextualizing field. It is this field which regulates who
recontextualizes who: whether the school code positions the family/community or
the extent to which the latter may position the former within its own culture and
practices. We can see that any recontextualizing field is the site for struggle to
control pedagogic discourse.

3 Summary

We started off by discussing a view of institutionalized education which sees

its external contexts and its internal relations in a reductionist way, producing a
"short-circuit" between class jor-ni;y:-0-.ic production and the discourses and prac-
tices of schooling. We then attempted to expand the conceptualization of the
external contexts of educaion, arguing for the r-tc- ed to distinguish three fields of

relationships: Field of Production, Field of Symbolic Control and Field of the

State. -Each field was defined according to its specific type of resources and prac-
tices. In turn, we defined class as the dominant cultural principle, realised in the
relations "between" and "within" fields. We proposed as a minimal analytic pre-
requisite for the defining of the positioning of any given historical ES the examin-
ing of the relations between the dominant agents and agencies of the Field of Pro-
duction and the dominant agents and agencies of the Field of Symbolic Control. In
the following two sections we focussed on the heart of the structure of cultural
reproduction, and introduced the main concepts of our perspective at this level:
codes, classification and framing, and Pedagogic Discourse as the embedding of an
Instructional Discourse in a Regulative Discourse. Finally, we produced a model
which integrates the different levels of the analysis, and put forward the concept
of recontextualizing as the analytical key to the processes of successive transform-
ations which mediate between the Dominant Principles of an order and its
Pedagogic Code.

We shall complete Part I of the thesis with a chapter whose aim is to

provide the basic positioning of the Chilean educational system, i.e. its external
relations, and also its main internal features, before the Reform of 1965. The
accent will be on results of historical developments (opus operatum), and not on

Diagram 1.1

Institutional contexts and pedagogic code: a model

International Field


Production 4 Symbolic control

Dominating Principles

(Official Recontextualizing Fie1dY,

Official Pedagogic Discourse

"1 Pedagogic Recontextualizing Fie

Pedagogic Discourse of Reproduction

Time > Space
Selection Specialized
Transmission withici and between levels
Pedagogic Code


Recontextualizing Field

Primary Contextua.lizing Context


Chapter 1 Notes

1 S. Bowles and H. Gintis, Schooling in Capitalist America, Routledge and

Kegan Paul, London, 1977.

2 Ibid., p.130.

3 ibid., p.131.

Ibid., p.265.

5 H. Entwistle, Antonio Gramsci, Conservative Schooling for Radical Politics,

Routledge and Kegan Paul, London, 1979.

B. Bernstein, Class, Codes and Control, Vol. 3, 2nd edition, Routledge and
Kegan Paul, London, 1977, p.187.

7 Ibid.

8 G. Rama, J.C. Tedesco, Education and development in Latin America (1950-

1975), International Review of Education, Vol. 25, 1979.

9 For features of pre-capitalist educational systems Cf. M. Weber, 'The

"rationalization" of education and training'; 'The Chinese literati', in H.H.
Gerth, C. Wright Mills, From Max Weber, Routledge and Kegan Paul,
London, 1964. Also E. Durkheim, The evolution of educational thought,
Routledge and Kegan Paul, London, 1977. On socialist Cuba's education Cf.
S. Bowles, Cuban education and the revolutionary ideology, in M. Carnoy,
H.M. Levin (eds.), The limits of educational reform, McKay, New York, 1976.

10 S. Bowles and H. Gintis, op. cit., p.179.

11 In an article published in 1980, Bowles and Gintis, though not disowning the
'correspondence principle', criticize it as reductionist and attempt to set up
new principles of analysis. These are clearly away from the structure/-
superstructure language and focus instead on practices and contradiction.
See 'Contradiction and reproduction in educational theory', in L. Barton
(ed.), Schooling, ideology and the curriculum, The Falmer Press, London,

12 L. Althusser, Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses, in Lenin and

Philosophy, New Left Books, London, 1977.

13 In fact, Althusser's article 'Contradiction and Overdetermination' (in For

Marx, Allen Lane The Penguin Press, London, 1969) is fundamentally aimed
against any version of the base/superstructure problem in terms of simple
correspondences. A whole battery of concepts - contradiction, determination,
overde.termination, structure in dominance - and references from Marxism's
classics - especially some of Engels' letters - are mobilised against the view
which believes in the "lonely hour of the last instance".

14 L. Althusser, Ideology and Ideolo=_,,icl State op. cit., p.147.

15 ibid., p.148.

16 C. Baudelot, R. Establet, L'Ecole capitaliste en France, Francois Mas;)ero,

Paris, 1972. The authors explicitly acknowledge their indebtadness to
Althusser's theses on education throughout the text. Known members of
Althusser's circle, like Etienne and Renee Balibar, and Pierre Macherey,
collaborated in the study.

17 See N. Poulantzas, Classes in Contemporary Capitalism, Verso Edition,

London, 1978, for this point. The authors ignore the problem of middle class
groups to the point of collapsing the socio-professional categories of the
French statistics into "upper classes" and "lower classes" (Poulantzas, op.
cit., p.261).

18 J.-P. Sartre, The problem of method, Methuen, London, 1963, p.48.

19 For an authoritative and insightful account of the different paradigms of

contemporary sociology of education see J. Karabel and A.H. Halsey,
Educational Research: A review and an interpretation, in J. Karabel and
A.H. Halsey (eds.), Power and Ideology in Education, Oxford University Press,
New York, 1977.

20 Cf. B. Bernstein, Class, Codes and Control, Vol. 3, Routledge and Kegan
Paul, 2nd edition, London, 1977, pp.14-15, for an account of the relations of.
his work with that of Bourdieu's group.

21 P. Bourdieu, La Distinction, Minuit, Paris, 1979, pp. 70, 97, 103. See also P.
Bourdieu, Le marche des biens symboliques, L'anne Sociologique, Vol. 22,
1971; La production de la croyance: contribution a une economie des biens
symbolique, Actes de la Recherche en sciences sociales, 13 February 1977;
Questions de Sociologie, Minuit, Paris, 1980.

22 P. Bourdieu, Questions de Sociologie, Minuit, Paris, 1980, p.136.

23 The classification of agents-agencies of the Field of Symbolic Control is in

B. Bernstein, Class, Codes and ..., op. cit., p.128. For definitions of the
three major fields we are distinguishing, see B. Bernstein, Codes, modalities
and the process of cultural reproduction: a model, Pedagogic Bulletin, No. 7,
1980, University of Lund.

24 B. Bernstein, Codes, modalities and ..., op. cit., p.35.

25 A. Giddens, Central Problems in Social Theory, Macmillan, London, 2nd
edition, 1982, p.100.

26 B. Bernstein, Codes, modalities and ..., op. cit., p.

27 B. Bernstein, Class, Codes and ..., OD. cit., p.viii.

28 Bourdieu, Condition de class: et position de classe, Archives Euro:-..enes

do Sociologie, Vol. VII, 1966, p.205.

29 B, Bernsttin, Class, Codes :•-nd pp.199-200.

30 Cf. B., Codos and Control, Vol. 1, 2nd revi5;ed edition,

Routledge and Kegan Paul, London, 1974.

31 An account of the development of the concept of codes can be found in

Class, Codes and Control, Vol. 1, op. cit., Postscript, and in Vol. 3, OD. cit.,
the Introduction.

32 M. Douglas' notion of order is based upon the same structuralist principle.

Cf. M. Douglas, Natural Symbols, Barrie and Jenkins, London, 1973. For links
between Bernstein's sociology and the mainstream of French structuralism
Cf. P. Atkinson, Bernstein's structuralism, in Educational Analysis, Vol. 3,
No. 1, The Falmer Press, 1981.

33 The "two-level" grasping of the social which lies at the core of the concept
of code is somehow replicated in the theoretical genesis of the concept,
where Marx and Durkheim are conceptually providing for the level of power
(power constituting boundaries and categories; boundaries constituting the
structural constraints of experience) and G.H. Mead for the interactional and
communicational. Cf. B. Bernstein, Class, Codes and. Control, Vol. 1, op. cit.,
pp. 171, 172.

34 B. Bernstein, Codes, modalities and ..., op. cit., p.36.

35 Ibid., p.12.

36 Ibid. for the idea of power operating through the limits and dislocations
which it objectively establishes.

37 Ibid., pp. 24, 25.

38 B. Bernstein, Class, Codes and Control, Vol. 3, op. cit., pp. 180, 181.

39 S. Lukes, Power., Macmillan, London, 1974.

40 B. Bernstein, Codes, modalities and ..., op. cit., p.25.

41 B. Bernstein, Class, Codes and Control, Vol. 3, op. cit., p.11.

42 "Bodily hexis is political mythology realized, em-bodied, turned into a perm-

anent disposition, a durable manner of standing, speaking, and thereby of
feeling and thinking." P. Bourdieu, Outline of a theory of practice,
Cambridge University Press, 1977, p.93.

43 B. Bernstein, Class, Codes and Control, Vol. 3, op. cit., p.175.

44 Ibid., p.31.

45 B. Bernstein, Class, Codes and Control, Vols. 1 and 3, op. cit. See especially
Vol. 1, Chapters 5 and 8.

46 B. Bernstein, Class, Codes and Control, Vol. 1, op. cit., pp.78-79.

47 Hegemony is distinguished in Gramsci's work from domination. Whereas the

latter implies the use of force, the former is based upon consent. 1-1e.emony
refers to the capility of a class to exercise morn l and intellectual leader-
ship over other cl3ses. As Crariisci defines:

"... the supremacy of a social group manifests itself in two ways,

as a 'domination' and as 'intellectual and moral leadership'. A
social group dominates antagonistic groups which tends to
'liquidate' or to subjugate by armed force; it leads kindred and
allied groups."
(See A. Gramsci, Selection from the Prison Note Books,
Lawrence and Wishart, 1971, p.57)
The concept of hegemony on the one hand brings power into the analysis of
cultural transmission and on the other hand it recuperates the specificity of
struggles in the realms of meaning or sense relations for an analysis of class
power. In relation to schooling we want to argue that our view of it as the
primary institutional site for the reproduction of elaborated codes is present
throughout Gramsci's essays on the school. Gramsci certainly saw schooling
as a means of class hegemony. What we want to emphasize here, however, is
that he saw the culture of the school as basically negating the fragmented,
partial, disorganized and locally based characteristics of common sense and
folklore. Cf. H. Entwistle, Antonio Gramsci, op. cit.

48 E. Durkheim, Education and Sociology, The Free Press, Illinois, 1956, pp. 67
and 70.

49 B. Bernstein, Class, Codes and Control, Vol. 3, op. cit., Chapters 1, 2 and 3.
These chapters' "expressive" order corresponds to our definition of regula-
tive, and the "instrumental" order to our instructional concept.

50 For a detailed discussion, see M. Diaz, A Model of Pedagogic Discourse with

special application to the Colombian Primary level of education, Ph.D.
Thesis, University of London, 1983.

51 The Official Recontextualizing Field is created by the party in government

and its representatives in the Ministry of Education. The key dialectic within
the Field is constituted by the party as bearer of a general project and its
political officials in the educational domain who recontextualize the
ideology's or Programme of Government's general principles so as to obtain
educational principles, i.e. the Official Pedagogic Discourse.

In turn, the Pedagogic Recontextualizing Field is constituted by a variety of

agencies in the Chilean context, both within and outside the state, like
organization of teachers, the centres for training and re-training of teach-
ers, research centres, the bureaucracy (as opposed to the political level) of
the Ministry of Education, the textbook producers or recognized specialists
of each subject and level of the ES, the journals of education, the sections
of the media concerned with education, etc. From our perspective, the key
question about this field in the two Government periods we are to analyse is:
Did it oppose or support the Official Pedagogic Discourse?

Chapter 2

Chilean society and education: landmarks in the process of development of state

education and main features of its external institutional context

, ,
II — dans les societes ou le faible developpement
de d'economie et, plus prf.l.cisement, de
I'industrie, ne confere a la bourgeoisie
industrielle et au proletariat qui un faible poids
fonctionnel, le systeme des relations entre la
petite bourgeoisie qui fournit les cadres
administratifs de l'Etat et l'imrnense
sous-proletariat, forme des chomeurs, des
travaillers intermittents des villes et des
paysars 'depaysarmes', domino et determine
toute la structure la society."

P. , ) ion de
class:, Archives Europeenes de Sociologic, Vol.
VI!, 1966, p. 210.

The modifications to state education between 1964 and 1973 cannot 5e

properly understood without relating them to an historical duree which goes beyond
the limits of that period. In fact, one can identify two inextricable but analytically
distinguishable relevant sequences: one is the development of the education system
as a specialized agency of cultural reproduction and the other one is the institu-
tional features of Chilean society within which education has developed. This
chapter attempts to characterize both sequences in order to provide the context
for an analysis of education during the period1964-1973. In this manner it will be
possible to analyse more satisfactorily. the dialectics of continuity, variation and
change which affected schooling during this period.

Firstly we shall deal with the development of the schooling system's basic
features which constituted the institutional framework affirmed or negated by the
reformers of the sixties and seventies. We shall then look at the critical external
institutional features which developed between the-1920s and 1964 - the beginning
of the Christian Democrat period. Thirdly, we shall attempt to draw the above
mentioned historital sequences together and derive some principles regarding the
relations between education and its external institutional context. In conclusion we
shall advance a schematic characterization of the class and field meanings of the
educational transformations to be analyzed in the following chapters.

1 Development of the state educational system (1840s-1960s)

1.1 The educational inheritance

A decade after the war for national independence against Spain ended, the
Constitution of 1833 guaranteed the right to be educated to all Chileans, stating
"Public education is a Government priority...."
"There she!! he a Superintndency of Public Education which shall be
charged with tile inspecl:ion of national education and of its direction under
the authority of the Govern:Tient."

From its very in,:eption :sic_)n was defined by rZepublican Chile in

certralist terms. The State 1._T)o.: :),,rer the provision of education from the Church

as an immediate corollary of the e;-:ding of the colonial period, at least in

principle. In fact, a State educational system as such was not organized until the
1840s and the Church/State conflict continued to define the development of
education up to the 1880s.

The decade of the 1840s is commonly recognized as the one in which the
foundations were laid of a true educational system with primary, secondary and
tertiary education and the initiation of the standardization of its teachers' training
and transmission procedures. In 1842 two key institutions were founded: the
University of Chile, apex of the system and charged with supervisory functions
over the whole of the education system, and the Normal School of Preceptors, for
the training of primary teachers. The Law of 1842, which gave origin to the
University of Chile, copied the fundamental principles of the Napoleonic law of
1808 and was drafted by Venezuelan born Andres Bello. He was a philologist,
educational theorist and jurist who had lived in England for eighteen years, being
deeply influenced there by Jeremy Bentham and James Mills, both of whom he
knew. Indeed, not only the Law of 1842 but the whole of the innovations which
occurred during the 19th century and beyond mark a clear rejection of, and move
away from Spain and the Church. There was a search for inspiration and guidance
from other European countries - first France, up to the 1880s, and then Germany.
These references helped to establish among the successive reformist groups the
hegemony of a utilitarian and more generally positivist worldview. The 1842 Law
was underwritten by the Napoleonic concept of Estado docente, literally a
"teaching state", one responsible for the educational improvement of all the
citizens. It established that the University of Chile, a lay university, would have
control over the "letters and sciences in Chile".3 The University, however, did not
at that time have the relative autonomy which it would come to enjoy in later
periods: the President of the Republic was empowered to designate and remove the
Rector and all the academics. The University provided the teachers for the
secondary and higher educational levels.

The previously mentioned Normal School was to be the state institution

entitled to train primary school teachers. The official decree founding the Normal
School in January was largely inspired by Sarrniento, an intellectual
politician of the early independence period, who was at the time a refugee in Chile
and Liter president of his native Argentina.

An important feature which characterizes the Chilean education system from

the beginning is the bifurcated pattern of its development, with the secondary
sub-system growing from the university downwards and the primary one growing as
a separate entity, from the bottom. A glimpse at the class implications of the early
development of a two-circuit educational system is given by a description of what
Bello and Sarmiento represented in terms of fundamental orientations.

"Sarmiento struggled to set up universal primary education as a

guarantee of future order and progress. Bello aspired to train an
aristocratic elite (if not of blood, distinguished by its culture) in
order to rule. Bello's concern was to teach in order to govern
masses which were being slowly extricated from their primitive
lack of culture; for Sarmiento the problem was to raise rapidly the
masses to the category of citizens of a republic on the march."4

The Constitution of 1833 guaranteed the right to be educated of every

citizen but it did not concern itself with the material conditions for enjoying such
right. The quantitative extension of the system does not begin before the 1840s. By
1853 the total enrolment of the public and private systems together was twenty-
three thousand students, or one in every ten of children eligible for education.

In 1860 a law declared primary education free and decreed the setting up of
"a school for girls and another for boys in every department with more than 2,000
inhabitants".6 By-laws of 1863 completed the dispositions of the 1860 law, defining
the functions of general and provincial inspectors, salaries of teachers and rules
about their promotion, thus inaugurating bureaucratic principles of organization of
teachers' work and their careers.

The beginning of the 1870s saw a final and short-lived attempt by the
Church to undo the Estado Docente principles which underlay the subjection of
private education (basically Catholic education) to academic supervision by the
State, through the University of Chile. This had exclusive power to grant officialy
valid educational certificates and control the examination procEedures rr the
secondary schools. For a short period of time, 1872-1875, a Conservative govern-
ment_ decreed -L- he "freedom of teaching" and allowed any private school to grant
officially valid certificates of exa;,-iin.ation, without State teachers marling the
exams. In 1875, the Liberals in parliament obtained the derogation of the
Conservative decrees.

"Executive and Parliament agreed on studying a new law which,

without hampering the development of private education, ensured
the state's jurisdiction."7

The educational developments of the last quarter of the 19th century are
strongly related to a host of economical, political and international circumstances.
The military defeat of Peru and Bolivia in the "War of the Pacific" (1879-1883)
allowed Chile to take possession of nitrate mines which greatly expanded the
revenues of the State and which helped to diversify the economy generating
services, industry and urban growth.8 These developments, which had long lasting
consequences for both the economy and Chile's class structure, occurred during a
decade of Liberal political hegemony, from 1881 to 1891. Successive Liberal
administrations strongly advocated educational expansion and reform and this
brought important modifications to the education system.

Firstly, the 1890-1900 period is defined by the enormous expansion of state

education, whose primary level enrolment leaped from forty-five thousand in 1875
to a fraction less than one hundred and fifteen thousand in 1900. The primary level
of the private sector expanded from 23,630 in 1875 to 42,920 in 1900, thus almost
doubling in absolute terms but diminishing in relation to the state sector.9

This two-fold increase in the size of the system was accompanied both by a
change in foreign influence from French to German schooling ideas, and a remark-
ably thorough process of professionalization of the teaching corps, both at the
primary and secondary levels. The professionalization process is inextricable from
an almost total subjection of the State education system to foreign influences and
practice manifested in not only the importation of doctrines but also of teacher
trainers and teachers from Prussian Germany.

"Until (1880), French influence dominated without counter-balance. The

Parisian thinking seduced us to such an extent that many of our pro-
grammes and texts were adopted from France. From there had come
books, epitomes, professors and prestigious technicians for the artistic,
industrial and university schools. The Sedan defeat CO reverberates in a
strange form in this country which is going through a period in which
prosperity stimulates the wish for a rapid cultural growth. The army
and public education turn to Germany•'
* It refers to the French defeat against the Prussian Army in J 571.

In 1883 legislation allowed Cle funding of new primary schools, the sending
of teachers to study overseas and the contracting of foreign teachers for the
Normal Schools. In 1885 the first group of European teachers arrived: twenty-two
German teachers who were assigned immediately to the Normal Schools of Santiago,
Valparaiso and Concepcion. Only one of them spoke Spanish.11 In 1889 the Instituto
Pedagogico was founded, a college for training liceo teachers for the whole
Republic. Six German teachers provided all subjects, except national history and
Spanish, for the first generations of graduates. As the expanded system required
more teachers than those the Instituto was able to train, twenty-three more
German teachers were commissioned to teach in newly founded liceos.12 Simul-
taneously, Chilean primary and secondary teachers were sent to study in
Germany.13 The Germans brought with them the pedagogical notions of J.F.
Herbart, who thought that the mind was essentially an empty space at birth which
acquired images or representations through the learning experience over time.

"Herbart's model curriculum was based on the premise that certain

subject areas relate to each other in the formation of representations
and thus should be taught concurrently, and also at a steady pace, in
order to get the maximum utility from the total teaching effort. This
was the rationale behind the concentric education plan...."14

The concentric plan of studies was introduced in 1885 in the Normal Schools,
in the National Institute (the leading liceo of the system) in 1889 and in the rest of
the secondary system after 1891. It repeated the same subjects each year, gradu-
ally building on and adding to knowledge acquired in the previous years. This was
in stark contrast to the previous principle of curriculum organization of transmit-
ting different subjects successively.I5

Herbart maintained that "each educator ought to be equipped with a system

of clear concepts of morality", in which the highest objectives would•be "character
formation, bravery, perseverance, virility".16

study ofthe period adds:

it German cons ■
sted Ii the precise institutionalization of
grocers.... In .fact, it can be :::atirmed that the abiding and fundaglentad
teaching of German instructi,Dn was not intellectual but habits
of order, punctility and ob,..-dience."

With the authority of a life dedicated to the reform of the liceo, the
Chilean educator Amanda Labarca passed the following judgement on the social
control features of the practices emphasized by the German teachers:

"The teachers came from a monarchical, highly hierarchical regime.

Their school discipline reflected, naturally, that of the empire.... In the
Normal Schools and later in the liceos, they tended to emphasize the
distance between the popular and the aristocratic, to set up between
headmaster, teacher and students barriers of a rigid protocol,
completely inappropriate to our temperament and damaging to the
development of an egalitarian sentiment in society, which was
struggling to abandon the caste spirit inherited from the colony."18

It would be misleading though to see the results of the German teachers as

tantamount to a total reshaping of the education system. In fact, the pre-1880s
strong French influence remained in the very important area of administration and
general organization of the system, which continued to follow the centralist guide-
lines of the original Napoleonic model. Enchantment with things French, a dominant
feature of the culture of the time, runs parallel here with the practical need felt
by the liberal mentors of the educational expansion and reforms of the end of the
19th century to control completely educational transmissions, lest Catholic
conservatism should influence them.

"In order to realize their hopes for economic and cultural progress
through scientific education, Barros Arana, Lagarrigue and Letelier felt
that liberals must constantly be vigilant to prevent a resurgence of
clerical influence in educational matters. The best way to accomplish
this, they believed, was to insist on a rigid uniformity in all aspects of
public instruction (curriculum plans, text selection, examinations, etc.)
coupled with rigid supervision, an approach that would also help to
guarantee high quality teaching. This was the prevailing practice in the
French system of public education. The Chileans closely followed Gallic
practices in the administration and organization of their educational
institutions. The new Institut° Pedagogico, which opened in 1889,
employed German educators in many key positions, but its plan of.
studies closely followed that of the Ecole Normal Superior."19

By the turn of the century Chile had a centralist and bureaucratically

organized educational system, with an increasingly professionalized teaching corps
in both its primary and secondary levels. Formally the two levels transmitt,.:!d a
common curriculum throughout the country, a dimension of unity rooted in the
centralise. nature of the systerm beyo:id the letter of laws and decrees,
the system was differentiated alon,,.; the lines of class divisions manifested in
society at large. There was an educational circuit for the popular classes which

was public and comprised the primary schools, some special post-primary schools
(the beginnings of a technical education sub-system) and the Normal Schools which
trained the teachers for the elementary level.

The educational circuit of the ruling class was private and comprised primary
and secondary schools run by religious orders - Jesuits, as well as various German
and French religious orders - and also a nascent Catholic University. In contrasts
the circuit of middle class sectors was public and lay in character though clearly
distinguished from that of the popular classes. It comprised "preparatory schools"
attached to the liceos; the liceos, which were in fact strongly oriented towards the
university; and the University of Chile which directly controlled the whole of the
elite public circuit as well as the elite private circuit through the evaluation
process and the issuing of valid certificates.

Although there is no precise data on the rural/urban educational divide at

the time, it seems more than justified to assume an extreme educational depriva-
tion of the peasantry in a rurally based oligarchic order, because even in the 1960s
the rural groups were clearly disadvantaged in comparison with the educational
provision in the cities.

The State/Church conflict over education ended in favour of the former, By

1900, the State statutorily controlled the whole system and state education
constituted 72.7 per cent of the schoolirig system's total enrolment.21 Apart from
religion, the curriculum taught in Church schools tended to follow the guidelines
and content of the state schools. The cultural transmission of the primary system
as a whole centred on producing basic literacy, numeracy and discipline. The
liceos' curriculum was oriented more to produce a version of the "cultivated man"
ideal of European education than "specialists" or "production-oriented" types.
Quantitatively, the last decade and a half of the 19th century showed a 62 per
cent rise in the enrolments of the schooling system (from 97,136 in 1885 to 157,330
in 1900 (see Table 2.1), inaugurating a pattern of growth which_was not interrupted
until the world economic crisis of 1929. Despite its substantially increased
cap.-.1city, the system catered for only 33.5 per cent of the schooling-age group in
1907. Two-thirds of the popula`:ion was still iilit(cat, (compare Tal:les 2.2 ?,3).

We can only hint here at the principles underlying the politics and
ideological conflicts in which education was a key object, as well as an arena,
throughout the second half of the 19th century. Indeed, the development of educa-
tion during that period is inseparable from the conflict between Liberals and
Conservatives. At one level, the political and doctrinal battles of the period are
related to the material divide between a land-based oligarchy (essentially
represented by the Conservative Party) and a "bourgeoisie" based on mining and
industrial activities (majoritarily represented by the Liberal Party). At another
level, we would argue that the Liberal/Conservative divide also expressed an
opposition between those groups directly controlling production and its contexts
and those groups not directly connected with material production: public servants,
professionals and intellectuals. The liberalism which was the social and ideological
force behind the development of state education during the whole of the last third
of the 19th century is the liberalism of "doctores y licensiados" of the cities.23

The development of the state educational system was very much the result
of the efforts of the fractions of the ruling class rich in cultural capital and ideo-
logically representing secularism, "equality" and directed reformism more than the
"laissez faire" side of the liberal Weltsanchauung.24 Amanda Labarca has referred
to this group as "a cultivated minority as alien to the governing class as to the
people".25 For its part, Conservatism not only mortally fought against state control
over the Catholic schools but also regarded with considerable apprehension the
education of the working classes beyond a very clearly defined limit.

An almost "ideal-typical" expression of the opposite attitudes towards

education of the two parties and what they represent is manifest in the follOwing
texts. President J.M. Balrnaceda, the Liberal leader whose educational policies laid
the basis for the education system which, especially in the secondary level,
survived until the CD's reform, referred to education as the 'cardinal point' of the
Liberal project.

"Instruction is the law of the spirit and morality applied with

discernment to the actions of men. It constitutes the :surest foundation
of individual rights and the most s-.7J- ious guarantee of general
prty•perity. intellecwal influence, the advances of the century,
evuerience, and political foresight, all single out the field of public
education as the cardinal point at which Chilean liberahsni will have to

_prove its intelligence, the superiority of its doctrine and its positive
attachment to the interests of the people ."7626
What for liberalism was the crucible of progress was, for Catholic
conservatism, the seed of potential social dissolution. Canon Joaquin Larrain G.
expressed without euphemism the views of the ruling fraction of the dominant class
on education and its meanings for a hierarchical society:

"(I would not make the humanities) accessible to the lower classes of
society. What does the country gain if the children of peasants and
artisans were to abandon the condition which they were put in by
Providence; by converting them, more frequently than not, into idlers
with thoughts above their station, ashamed of their parents, who abhor
honest labouring and who, put in a false position, end up hating
society? It is a good, excellent thing, the instruction of the people; but
each thing ought to be in its place. Chile not only is in need of
engineers and litterateurs, but also, and much more, of plenty and
robust labour for exploiting its infant agriculture and industry. For the
vast majority of the inhabitants, solid primary instruction is enough, in
which Religion, which instructs most, provides a moral basis, and makes
people happy, ought to be the principal element."2

The consolidation of the mining enclave (see Section 2) had profound

consequences for the Chilean class structure and the turn of the century marks the
end of what may be called oligarchic politics. The emergence of a combative and
politically able mining proletariat in the North, and of significant middle-class
groups in the principal cities of the centre, linked to services reflecting an
expanded and diversified economy, led to a gradual weakening of some of the
boundaries of the oligarchic order.28 The basic conflict portrayed in the above
quotes changes radically with respect to its social basis. What Liberals proposed
for the development of education in the 1880s, within the boundaries of the
dominant class, began to take on new meanings as the banners of "education for
all" and more equality with respect to culture were unfurled by new social sectors
integrated into the polity. These were the middle class and, after the 1920s, some
politically organized sectors of the urban working class.

Within the educational field, the broad outlines of change during the first
three decades of the prese:lt .::entury•are defined by the continued expansion of the
syst,, fis capacity and variot.:5 att:i.nk,), t reform. These latter can he broadly
linked to the social and political assertion of new urban-based, white--collar and
,anti-oligar[Thc middlo :7.e rr.t(-.)rs, referred to Ll),:ive, which were able to use the

mobilization of limited popular groups and pressed for, and obtained, a share in the
control of the state with the ruling class. Educationally., the proposed changes
were linked to the mobilization, intellectual and political, of the first primary
teachers' unions and a reformist fraction of the "educational establishment" against
the predominant Germanic orientation of the system. Changes were also urged to
make up for the system's abysmal quantitative insufficiency and to alter its
inegalitarian nature and, finally, to remedy. the general irrelevance of its
transmissions with what they perceived as the economic and social needs of the

After more than a decade of debate and controversy, a law was passed in
1920 which reflected the presence of new social forces and embodied the principles
which were broadly to dominate the development of education up to 1973: educa-
tion for all and democratization of a system divided along class lines. The Law of
Compulsory Primary Instruction determined that all children should go to school up
to the age of thirteen, or for the first four grades of primary education, and
decreed the end of the preparatory courses of the liceos, the primary level of
the elite circuit, as a means of ensuring the "continuity" of the system.29 The
successive reforms attempted before 1964, as well as the democratization achieve-
ments of the 1964-1973 period, were in fact little more than an updating of the
basic directions set by the 1920 Law of Instruction. They constitute an unmistak-
able indication of the permanence of class-based principles underlying the different
basic features of education throughout the period 1920-1973.

The end of the decade of the 1920s saw the first attempt, in this century, at
a comprehensive reform of the education system. The primary teachers' union, the
Asociacion General de Profesores Prima rios, put forward a radical plan of reform,
which, for less than a year, in the midst of unstable political circumstances, had
the support of a "de facto" military government. The reform proposals came to he
known as the "Reform of 1928" and were officially sanctioned in a government
decree which modified the a.drninist:ation of the system, giving it a unity which it
had lacked since its origin. It also defined as official orientations of the primary
level, the child and activity c-..-;:tred principles of an "active pedagogy", based
u!tirmately Rouss:.s.aiAnian assunpzions but directl:;.! inspired by the works of
Dewy, FerricN- e aod of lei %lost importdn -ily, the decree gave teachers the
posy biii t Jr of trying new fr-firm of instruction without previous approval by minis-

terial authorities. The reformists also attempted to form "school communities", with
the participation of parents, teachers and students, and emphasized the importance
of technical education courses within the liceos with regard to producing transmis-
sions of more relevance to the economic needs of the country.

The reformers of 1928 were not able to see their postulates implemented, as
the government not only changed its support to more moderate fractions within the
teaching establishment, but actually purged the most active members of the
Asociacion General de Profesores Primarios from the system. Yet some of their
orienting motifs gradually percolated through the system in the following decades,
partially modifying the education system on several counts. The primary level
gradually substituted child-centred pedagogical principles for the Germanic,
Herbatian ones, which had predominated since the end of the 19th century.
Administratively, the Ministry of Education gained control over the whole of the
schooling system, institutionally severing the links which up to 1929 had subordin- •
ated secondary education to the University of Chile. Finally, a less tangible but
important result of the circumstances of the 1920s was the institutionalization, in
the educational field, of the concern about the relationship between education and
the economic progress of the country. This question was collectively addressed in
1912 by a group of intellectuals critical of education's weak links with what they
perceived as the much needed industrialization of the country. The question has
been addressed by every subsequent reformist discourse or practical initiative. 31

A look at the arena of conflict within the educational field makes it possible
to visualize how far the whole of the society had moved away from the compar-
atively serene waters of the oligarchic order. In the new arenas, the dominated
now had representation and a voice in cultural matters.

The initial third of the present century bore witness to the confrontation
within education of two conceptions of reform. A radical one was supported by the
union of primary teachers and proposed accelerated changes of both the institu-
tional and pedagogical frameworks of the sysym. It conceived this process as in-
separable from the political activity of working class and popular organize tioils. A
moderate conception, supported by the u n iversity teachers and the majority of The
teachers of the liceos, institutional from pedagogical change, and
conceived the latter as a technical process, :-,;. enerated and controlled by the
Ministry' of Education and therefore cp,-:-!.r. cated from extra-educational pressures or

actions. The "reform of 192S" was an expression of the first conception; its par tial
reversion was accomplished by what has been labelled as "the Educational Estab-
lishment".32 Beyond this opposition, what was heralded by the limits of the arena
of conflict was the end of an oligarchic definition of schooling. The educational
field was now constituted by social forces and agents which were divided with res-
pect to the means for democratization of education, but not on the issue of demo-
cratization itself. Furthermore, the field was characterised by a political context
where conflicts of "notables" within the dominant groups had been substituted by
political organizations, and definition of issues where the middle class and sectors
of the popular class now had their own weight. Dario Salas, a leader of the
moderate group in the educational field, wrote on the aims of education in 1917:

"Social efficiency: that is the true ultimate end of education, con-

sidered as conscious collective enterprise.... Two are the fundamental
implications of this concept of social efficiency as aim and norm of the
educational activities of a republican country. It demands ... that the
opportunity for receiving instruction be the same for all and that edu-
cation prepare each one for proper participation in democratic life."33

As a general consequence of the conjuncture at the end of the 1920s the

institutional and transmission characteristics of the educational system were less
coherently geared to the ordered cultural reproduction of a hierarchical order, and
were instead fraught with the tensions and ambiguities inherent to a dialectic
between features of a still highly selective and inegalitarian institution and the
democratic ethos of new agents, partially in control of the state and wholly
controlling the education system.34

The general democratizing nature, in the elementary sense of a better

distribution of cultural capital, of the development of the education system during
the 1900-1929 period is best illustrated by the quantitative expansion of the system
and its immediate effects on the rate of illiteracy. The total enrolment of the
schooling system was doubled in the first decade of the century. In the subsequent
two decades it rose 26.6 and 46.5 per cent respectively (see Table 2.1). 60.6 por
cent of the 7-15 years old group was at school by 1930 (see Table 2.2), and
between 1920 and 1930 the rate of illiteracy dropped from 49.7 per cent to 25.6
per cent (see Table 2.3)

The world-vide Great Depre:;,ion 192) and early thirties affected the
Chilean economy most dranatically, bo1ng e>:tensively dependent on the inter-
national demand for its minefal products. The drastic. drop in the economic cap,

cities of the state altered, almost immediately, the expansionary pattern of

development.of the education syste. n.. This ,vas not only interrupted but partially
reverse-T. The total enrolment of the system dropped 9.4 per cent between 1928
and 1930 and it was not for a decade that the level of 1928 was recuperated in
absolute terms. The schooling rate of 1928 was not regained until 1952. The
reduction in the provision of education by the state affected the rate of illiter-
acy, which, breaking an uninterrupted pattern of decrease established in the 1870s,
rose between 1930 and 1940 from 25.6 to 27.3 per cent (see Tables 2.1, 2.2 and

The features of the reduction of educational opportunities thus described

were accompanied by stability in the key constituents of the system. The "1930 -
end of 1950s" period broadly corresponded to the consolidation of the results of
the expansionary and democratizing thrusts which accompanied the integration of
middle class sectors and sections of the popular class into the polity. A "certain
social and cultural establishment of urban and middle class character" was
consolidated.36 Educationally, it has been suggested, this establishment meant:

"... integration to the school culture of the urban working class masses;
provision of massive education only up to the primary level; strong
educational distinction ... between education for manual and for intel-
lectual work; restricted expansion of intermediate education in order to
give access to the new middle sectors born out of the process of
industrialization, the expansion of the services and the growing
(economic) intervention of the state."
Against the sets of conditions referred to above, some reforms were
attempted and the international reference points of the system, which were
weakened and varied during the inter-war decades were, once again, clearly
dominated by a western industrial country. The efforts at reform included the
academic track of the secondary system - the liceos - left untouched by the
turmoils of the 1920s. In fact in 1946 they were still very much what the German
teachers had helped to define so precisely at the end of the 19th century. The
reforms were also intended to deal with the age-old problem of the internal
differences in the system. These ..,vere partially addressed during the 1950s by the
attempt to establish an institutional instance of unified technical control over the
various modalities and levels of the education Jy5tem.

The reforms were not unconnected with the post-Second Weeld War political
and cultural predominance of the lTh;A. In 1945 the Chilean government

agreement with a North American governmental agency, the Interamerican Founda-

tion of__ Education, and a commission was set up with the task of proposing "a
gradual plan for renewal of secondary education". In the following years a reform
was applied in four liceos in the capital and seven provincial liceos (reduced after
a year to three provincial liceos) aimed at putting into practice new principles of
curriculum organization (the different subjects would be integrated into "problem
areas") and new "active" teaching methods. These latter would give primary import-
ance to individual differences among pupils and the development of habits of self-
determination and self-education in the context of more democratic relationships
between and within the teacher and student categories. The results achieved in the
experimental liceos were not implemented in the rest of the system despite efforts
in that direction by the Comision de Renovacion (Renewal Commission) and groups
of reform-minded secondary teachers. Thus, even a restricted attempt by a sym-
pathetic minister in 1953 (later to be Minister of Education in the Christian
Democrat Government) at institutionalizing throughout the liceos the most feasible
innovations already tried in the experimental ones'(Decree 3.252 of May 1953)
failed to be implemented, running up against opposition from traditionalists within
the ruling body for academic secondary education within the Ministry, the
"Direction de Education Secundaria".38 The other reform initiative of the period
corresponds to the setting up of a new "Superintendency of Education" in 1953
which unsuccessfully struggled to establish an administratively unified control over
the whole of the system, implanting a reformed structure on the system's two
levels. It also attempted to renew the programmes of study. Despite having no
immediate results, the Superintendency was to gain a strategic role in the reforms
of the following decades as it concentrated the best human resources of the system
and gradually began to provide for the increased planning needs of the sector.
Indeed, crucial features of the Christian Democratic Government's educational
reform of 1965 are re-contextualized propositions emanating from the Superintend-
ency of. Education in 1954. The failed or incomplete attempts of reform of the
1950s are not dissimilar in content from the innovations implemented during the
second half of the 1960s. This example of continuity is only a specific case from a
more general pattern which we attempt to specify below.

Table 2.1

Schooling system enrolments, 1865-1958

Year Total enrolment (state and private, Percentual

(primary and secondary levels) growth

1865 41,157

1885 97,136 136.0

1900 157,330 61.9

1910 317,040 101.5

1920 401,261 26.6

1928 588,036 46.5

1930 532,665 - 9.4

1940 600,540 , 12.7

1950 772,146 28.6

1958 1,316,874 70.5


1865-1930 period: M. Hamuy, Educacion elemental, analfabetismo y desarrollo

economica, Ed. Universitaria, Santiago, 1960, Table 3

1940-1950 period: F. Campos, Desarrollo educacional 1810-1960, Ed. Andres Bello,

Santiago, 1960, Tables 1 (p.47), 4, 1 (p.95), pp.92, 94
1958: E. Schiefeibein, Diagnostico del sistema educacional chileno en 1964, Depto.
Economia, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, 1974, Table 36

Table 2.2

Schooling rates for the 7-15 year-old age group, 1865-1958

Year Percentage of schooling age group at school

1865 10.9
1885 20.4
1895 27.7
1907 33.5
1920 46.2
1930 60.6
1940 57.5
1952 61.5
1958* 78.7

1865-1952: M. Hamuy, Educacion elemental, analfabetismo y desarrollo economico,
Edit. Universitaria, Santiago, Table 1.

' de matricula y poblacion

1958: R. Echeverria, R. Hevia, G. Lopez, Estadisticas
1958-1970, PIEE, Santiago, 1981, Table V
* For the year 1958 the basis of the percentage is the 6-14 year-old age group.

Table 2.3

Illiteracy, 1865-1960

National Census Percentage of illiteracy

1865 83.0
1875 77.1
1885 71.1
1895 68.2
1907 60.0
1920 t9.7
1930 25.6
1940 27.3
1952 19.8
1960 16.z.


M. Hamuy, Educacion elemental, ,arrAfabetismo V desarrollo economico, Edit.

Uni'ersi traria, Santiago, Te L!e:y 6

E. Schiefelbein, sisiema educacional chileno en 1964, De to.

Fcennmia, iinivc-r..,iclar1 1974, Table 4-.A.

1.2 Patterns of change, 1920s-1960s

All the initiatives aimed at transforming education during the first two-
thirds of the century originated within the limits of the educational system and
none of them produced any more than gradual and piecemeal modifications. What
emerges as paramount is the continuity of the key characteristics of the system
constituted in the 1920s. After the access to political power of the middle sectors,
there was never conjunction of agents of change within the educational system
with social forces outside it. Change processes seem to have followed a pattern in
which innovation was always clearly bounded within the system, without ever the
reformist groups having been able to intervene upon the principles of the system.
The partial and piecemeal character of the achieved changes is visible to even a
cursory review of the paths followed by each major reform attempt, and the type
of obstacles or reversions which they confronted.40 Change processes were anim-
ated within the system by small groups of teachers and administrators whose
orientations and demands gave origin to what can be labelled the Discourse of
Reform (DR). Differences may be discerned among its components, and also, less
clearly, between the social basis of the groups who generated it.41 However, the
most important of DR's motifs and concrete proposals of change recur noticeably
throughout the four or so decades preceding the Christian Democratic period. At
one level the principles of the DR underline, firstly, the need for expanding the
provision of education and lowering the substantial dropout and repeater rates
particularly affecting the children of the popular class. Secondly, they emphasize
the importance of integrating the different and at times highly autonomous and
overlapping sub-systems composing the educational system. This was argued not
only on instrumental grounds of efficiency of the service, but, principally, on egal-
itarian grounds, as segmentation of the system was viewed as repeating the division
of the class hierarchies in society at large. Thirdly, from the first critical judge-
ment proferred against the German disciplinarian norms during the second decade
of the century and onwards up to our own period, there is a discursive thread
arguing the need for democratizing social relations within the schools. At another
level, in terms of orientations and organization of the transmission process, the
DR's principles converge to favour child and activity centred curriculum and
pedagogical criteria for primary education. At the secondary level the principles of
t. he stand for the integration of >iih ,.:cts into broad2r- transmissicn units, and
thi±• redefinition of contents according releva:Ice criteria defined by the
country's development and modernization needs, on the one hand , and the students'

interests on the other hand. There is also an anti-centralist tinme in the Discourse
of Reform which is not, by any means, anti-state, but which underlines instead the
need for a more direct and reciprocal linking of the schools and the local
communities. It was argued that the educational system, which, as stated
throughout this chapter, was uniform in its transmissions across the country and
tightly controlled by a central administration, should allow its transmissions to vary
according to the needs of regional or local contexts.

In as centralized a system as the Chilean, it is a truism to say that global

educational change may only be brought about by social forces beyond the educa-
tional system itself and which have control of the state. What the pattern of the
partial, restricted and ultimately ineffectual changes show is the permanence of a
given field of forces in society at large, as well as within the educational system,
which contributed to produce stasis in the key constitutive features of state
education. We turn now to consider those external forces.

In order to grasp the main features of the external contexts of education we

have chosen to characterize minimally the fundamental structures that constituted
Chilean society after the 1920s. That characterization should give us the broader
limits of the culture within which education was positioned, and also the deeper
basis of the pedagogic projects we want to investigate. We shall refer first to
some basic relations at the level of the social division of labour and then consider
the classes, the state and the dominant orientation of the political process as a
whole, between the 1920s and the decade of the 1960s.

Division of labour, classes and political system (1920s-1960s)

2.1 Chilean development and structural disjunction

The organi-zation and considerable expLint;ion of the export sector of the

Chi. l o an economy its nitcat:e in the IZSCis consonsuaily can sid'o: ad
ciiffereflt rnos'L:
f i r s: ha l

h ''

Their share of total exports was to grow rapidly at first, reaching 69

per cent in the 1890s of all the goods exported from Chile, and their
-share was to continue to grow thereafter, reaching a peak of 80 per
cent a year before the First World War broke out."
The nitrate exploitation and commercialization was controlled by British
firms, and the specificity of the situation of dependency consolidated around this
primary resource (replaced by copper and American corporations after the First
World War) lies in the fact that, from the beginning, it was the state and not local
private owners who controlled the sizeable rent which came, via taxation, from the
exports.44 The channeling of a significant part of the national income to the state
generated public services and a structure of demand which would not have existed
had the resources coming from the exports been controlled by the private sector.45
A multiplicity of tightly intertwined economic, social and political characteristics
of Chilean development derive from the early state regulation of one of the key
hubs of the economy. At their most abstract, these characteristics correspond to
what has been conceptualized by the mainstream of the sociological thought on the
dependent-underdeveloped structures of Latin America as a disjunction between
economic and social relations. That is, a disparity in the rhythm of development
between a relatively stagnant productive structure, which is to a considerable
extent determined by its foreign sector, and relatively autonomous and more
dynamic social, institutional and cultural structures and relations."

The referred disjunction has been conceptualized by A. Touraine 47 as a

disarticulation between the relations of production and reproduction, and by G.
Gerrnani as one between the processes of economic development and social mod-
ernization.48 Both authors are referring to general instances of structural disloca-
tion which are particularly visible in Chile after the 1920s. Firstly, the disjunction
between the processes of urbanizatic.n and industrialization; secondiy, and related
to the latter, the non-correspondance between processes of early "tertiarization"
of the economy and develop"ri,:-:nt of the basic constituents of a welfare state, on .
the n1„-. ha -y.-1, and a (7.c..f-ip:.iirativelv stagnant productive base, on the other hand.
. r-,
.71,D t Th,.! (iu2iity to which Lire referrino %vas manifest

.1 ). ,_'r p7, ".-; of

; ,
„ ,;

, t: .":7; ..1
5-) •


Table 2.4

Percentual distribution of economically active population by sectors of the

economy, 1930-1970

Sectors 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970

Extractive 42.8 40.7 35.7 30.1 25.0

forestry, fishing 37.5 35.5 31.1 26.4 22.0
Mining 5.3 5.2 4.6 3.7 3.0

Transformative 19.7 19.6 23.8 23.5 25.3

Manufacturing industries 14.8 15.9 18.3 1.2 19.3

Construction 4.1 3.1 4.6 4.3 4.8
Utilities 0.8 0.6 0.9 1.0 1.2

Distribution 15.2 13.0 14.3 15.2 16.3

Commerce 9.8 9.0 10.0 10.4 11.1
Transport, storage
communication 5.4 4.0 4.3 4.8 5.2

Services 16.7 19.1 21.3 29.4

Not well specified 5.6 7.6 4.9 1.8

TOTAL 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0

J.L. Sadie, Poblacion y mano de obra en Chile 1930-1975, Celade, Poblacion
econornicamente activa, migracion, seguridad social, fecundidad, mortalidad, Fuente
de Datos Demograficos, Santiago, Chile, 1979, Table 37

and the direction of its transformations between 1930 and 1970. The implications
of the data for the arguments on the disjunction between the urbanization and in-
dustrialization processes, or the early "tertiarization" of the economy seem clear.
The decrease in the employment of the "extractive" sector of the economy was not
fundamentally absorbed by the growth of the "transformative" sector but, instead,
by the expansion of the "services" one. The latter's expansion is recognized as in-
separable from the general process of urbanization but also, and more specifically,
from the above mentioned position of the state with respect to the foreign con-
trolled and revenue-generating export sector of the economy.49 The "tertiariza-
tion" observable in the Chilean case is very different from that of the economies
of the developed world, where, broadly, technological changes in production con-
stituted its basis.50 In Chile, as in the rest of Latin America, "tertiarization" is
crucially linked to the State and its redistributive capacities, on the one hand. On
the other hand, it is connected with the insufficiency - not the modernization - of
the manufacturing sector. An important component of the "services" category in
Table 2.4 corresponds to "personal and domestic services", which in the Chilean
context basically mean a wide range of occupations typical of the so-called
"informal economy" which occupies the wide interstice between a rural sector
which expels people and an industrial one which is not large enough to absorb

In terms of relations between fields, the relative advancement of the social

organization and of the institutional forms with respect to the changes at the level
of the productive structure, created a particular capacity of autonomous
development of the Fields of the State and of Symbolic Control. The disjunction
which Touraine perceives between the relations of production and the relations of
reproduction is, in our terms, a disjunction between the Field of Production and
those of the State and Symbolic Control.

The preceding structural relations and their results, as reflected in the pro-
portions of the categories of the social division of labour, need to be seen from
the viewpoints of the social and political processes of their "production" and
"reproduction", in order to approach a relevant definition of the macro-institutional
relations positioning education by mid-century.

Let us consider first the class relations. We do not attempt here to do :;lore
than broadly
- recuperate their main power components for analysis. (For quantita-
tive data see Appendix 1.)

2.2 Classes and absence of a clear hegemony

Following others, we want to argue here that fundamental features of class

relations in Chile between the decades of 1920 and 1960 are the relative weakness
of the ruling groups' hegemony, the decisive political and ideological leverage of
non-owner middle class groups, and the segmented nature of the process of integra-
tion of an heterogeneously constituted "popular class" into the polity.

In terms of - class relations, one of the critical consequences of the foreign

ownership and state regulation of the mining enclave was that the groups which
control the means, contexts and possibilities of the field of production were.struct-
urally weak.- They had no direct control over the strategic-hub of that field. The
dominant class' different fractions the landowning and industrial groups as well
as the financial-commercial ones - were unable to maintain an effective and
exclusive control over the processes of capital accumulation upon which the state
was a crucial regulator. A state moreover which, since the end of the oligarchic
order in the 1920s, was in itself more a field of competition and bargaining
between different social forces than the instrument of one class (see next sub-
section).53 The weakness at the level of capital production and accumulation pro-
cesses was replicated at the political level. After the 1920s, the ruling groups con-
quered the Presidency only once (3. Alessandri, 19.58-1964) and even then they had
to resort to an alliance with one of the political parties of the middle class in
order to govern. Culturally, they tended more to develop their own, Church dom-
inated, circuits of reproduction than to dispute with the lay middle-class groups
the orientations of state education. On another dimension, the classical question of
the oligarchic or capitalist-bourgeois character of the ruling class (the dominating
or dominated character of the traditional landowning fraction as opposed to the
industrial one) seems remarkably irre_1,2vant in the Chilean case throughout the
present century. The social and political unity of the di fferent fractions of econ-
omic capital dominated over traditionalimociern divide which characterizes
dependent societies.

The other face of the relative economic, political and cultural weakness of
the dominant group was the weight of middle-class groups upon each one of the
above mentioned domains. After the 1920s, a decade which corresponded to their
access to political influence, the process of expansion of the state was
co-terminous with the latter's quantitative increase, and their capacity to define
the direction of the economic growth and of the state activities in general. In
the decades which run between 1938 and 1970, no government was formed without
participation of the political parties representing the middle strata. Even more
significantly, the parties controlled the executive without having to participate in
an alliance, or they constituted the dominant factor in alliances both with parties
of the Left and the Right, for the most part of the period to which we are
referring. The power of intervention of the middle sectors upon the state was not
restricted to some areas traditionally associated with them, like education, but it
included areas concerning the very nature of the model of development. Thus, it
was a "Popular Front" type of political coalition led by the traditional party of the
middle sectors (the Radical Party), which in 1938 Paunched a state-funded
programme of industrialization, which laid the foundations of a model of
development centred on the country's internal capacity to substitute imports. 56

It is important to draw a distinction within the middle class groups between

the non-entrepreneurial, non-owner groups (directly or indirectly employed by the
state programmes; the professional strata, etc.) and those typically based on small
or medium economic capital ownership. Quantitatively and politically, the non-
owner groups were more important than the owner ones (see Appendix 1).

The middle sectors, during the most important part of the present century,
appear fundamentally as a state-linked class. They developed together with the
productive, regulatory and reproductive functions of the state.

A distinctive heterogeneity characterizes the social groups at the basis of

the social hierarchy. A diversity which indeed makes it necessary to resort to an
imprecise but comprehensive term like "popular class" to refer to them as a
whole. 57 The social space of the popular class includes three markedly different
class situations. The first one corresponds to that of the 2:_asants and the rural
wo, rkers. This group constituted at the start of the decade of the 1960s ap!yox-
imatcly a quarter of the econcm-lically active population. It was subjected t;)
mixed pattern of class relations in wh:ch domi71ant wage forms were intert ■

with pre-capitalist economic relations - like payment in kind and usufrucr. - and a
culture which also combined capitalist and traditional, paternalistic relations of
domination. The "poor of the country" was roughly divided between those owning
some land - "minifundistas" - and the salaried workers of the bigger holdings -
"inquilinos".58 Most importantly, up to the start of the 1960s, this group as a
whole represented the most excluded of all class groups from the processes of
political participation and unionization, as well as from the redistributive mechan-
isms and channels of the state.59 Another very different class situation corres-
ponds to that of the working class of the mines, industry and the construction
sector. These differently located groups presented widely varying standards of
living, levels of unionization and political participation.60
However, if compared to
the other sections of the popular class, they were relatively better paid, more
unionized and politicized. In fact, the beginnings of their integration into the body
politic and the mentioned redistribution circuits of the state dates from the 1920s.
Their main political organizations (the Communist and the Socialist parties) had
participated in government alliances with the Centre since 1938. The working
class, as defined here, constituted by the 1960s just over :thirty per cent of the
economically active population (see Appendix 1).61 A third component of the
popular class was the group constituted by the underemployed of the cities, a
direct consequence of the disjunction between the urbanization and industrializa-
tion processes. By the beginning of the 1960s, together with the rural working
groups, and in contrast with the working class of the manufacturing and mining
sectors, their situation was characterized by the absence of forms of organization,
general exclusion from the processes of political participation and poor access to
the distributive channels of the state as well as to the market economy in general.
'They lived in the most precarious conditions in the bigger urban concentrations of
the country. Data for 1960 and 1970 (which have to be considered as under-
estimates as they do not include the unemployed) show that between 13.0 and 10.9,
respectively, of the economically active population worked in occupations typical
of the condition of underemployment and marginalidad (see Appendix 1, Table 2).62

2.3 Compromise state and partial democratization

The centrality of the s tau:: to Chile's style of do\ Dment ,.[-;(1 class rela-
tions has been implied at almost .]:\i'cry turn of the argumnts offered in the pre-
ceding two sectior:s. Three interlinked points are worth making explicit in relation

to the political domai --1; firstly, the dominant oosition of the state and party sys-
tems in the constitution of the style of development and the culture; secondly, the
compromise principles functioning in the political system; finally, a segmented •
democratization as the polity's main direction of change.

The basic fact to be underlined with respect to the state and party politics
in Chile is their dominance over the economic domain and its institutions.

11 ... capitalist industrialization was achieved 'heterodoxicaily', not as an

effect of the creative thrust of an innovative and aggressive bour-
geoisie which produces an economic order to which the political sphere
must adjust and organize itself. On the contrary, the state is the
principal actor of the industrialization and the bourgeoisie an associate
which obtains its advantages."

The "back-bone" of Chilean society, or the dominant mode of articulation of

its agents, was constituted in the political sphere and specifically, through the •
party system. The other instances of organization -of interests and social aggrega-
tion of what Gramsci would call "civil society" were comparatively weaker and
. subordinated to the need for political mediation which every group and almost
every institutional domain required, given the weight of a state with productive,
regulating and redistributive capacities. This preeminence of the state cannot be
exaggerated with reference to the economy.

"The Chilean state consisted of an awesome set of structures and

institutions. Even before the election of Salvador Allende to the pres-
idency, the state played a greater role in the nation's economy than it
did in the economy of any other Latin American country with the
exception of Cuba. By the end of the 1960s direct public investment
represented well over 50 per cent of all the gross investment, and the
state controlled over 50 per cent of all credit. Furthermore, the
government accounted for 14 per cent of the GNP and 13 per cent of
the economically active population. A state agency, the Corporation de
Fomento de la Production (CORFO), owned shares in eighty of the
country's most important enterprises and institutions, and majority
shares in thirty-nine of the same. Most private groups and institutions
were closely regulated by the state and relied on its favorable dispens-
ations. Not only did it chart the course for economic growth and
control prices, it also ran the major social security programs and had a
dominant role in collective barg;=,.ining."
- 65

Neither can the preeminence of politics with respect to the cultural domain
h:.:! exaggerated. The orders ;27)i)car to be subordinating the themes of priv-
ate life to those of politics in the generic sense of "mobilisation of authorisa-
tiorl"•66 The meanings associted with the "ci -.:)ye,;" perv.-Id.' th,:. national cu!tnre-

ways which subordinate those meanings associated with the "bourgeois",67 3 "!-lias"
we shall recurrentlyfind with respect to pedagogic projects.

The operation of a democratic political system in conditions of absence of a

clear class or party hegemony, is the key constituent of the dominant modality of
political functioning in the period. This modality has been labelled the Compromise
State. What characterized it were pacts and transactions between the political
parties representing the different social groups and simultaneous processes of
political participation, segmentation and exclusion.68 Thus, historically, the land-
owning groups of the dominant class obtained a situation where neither the state
nor any popular political party intervened in the rural social order over which it
ruled. Social legislation initiated in 1924 by 1960 included all the urban groups but
not the peasants and rural workers. The industrial groups of the dominant class
profited from the process of industrialization and infrastructure creation begun by
the state at the end of the 1930s. The middle classy groups, together with the polit-
ically represented groups of the working class, were able to obtain from the state
ever expanding. services - education, health, housing, social security, etc. - and
state decreed special wage and fringe benefits which, relatively speaking, pro-
tected them against a chronic inflation. In contrast to the above groups, by the
beginning of the decade of the 1960s the peasantry and a rapidly increasing mass
of underemployed or "marginales" living in the principal cities were class groups
conspicuously excluded from the "compromise".

At the basis of the politics of conciliation characteristic to the Compromise

State was the fact that no political party or coalition was capable of displacing
another, in a system additionally characterized by its high degree of competitive-
ness and polarization. A. Valenzuela has noted that, given the absence of giants in
the key arena of compromise, the legislature, "it was clearly to the benefit of all
to work within the ongoing mechanisms rather than attempt to destroy them."69

The electoral data in Table 2.5, while leaving no doubts on the historical
weight of the certtre, also shows, with the exception of the years 1949,. 1953 and
1957, during which the Communist Party was made illegal, the tri-polar political
stalemate upon which Cle Cowpr,:).rlise State rested.

The approximate stalemate between the forces of the Chilean multi-party

system is rvit sufticieot though, as an expl,anation of the politics of cornpro.riise. An

Table 2.5
Percentage of vote received by parties on the Right, Centre, and Left in

Chilean Con&ressional Elections, 1937 to 1973

Percentage of total vote

Right Centre Left Other

(Conservative, (Radical, (Socialist,
Liberal, Falangist, Communist)
National Christian
after 1965) Democrats,
Labor ist)

1937 42.0 28.1 15.4 14.5

1941 31.2 32.1 33.9 2.8

1945 43.7 27.9 23.1 5.3

1949 42.0 46.7 9.4 1.9

1953 25.3 43.0 14.2 17.5

1957 33.0 44.3 10.7 12.0

1961 30.4 43.7 22.1 3.8

1965 12.5 55.6 22.7 9.2

1969 20.0 42.8 28.1 9.1

1973 21.3 32.8 34.9 11.0

Mean 30.1 39.7 21.5 8.7

Source: A. Valenzuela, The breakdown of Democratic Regimes, Chile, Johns

Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, London, 1978, Table 2.

additional critical factor was the existence of an institutional system t:.) sub-
ject the political processes of participation and exertion of influence and, more
generally, the social conflict, to a legally defined and basically respected system
of boundaries and procedures. These regulated the latter through channeling the
contradictory."reivindicaciones"* of the different groups into an explicitly
counter-balanced system of legislation and state institutions. The principles of the
institutional system were the dispersion of force and the incremental nature of the
processes of decision taking and change. .Their result was the segmentation of
access to goods, power and status.70

"The key point is that Chilean politics were not praetorian politics.
Unlike the politics of some of its neighbours, Chilean politics did not
involve the naked confrontation of political forces, each seeking to
maximize its own stakes through direct action in the face of transitory
authority structures incapable of guarding, even in the most elementary
fashion, the public good. Elected and nonelected officials, if not party
militants, were able to put aside the acrimonious verbal assaults of
afternoon political rallies and come together to structure compromises
during the evening hours, whether in a congressional committee room or
over a late meal in a Santiago restaurant.... At the same time, powerful
state structures, largely insulated from political control and partisan
battles, exercised important governmental functions drawing on formal
authority and institutional clout."77

The institutional context of Chilean politics during the decades of the

Compromise State presents features of counter-balancing of power not only
between institutions, like those affecting the relations between the Executive,
Congress, the Court system and the Contraloria (see infra, p.318), but also within
institutions. Thus, within the Executive branch of this state, by law a president
could not remove civil servants in order to replace them with cadres of his own
political affiliation. In fact, each new president normally created new departments
for carrying out his policies, thus expanding a bureaucracy marred with coordina-
tion and efficiency problems in general but which was, simultaneously, highly
institutionalized and relatively autonomous with respect to the political parties and
the changes of government.72

* A key term in the language of Chilean politics during the Compromise State con-
figuration. Derived from Roman Law, it means, "the search for a rightful redress of
grievances or the obtention of right fu! demands through the legal process" (i:1 A.
Valenzuela, The Breakdown of Demc)c- r;:c:ic Johns Hopkins University
Pres,, Baltimore, London, I97S, p.115 41).

The drawn character of -tie political contest, with its features of habi':s
accommodation and bargaining, and institutionalization of conflict, made structural
change difficult. Comprehensive counter-hegemonic projects of change were bound
to be reduced through pacts and transactions - to limits resulting from the referred
overall balance of forces. The limits were those implied by the needs of a capital-
ist industrialization, a democratic political system and an ambiguous process of
democratization.73 We now turn to this final feature.

Democratization in this context refers to the gradual process of incorpora-

tion of diverse middle class and popular class groups into the political system, and
better conditions of living. Throughout the decades of the Compromise State there
was a relation of necessity between this process and the democratic principles of
the political system. This could not have survived against the background of poverty
and exclusion affecting vast majorities if it had not produced changes which, with-
out altering the essential principles of the system as a whole, brought the incorpor-
ation of successive groups into political participation, the welfare services of the
state. and improved levels of consumption. While ensuring legitimacy for the political
system and the social order as a whole, the broadening of the "incorporated" was
not only subordinated to the dominant interests but was segmented in character.
Middle class groups were incorporated in the 1920s; by the end of the 1930s the
organized working class had political representation in a government alliance and
started to obtain a better share of an expanding welfare state; by the beginning of
the 1960s, as repeatedly mentioned, peasants and "marginales" were still largely
excluded. The process was not as continuous as the above implied "queuing order"
suggests either. There were depressions in the generally ascendant slope of demo-
cratization. Thus, one of the parties of the working class (the Communist Party)
was expunged from the electoral rolls and repressed for a decade (1947-1957). More
generally, it is important to emphasize that the incorporation-participation
processes we are referring to did not mean changes in the relative positions of any
group. The democratization process was ambiguous because the incorporation of
some groups developed together with the exclusion of others. It was also ambiguous
in a more profound sense. Each successive cycle of incorporation-participation
meant increased levels of a social and political moHlisation which exerted pressures
against the limits of a narrov; and insuf[iciently dynamic economic base. fly the end
of the 1960s the contradiction the process democratizatiori, and the
capitalist-bas e d scheme of industrialization, was sharp enough to threaten the po ,/er
principles upon \ -, , hich the Compromise State n.-7.!,:,ted.

3 Relations between education and its external institutional context

We shall now draw on aspects of both the development of the educational

system and of its external institutional context, in order to discern the specificity
of the relations between education and society in Chile by mid-century. We want
to argue that this specificity lies fundamentally in the previously mentioned
disjunction between the relations of production and those of reproduction. More
concretely, we shall argue that the development of education has been strongly
related to needs* and demands arising from the fields of the State and Symbolic
Control and weakly related to needs and demands of the field of production.
Further, we shall consider the features of centralization and professionalization of
the educational system together with the features of absence of clear hegemonies
in the compromise state in order to posit the relative autonomy of education with
respect to the political system.

3.1 Education and production

As with its European models, Chilean state education developed substituting

the cultural transmission functions of the Church. That is, as in Europe, from the
start, there was the classification between education and the world of production;
a divide which in Western society has been of the basis of specialized processes of
cultural reproduction since the Middle Ages. However, this divide is not our con-
cern now, as it was not the object of change or questioning before the 1970s. 'We
need to look instead into the systemic relations between education and production.

Systemic relations during the 19th century can be said to have been non-
existent or remarkably weak. The export economy implied simple activities at that
time and demanded a reduced number of skilled technicians and administrators. The
latter came from the ruling class, the former from abroad. The majority of the
population made its living in the rural economy. Traditional methods were used
there and education was not necessary in terms of the skills required for exploiting
the land. On the whole, the educational demands of the economy were "low and
extremely specialized". 74 As mentioned earlier in this chapter, the state educa-
tional system developed in connection with the ideas and political pressures of
intellectuals of the Liberal Party and the social support of nascent urban middle
class groups mainly dependent upon the State. At the level of discourse they ■ vere
concerned with the potential effects of education for both citizenship and the
material - progress of the country. The practice, however, has to be put ....gairlst
the facts of their social basis. They were groups neither in control of, nor directly
connected to, production and its contexts. They were directly or indirectly depend-
ent upon the State and the mobilization of the "resources of authorization" for the
reproduction of their political influence. Both the growth and the ultimate orienta-
tions of the educational system were weakly related to production. The former
depended on the social needs for distinction of the middle groups as well as on
their political needs to establish alliances with groups of the popular class. The
expansion of the provision of education was a traditional electoral offer of the
political centre to the popular groups. The orientation of the educational system,
as materialized in the liceo, underlined the abstract over the concrete, and educa-
tion's intrinsic aims, as defined by educators, ("cultivation", "personal formation",
"human development"), over its extrinsic ones (economical).75 The liceo, institu-
tionally and symbolically the hegemonic agency of the schooling system, was pre-
dominantly geared towards the cultural distinction needs of the middle groups, the
administrative or welfare functions .typical of the State and the services sector of
the private economy, and the political needs of the party system. Thus, its trans-
missions and general ethos were more oriented to reproduce signs of cultural dis-
tinction and discursive resources functional to social relations, the symbolic art-
iculation of contradictory interests, and also the symbolic articulation of the parti-
cular as general (key operations for the politics of the Centre), than to satisfy
nonexistent generalized demands of the productive system. Law and Medicine were
the dominant university options, and not Engineering or Economics.

The recurrence of a discourse of reform centred upon the need to strengthen

the systemic relations of education is the best evidence of the weak links which
existed between education and production. More significantly, this discourse was
internal to the field of education. It did not come from production and its ruling
agents who, as a penetrating analysis of the relations between production and its
educational requirements in Chile has shown, on the whole did not need a skilled

The Chilean educational system already served 60 per cent of the schooling
population in 192S, a decade before a state-funded effort at industrialization was
1,-,-Lunched to substitute import-_;. In fdet, of fort of the into
1930s and early 1940s was accoinpanied by a drop in the percentage of
schooling-age population att2nded by the educational system (see Table 2.2). This

strongly suggests the absence of pressures upon the educational system as a whole
coming from the changes in production. During the 1940s, serious, though par tial,
efforts weremade to fit at least some educational agencies to the industrialization
effort, and a state Technical University was set up, which somehow strengthened
the vocational channel within secondary education. However, these catered for only
a reduced group within the schooling population. The pedagogic projects of the
1960s and 1970s, like every reform attempt after the 1920s, will address the
historical weakness of the systemic relations of the educational system.

3.2 Education, classes and the State

Education expanded in Chile, as in Latin American countries in general, at a

rate which on the whole kept no strict relation with economic growth but which
instead followed the fortunes of the previously referred process of segmented
democratization.77 With the exception of the period immediately following the
economic catastrophe of 1929, the educational system expanded uninterruptedly.
More formal education reached more people. At the same time, however, social
divides were reproduced and the opportunities of survival in the system for the
different classes rem
.' ained markedly different throughout the decades between the
1920s and our period.78

.Despite. its limitations,* Table 2.6 shows that, after the regression of the
1930s, the growth of the provision of primary schooling left no class group un-
affected. At the same time, the improvements in the schooling rates of the popula-
tion followed with grim precision the class divides of society at large. The •
rural poor continued to receive in 1963 less education than the urban -poor and
these two majority groups were well behind the middle and upper class groups. The
pattern is that of a structural move upwards of the whole population in terms of
cultural capital while the limits between the different classes have fundamentally
remained. We have repeatedly touched upon the processes which lay behind the
generation of the above broad proportions. These processes have, as their
immediate determinants, decisions in the polity which relate to the logic of
alliances between the middle-class groups and popular groups in the general
framework of the processes of incorporation-participation to which we referred in

* It does not compare the same school grade and its class categories are too hi mad.

Table 2.6

Schooling survival at the elementary level for social class, period 1943-1963

(Percentages of students who reach the 6th, 7th and 8th grade with respect to
total enrolled in the first grade)

1943 1953 1963

Percentage Percentage Percentage
Social class reaching 6th grade reaching 7th grade reaching 8th grade

Rural poor 15.3 5.6 18.0

(peasants, miners,
fishermen etc.)

Urban poor 27.8 13.9 48.0


Middle class 48.4 32.1 71.0

(employees, small

Upper class 79.8 73.3 100.0



E. Schiefelbein, J. Farrel, Determinantes de la suprvivencia escolar y el ingreso al

mercado, Documento de Trabajo 18/78, GIDE, Santiago, 1978, Table 1

the preceding section. Education was, in this context, a key resource which the
middle groups, based on the State and the Field of Symbolic Control, could use for
obtaining support from groups of the popular classes in their struggle for power
within the Compromise State. Together with this, the process of expansion was
helped by its comparatively low costs.79 The dominant groups did not, on the
whole, intervene in the politics underlying the expansion of education. On the one
hand, Production and its contexts did not demand specific results from education.
On the other hand, after losing the battle for the control of state education in the
last period of the 19th century, the dominant groups' concern with education did
not go beyond keeping their own private, and basically Church run, educational
institutions. For this they demanded, and obtained, the economic support of the
State. This double-based exclusion of the dominant groups from the political
decisions related to education reinforced the manifold and strong relations between
the educational system, the middle class groups dependent upon the State and the
political centre parties which represented them (the Radical Party up to the end of
the 1950s and then the Christian Democrat party).

This fundamental dependency of education's growth and orientations upon

middle-class groups and their political parties has to be viewed in the context of
its more concrete features of control. Firstly, the system was vast,
bureaucratically organized, old enough to develop routines with respect to
procedures, an ideology with respect to its functions, and a solidarity among its
members, which constituted factors of autonomy to be reckoned with by any group
intent on its change. As a Vice-Minister of the Christian Democrat party graphic-•
ally put to us, if the different departments of the Ministry of Education were not
80 Secondly, this general
convinced about a given measure, "the papers got lost".
capacity of a state bureaucracy to use its resources and procedures against its
political masters, if the need should arise, was importantly enhanced in Chile by
the lack of clear hegemonies characterising the political arena and the institutions
of the Compromise State. Balance of forces and negotiation in the Legislative, and
even within the Executive, meant spaces for state institutions, like the educational
system, either to exert their own institutional clout or, more commonly, to defend
successfully their external and internal limits against change initiatives. Thirdly, as
previously mentioned, one of the institutions of the Compromise State was that the
Executive had the right to intervene upon transmissions and organizational features
of the schooling system but not upon its personnel. Actually, no government in the
century, with the exception of course of the military ones of General Ibanez at the
end of the 1920s and General Pinochet, after 1973, was ever able to acco;-:-1;_-,any
educational policies with changes in the administrative structure or the personnel
of the educational system. A prominent fact when questions of continuity and
relative autonomy are considered. Finally, the educational system was not only
relatively insulated from the most immediate ebb and flow of politics (or
interventions from above) but also, to a decisive extent, insulated from influence
and variation coming from individual schools and local communities. After 1842 any
Chilean Minister of Education could have boasted along the lines of the French
Minister of the Second Empire who is -supposed to have claimed that at a given
date and form, "tous les eleves de l'Empire expliquent Virgile".81 The system was
remarkably unified in its institutional and transmissional features throughout the
country. Centralization, from this viewpoint; meant autonomy from influence from

At a more relevant level, the crucial datum is that both outside and inside •
education the dominant view was that schooling was a specialized endeavour,
demanding some specific technical•requirements, e.g. a- corps of professional trans-
mitters, specialized discourses and procedures of evaluation. The system's agents
were then able to "confront external pressures" stepping upon a ground which was
also that of the external agents attempting to intervene in the educational system.
That ground was the doxic belief in education as a specialized domain.

In conclusion, although the Chilean state educational system was strongly

responsive to, and dependent upon, urban, non-entrepreneurial middle class groups
basically represented by the Radical Paprty and later the Christian Democratic
Party, the administrative structure and its personnel, with their belief in the
professionalized basis of education, acted as a source of resistance to change both
from above and below.

4 Summary and prospect

We have had to cover a vast ground in order to put into context the

educational ini.iatives and conflicts We are to analyse in the followir c-.11L)tcrs.

We shall conclude by!, to svraiarize th,::! most salient features of the


historical and structural landscapes, and to present schematically the contours of

those which lie ahead.

(1) The main thrust of our argument has been that, because of features
specific to the Chilean social division of labour, centred en the relations of the
export sector of the economy with the state, both the Field of the State and of
Symbolic Control relative to the productive base of the society were
over-developed and this led to a weakening of the influences of the productive
base upon the drive to modernity. We have argued that the main power implications
of this over-development or "structural disjunction" has been that the state and the
social groups dependent upon it had a major influence upon the decisions on the
style of development and politics, constitutive of a modality of social, economic
and political relations we have labelled as the "Compromise State". We have also
argued that, in structural terms, the above implies an order whose strategic vector
is politics and not the productive system, and that this has important cultural

We specify below the different aspects of the argument.

(2) One of the effects of this "structural disjunction" upon the class
structure was the early development of significant non-owner and basically
state-employed or state-dependent middle class groups. After the 1920s, these
groups' political representation developed to become the pivot of the political
system, successively articulating alliances with groups of the popular class and the
dominant class.

(3) The democratic political system which developed in Chile we have

characterised as the "Compromise State". This was a political order which can be
defined, on the one hand, as a stable and sophisticated institutional structure for
the regulation of conflict and, on the other, by the absence of a political party
capable of creating its own hegemony.

(4) The general directicin of change produced by this "Compromise State"

created an incremental b!.it partial democratization. This consisted of processes of
incorporation into politc.t1 participation, the welfar.:, network of the state and
improved levels of consumption of middle class groups, initially, and the urban
;,•orking class, later. F3y the start of the decade of the 196Cs, two vast :;t•.:, :us of

the popular class %;.:;--,sr:.,2 still basically rxcluded: the peasantry and the urban
under-employed or."marginales" born out of the disjunction between the processes
of urbanization and industrialization.

These macro-institutional features were intimately linked with the

development of a state educational system whose main characteristics were:

(a) Growth patterns and orientations more linked to the above mentioned
process of partial democratization and to the social and political demands of
middle class and popular class groups, than to the ruling agents, principles and
contexts of the field of production. The systemic relations of the educational
system were on the whole unequivocally weak.

(b) A stable, highly centralized, bureaucratic and national organization which

ensured uniform cultural transmissions throughout the country and closure to
influences from local schools or communities.

(c) These features (a and h), together with the absence of a clearly
hegemonic force in the political system, made effective political interventions
difficult, if not impossible.

(d) A fundamental belief in the principles of the democratization of

education, and upon the teaching state, i.e. education as the major public priority.
Both principles were echoed by the Centre and the Left of the political spectrum.
The unrelenting quantitative expansion of the educational system was a realization
of the above cited principles. Growth was insufficient, however, and in 1958 a
fifth of the school age population was still outside school. At the same time,
strong class inequalities characterized the patterns of survival of members of the
different class groups.

(e) After 1928, the processes of change in education were generated from
within the educational system and had been piecemeal and gradual in their
application and consequences. The discourse of reform within the system did not
change much during the four or so decadfs before the Christian Democratic period.
The key prin.ciples were: exp2nsHn and 7"0:. 0 provisioil of education;
strengthening of the systemic: relations of the educational system; democratization
of the social relations within schook; ch,:-:.nges in transmissions. The latter focused

upon child-centred principles at the primary level and, at the secondary level,
changes in contents according to relevance criteria defined by the students'
interests-and the country's development needs.

Against this background, we can characterize schematically characterize the

institutional context of the two educational projects we shall analyse in the rest of
the dissertation.

(1) The Christian Democratic government period (1964-1970) meant continuity

with the past, in terms of the class and field origins of the social groups funda-
mentally represented in the state and which decisively influenced the development
of education. The Christian Democrats' social movement, although heterogeneous in
class composition, was dominated by non-owner middle class groups predominantly
based in the Field of Symbolic Control and dependent upon the state. However,
differences with the immediate past are important. These lay in the political and
ideological domains. With respect to the former, the Christian Democratic period
meant the end of the politics of expediency and piecemeal changes characteristic
of the "Compromise State" and the inauguration of "holistic" processes of trans-
formation led from the- centre by the state. The changes also rested upon vast pro-
cesses of social mobilisation which included those groups which had been secularly
excluded: peasants and "marginales". With respect to the ideological level, the lay
pragmatism of the Radical Party was substituted by a strongly doctrinal approach
in which Christian principles and modern social science categories were the key

(2) The government period of the Popular Unity (1970-1973) meant the
control of the Executive by a political alliance representing middle class and
popular class groups based both in the Field of Symbolic Control and in the
dominated side of the Field of Production. This double nature of the social base
represented in the Popular Unity showed in every feature of its comprehensive
project of change. The ;-popular Unity was strongly ideological, approached the
problems of Chilean society in "holistic." terms, and based its actions both in staite
resources and institutions, and in the social and political mobilisation of the
popu!ar class as a whole.

Despite quite important diftere.nces beto,:eon . the movements, their

general goals and their pedagogic projects, important features of continuity

underlie their educational definitions: both pedagogic projects were dominat:?.ci

by concerns about the relations of education with class (social integration for the
Christian Democrats; negation of class for the Popular Unity) than with econo•!Iic

Chapter 2 Notes

1 Articles 153 and 154 of the 1833 Constitution. Cited in A. Labarca, Historia
de la Ensenanza en Chile, Imprenta Universitaria, Santiago, 1939, p.92.

2 K. Silvert, L. Reissrnann, Education, Class and Nation, Elsevier Publications,

New York, 1976.

A. Labarca, op. cit., p.109.

4 Ibid., pp.103-04.

5 K. Silvert, L. Riessmann, op. cit., p.113.

6 A. Labarca, op. cit., p.148.

7 Ibid., p.158.

8 A. Pinto, Chile un caso de Desarrollo Frustrado, Editorial Universitaria, 3ra

Edicion, Santiago, 1973.

9 M. Hamuy, Educacion Elemental, Analfabetismo y Desarrollo Economico,

Editorial Universitaria, Santiago, 1960, Table 3.

10 A. Labarca, op. cit., p.181.

11 Cf. W.W. Sywak, Values in Nineteenth Century Chilean Education: the

Germanic Reform of the Chilean Public Education 1885-1910, Ph.D.
Dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles, 1977.

12 Ibid.

13 A. Labarca, op. cit., p.184.

14 S.L. Fogg, Positivism in Chile and its impact on Education Development and
Economic Thought, 1870-1891, Ph.D. Dissertation, New York University, New
York, 1978, p.226.

15 The "concentric" organization of the sequence of pedagogic transmissions

was also the dominant form in France at the time and makes one realize that
perhaps Chilean officials were not so much concerned with importing specifi-
cally German modalities as what they perceived as the most accepted
European principles and methods. In France, in the same period, the "con-
centric" method was being introduced into the primary and secondary
schools. The principle behind its introduction was that, "Since primary educa-
tion is an education of principles, ... and since principles cannot be too often
represented if they are to penetrate, it is necessary that the child should
pass constantly over the same ground" (T. Zeldin, France 1848-1945, Intellect
and Pride, Oxford University Press, 1980, p.188). At the secondary level (still
in the French system) the teaching of subjects according to "concentric
ideas" had sometimes strange results, as T. Zeldin drily notes with respect to
the teaching of History:

"The tconck:ntric me t!),ody required that the whole of French History

be covered each year: in practice this meant that the French mIddle
ages were taught and retaught most thoroughlv - a strange res,ilt for
the republic to achieve. The Merovingians who started the course
a •nonth, as much as the Revolution, Consulate and Empire, which
came last and was not always completed."
(T. Zeldin, France ... op. cit., p.189)

The author was taught history at school in Chile in the 1960s (before the
Christian Democratic Reform) according to the "concentric method". Chilean
history came last every year and there was usually no time to go over it
with the dedication comparable to that which Greece, Rome or the
Merovingians had received earlier in the year.

16 W.W. Sywak, op. cit., p.128.

17 Ibid., p.17.

18 A. Labarca, op. cit., p.186.

19 S.L. Fogg, op. cit., p.183.

20 A law of 1879 allowed the liceos to have their own elementary courses, pre-
paratory for the "humanities", or secondary level education. Thus, a primary
system for the elite was established very early on within the state educa-
tion. The "Preparatories" attached to the liceos differed drastically from the
"Common Primary School" in material and symbolic endowments.

- 21 M. Hamuy, op. cit., Table 3.

22 M. Weber, The rationalization of education and training, in H.H. Gerth, C.

Wright Mills, From Max Weber, Routledge and Kegan Paul, London, 1970.

23 E. Faletto, J. Kirkwood, Sociedad Burguesa y liberalismo rom6ntico, El Cid

Editor, Caracas, 1977, p,41.

24 K. Silvert, L. Riessmann, op. cit.

25 A. Labarca, op. cit., p.359.

26 Jose Manuel Balmaceda, Speech as presidential candidate, 17 January 1886,

quoted in H. Ramirez Necochea, Balmaceda y la Contrarrevoluci6n de 1891,
Editorial Universitaria, 2da. Edicion, Santiago, 1969, p.148.

27 Joaquin Larrain Gandarillas, speech of incorporation to the Faculty of

Philosophy and Humanities, University of Chile, 29 April, 6 May 1863, quoted
in J. Heisse, Historia de Chile, El Periodo Parlamentario 1861-1925, Toro I,
Editorial Andres Bello, Santiago, 1974, p.148.

23 E. Faletto, E. Ruiz, La crisis de la dominacion oligarquica, in E. Faletto, E.

Ruiz, - H. Zemelman, Genesis Historica del Proceso Politico Chileno, Editorial
Quimantu, Santiago, 1971; I.F: Petras, Politics and Social Forces in Chilean
Development, University of California. Press, Berkeley, 1969; A. Pinto,
op. cit.

29 A. Labarca, p.233.

30 Adolfo Ferriere travelled throughout the country visiting schools and lectur-
ing at meetings of teachers. He .)rociuced an assessment of educational

methods practised in the for the President of the Republic. Cf. A.
Ferriere, La Educacion nueva en Chile, 1928-1931, Madrid, 1932.

31 An extended and well documented account of the "Reform of 1923" (Decree

7500 of 10 December 1927), and the social forces which constituted an
otherwise extremely complex and fluid political conjuncture, is in I. Nunez,
Reformas educacionales ocurridas en LatinoAmerica en los ultimos 50 anos y
orientaciones pedagogicas que las han sustentado. Un Analisis comparativo.
Estudio de Base: Chile, Mimeo, Volume I, O.E.A., Programa Regional de
Desarrollo Educacional, Santiago, 1978.

32 I. Nunez, Tradicion, reformas y alternativas educacionales en Chile,

1925-1973, Estudios Vector, Number 1, Santiago, n.d.

33 D. Salas, El Problerna Nacional (1917), Facultad de Filosofia y Educacion,

Universidad de Chile, 1967, pp.214-215, cited in J.J. Brunner, Educacion y
Hegemonia en Chile: Seis proposiciones, Flacso, Documento de Trabajo
Numero 9, Santiago, January 1981, p.2.

34 J.J. Brunner, Educacion y Hegemonia ... op. cit.

35 "... the quantum of exports declined over only three years almost to one
quarter (23.7 per cent), making Chile the Latin American country most
affected in relative terms by the crisis." 3.6. Palma, Growth and structure
of Chilean manufacturing industry from 1830 to 1935: Origins and develop.-
ment of a process of industrialization in an export economy, D.Phil. Disserta-
tion, University of Oxford, 1979, p.258.

36 J.J. Brunner, Educacion y Hegemonia ... op. cit., p.8.

37 Ibid.

38 Personal testimony of Emma Salas, one of the members of the "Renewal

Commission", at a seminar in Santiago on Development of Education in Chile,
1920-1973, organized by the Corporacion de Investigaciones para el
Desarrollo, Child, October 1980.

The technical teams of the "Renewal Commission" were constituted by

twenty Chileans and ten experts from the referred Interamerican Foundation
of Education. Eight of the Chileans had studied in American universities
(three at Columbia and five in Chicago). Cf. I. Nufiez, Reformas
Educacionales ocurridas ... op. cit., pp.178-220.

39 Cf. I. Nuiiez, Reformas Educacionales ocurridas ... op. cit.

40 The "Reform of 1928" began in October 1927 based on proposals put forward
by radical primary teachers. Initially supported by a government led by a
general, it was halted in September 1928 when the same government. changed
its views on edicational reform. It purged the reformist teachers from their
posts, thus initiating a "counter-reform". In the post-war period, the
"Renewal Commission" set up to reform the secondary schools was incapable
of penetrating the "Direccion de Educacion Secundaria" in the Ministry and
its efforts were thus ch- c.urnscrib:-_- ci to a set of "experimental liceos" within
the system. In 1953, a gc)vernment decree created the "Superintendency of
Education" in an effort to bring administrative and technical unity to an
increasingly inorganic system (Decree 104). Wee!:s later the governirit pro-

mulgated Decree 246 (23 July 1953) which reorganized the different depart-
ments of the Ministry of Education without considering the functionso ► the
just created Superintendency, and in fact reinstating the autonomous - powers
of the different units which the Superintendency was meant to coordinate
and unify. Cf. J. Nunez, Reformas Educacionales ocurridas ... op. cit., Vol.l.

41 I. Nunez distinguishes a "reformist" and a "revolutionary" tradition among the

teachers, the former basically associated with the Radical Party and the
latter with the Marxist parties. The dividing line between the two traditions
was less linked to concrete .pedagogic proposals than to contradictory con-
ceptions about the role of "external to the educational system" social forces
in the process of educational change. Cf. I. Nunez, Tradicion y Reformas
op. cit.

42 Cf. A. Pinto, Chile: Un caso de desarrollo F.H. Cardoso,. E.

Faletto, Dependency and development in Latin America, University of
California Press, 1979; 0. Sunkel, El subdesarrollo Latinoamericano y la
teoria del desarrollo, Siglo Veintiuno Editores, Mexico, 1970; L. de Riz,
Sociedad y Politica en Chile (de Portales a Pinochet), Unam, Mexico, 1979.

43 J.G. Palma, op. cit., p.256.

44 A. Pinto, op. cit.; E. Faletto, E. Ruiz, op. cit.; F.H. Cardoso, E. Faletto,
cit. (see Appendix 2).

45 A. Pinto, Chile: Un caso ... op. cit., p.301.

46 Cf. A. Touraine, Las sociedades dependientes. Ensayos sobre America Latina,

Siglo Veintiuno Editores, Mexico, 1978; G. Germani, Politica y Sociedad en
una e•oca de transicion. De la sociedad tradicional a la sociedad de rnasas,
Paidos, Buenos Aires, 1962; Sociologia de la Modernizacion, Paidos, Buenos
Aires, 1970; G. Rama, Educacion, Imagenes y Estilos de Desarrollo, Unesco,
Cepal, Pnud, Buenos Aires, 1977.

The "disjunction of fields" thesis was first formulated in Chile by A. Pinto

(Chile: un caso de desarrollo frustrado, op. cit.). The autonomy and "over-
determination" of the state and the party system on Chilean history after
the 1920s has been argued by M.A. Garreton and T. Moulian (Procesos y
bloques politicos en la crisis chilena. 1970-1973, Flacso, Santiago, 1977) and
A. Valenzuela (The breakdown of democratic regimes: Chile, johns Hopkins
University Press, Baltimore, London, 1978). The thesis is based as well upon
the works of J.J. Brunner on Chilean culture and education (Cf. El diseno
autoritario de la educacion en Chile, Flacso, Santiago, 1979; Sociologia de
los principios educativos: un analisis de dos reformas de los planes y
programas do la ensenanza basica chilena: 1965-1980, Flacso, Santiago,

47 "We have been accustomed, thanks to the European tradition, to con-

sider that the economic and the social history were two sides of the
same historical reality. For British or French historians there is no
possible distance between the analysis of the mechanisms of the cap-
italist economy end the study of the working class condition and con-
ducts. ... On the contrary, sociologically dependent society ought to
be defined by the disjunction of the economic and the social rela-
tions. co; responds to the dualization of soHety, that k, to the

discordance between the operation of the economic system centred

abroad and that of society and the national and regional culture."
(A. Touraine, op. cit., p.66)

48 G. Germani, Sociologia de la ..., op. cit.

49 A. Pinto, Desarrollo economico y relaciones sociales, in Chile Hoy, Siglo

Veintiuno Editores, Mexico, 1970, p.5.

50 Cf. F.H. Cardoso, Notes sur la structure de classes dans les societes capital-
istes d'aujourd'hui, Amerique Latine, No.6, Summer 1981.

51 The "Services" category includes three distinct sets of services:

(1) government and defence; (2) social services; (3) personal and domestic
services. The latter, in the Chilean context, was largely constituted by the
workforce attached to households. Celade, Boletin del Banco de Datos, No.6,
Santiago, November 1974.

52 Cf. E. Faletto, E. Ruiz, op. cit.; A. Pinto, Desarrollo y economico y

cit.; A. Valenzuela, The breakdown ..., op. cit.; M.A. Garreton, El Proceso
politico chileno, Flacso, Santiago, 1983.

53 E. Faletto, E. Ruiz, op. cit.; A. Pinto, Desarrollo economico y ..., op. cit.;
M.A. Garreton, T. Moulian, Procesos y Bloves ..., op. cit.; J. Cademartori,
La economia chilena: Un enfoque marxista, Ed. Universitaria, Santiago, 1968;
A. Valenzuela, The breakdown ..., op. cit.; L. de Riz, Sociedad y_politica
op. cit.

54 On the feudal/bourgeois character of the dominant class as treated by Latin

American sociology, cf. A. Solari, R. Franco, J. Jukowitz, Teoria, accian,
social y desarrollo en America Latina, Ilpes, Siglo Veintiuno Editores,
Mexico, 1976.

"The first important point about the Chilean bourgeoisie is that the
agrarian, financial and industrial fractions were not separate antagon-
istic groups, but were closely interrelated through both personal and
business ties. Data for the mid-1960s show that 42 per cent of
bankers and 31 per cent of corporation executives either owned large
estates themselves or had close relatives who did so."
(B. Stallings, Class conflict and economic development in Chile,
1958-1973, Stanford University Press, 1978, p.35)

55 C. Veliz, La mesa de tres patas, Desarrollo Economico, Vol.3, Abril-

Septiembre 1963, Buenos Aires; A. Pinto, Chile: Un caso ..., op. cit.;
Desarrollo Economico y relaciones OD. cit.; E. Faletto, E. Ruiz, H.
Zemelman, op. cit. •

56 Cf. A. Pinto, E. Faletto and E. Ruiz, M.A. Garreton and T. Moulian, quoted
works; also P.W. Drake, Socialism and Populism in Chile, 1932-1952,
University of Illinois Press, 1978.

57 A. Touraine, Vie et mort du Chili PoRulaire, Editions du Seuil, Paris, 1974.

58 Data from a swdy of the "interamerican Committee for Agricultural Develop-

ment" shc,ws that the rural economically active population was 664.2 thou-
sand:, (based on the national cen-,, !s of 195M. 10.2 per cent of the sector was

constituted by the medium or large landowners and the strata of admin-

istrators or technicians. The remaining 89.8 per cent composed what call
the rural popular class. 42.4 per cent of it (281.8 thousand agents) were .
_small owners who directly worked their property (individually or under corn-
munitarian frameworks) or tenants; 47.4 per cent (314;5 thousand agents)
were workers employed in the "fund&' system of land exploitation, where
dominant capitalist economic relations did not exclude other economic and
social forms of payment and organization of the work process. Cf. CIDA,
Tenencia de la tierra y desarrollo socio-economico del sector,
Santiago, 1966.
59 A. Af fonso, S. Gomez, E. Klein, P. Ramirez, Movimiento Campesino Chileno,
Icira, 2 vols., Santiago, 1970; S. Barraclough, Reforma Agraria: Historia y
Perspectivas, Cuadernos de la Realidad Nacional, No.7, Santiago, 1971; J.
Chonchol, Poder y Reforma Agraria en la experiencia chilena, in A. Pinto
(ed.), Chile Hoy, Edicion 2, Editorial Universitaria, Santiago, 1970.

60 T. di Tella, L. Bram, J. Reynaud, A. Touraine, Huachipato et Lota, Etude sur

la conscience ouvriere dans deux entreprises chiliennes, Centre National de la
Recherche Scientifique, Paris, 1966.

61 On unionization, politics and history of the working class movements in

general, cf. H. Ramirez, Historia del Movimiento Obrero, Santiago, 1956; J.C.
Jobet, L.E. Recabarren. Los origenes del mpvimiento obrero y del socialismo
chilenos, Santiago, 1955; A. Angell, Politics and the labour movement in
Chile, Oxford University Press, London, 1972; G. Falabella, Labour under
authoritarian re Imes: the Chilean Union Movement 1973-1979, Ph.D.
Dissertation, University of Sussex, 1980.

62 On the concept of "marginalidad" cf. A. Touraine, Las sociedades ..., op.

cit.; D. Raczynski, Sector informal urbano: algunos problernas conceptuales,
in V. Tokman, E. Klein (comp.), El subempleo en America Latina, Clacso, El
Cid Ed., Buenos Aires, 1979; A. Quijano, The Marginal Pole of the Economy
and the Marginalised Labour Force, Economy and Society, 3 (4), November

63 M.A. Garreton, El proceso ..., op. cit., p.24.

64 Ibid.

65 A. Valenzuela, op. cit., p.13.

66 A. Giddens, Central problems in social theory, Macmillan, London, 1982,


67 3.3. Brunner, La cultura en op. cit.

68 M.A. Garreton and T. Moulian, op. cit.; M.A. Garreton, El proceso ..., op.

69 A. Vaienzuela, op. cit., p.17.

70 Garreton and T. \loulian, oo, A. Valenzuela, op. cit.; L. de Riz,

np. cit.; N. Lochner, La democracia en Chile, Signos, Buenos Aires, 1970.

71 A. Valenzuela, QR._ cit., pp.13-14.


72 A. Valenzuela, op. cit.,; G. Urzua, A. Garcia, Diagnostico de la burocracia

chilena, Editorial Juridica, Santiago, 1971.

73 M.A. Garreton, El proceso op. cit.

74 J.F. Rada, The impact of the labour process and the international division of
labour on the formal education level of the labour force in Latin America.
Particular reference to Bolivia, Ecuador and Chile, Ph.D. Thesis, University
of London Institute of Education, 1978, p.113.

75 On the sacred/profane or intrinsic/extrinsic dimensions of education, Cf. B.

Bernstein, Aspects of the relations between education and production, in
Class, Codes and Control, Vol.3, Second Edition, Routledge and Kegan Paul,
London, 1977.

76 J.F. Rada, op. cit.

77 The argument for the Latin American case is in G. Rama, Educacion,

imagenes y ..., op. cit.

78 See E. Schiefelbein, J. Farrell, Determinantes de la supervivencia escolar y .

el ingreso al mercado, CIDE, Documentos de,Trabajo 18, Santiago, 1978.

79 II... the educational systems can easily be expanded; for achieving this
it is enough to expand the number of students per teacher. In this
case, the quality of teaching can be seriously impaired, as when the
teacher/student ratio goes beyond reasonable limits. But it is doubtful
that this may much concern the beneficiaries or those who take the
decisions if, at the same time, it is ensured the objective of supplying
more educational status."
(G. Filgueiras, Expansion educacional y estratification social en
America Latina, 1960-1970, DEAL C4, Unesco, Cepal, PNUD-, 1978)

80 Testimony to the author of Mario Leyton (see Chapter 4), Santiago,

January 1980.

81 M. Archer, Social origins of educational systems, Sage Publications,

London, 1979, p.202.

Part II

The Educational Reform of the Christian Democratic Government (1964-1970)

"The crisis is not of Chile's own only.

It affects all the Latin American
countries. Their common problem is the
need to conceive a new political
regime, capable of overcoming the
obstacles that impede economic
development and the realization of
social justice without the sacrifice of

"Our educational policy is fundamentally

oriented towards the formation of the
whole person, fully restoring the human
values to prepare a solid common
cultural base which will take us into
the industrial society which we are

President Eduardo Frei, First Address

to Congress, 21 May 1965

The election to govern:nent of the Christian Democracy in 1964 matAs the

opening of a period of comprehensive social change in Chile. The ideal animating
the new —group in power was to achieve a "communitarian" society, at once econom-
ically developed and participatory; a modern society, and yet one where man could
feel no alienation but rather a sense of belonging.

Originating in, and led by groups situated in the middle space of the social
structure, the CD's movement explicitly defined its project as a "Third Way"
between Capitalism and Communism. But this "Third Way" was not only an expres-
sion of middle class groups. Its political and doctrinal realization demanded the
social and political mobilization of the categories of the popular class which up to
1964 remained outside the boundaries of the "Compromise State". The years of the
CD government saw an unprecedented tide of popular participation and a radical
deepening of the democratization process which hadunderlain the post-1920s
decades. A weakening of hierarchies pervaded the reformer activism of the state .
and of a myriad of new popular organizations. More of society seemed turned in
upon itself, and producing changes, during this period, than in any previous time
during the century. Simultaneously, the "Third Way" did not question the capitalist
basis of its modernization project. Democratization was to rest upon an expanded
and modernized material base, where the state had a substantial share and regulat-
ing -powers, but whose principles of development pointed to the growth and
increases in productivity of the private sector.

For the CD education was a key lever of change. A comprehensive educa,

tional reform was one of the foundation stones of the general process that the new
party in government defined as a "Revolution in Liberty". A renewed education was
necessary in connection with the instrumental capacities and skills which, it was
thought, economic development demanded, and also in connection with the moral
basis of the new communitarian society. The reform of the state schooling system
accomplished by the- CD government has no precedents in terms of its comprehen-
siveness, the resources it mobilized and its achievements. It was also unpreceden-
ted in the extent to which its modifications were linked to a global project of
social transformation. Of all the major reforms of the period, the educational
reform was the only one which did not confront serious political opposition.

shall examine "rho CD reform of education and its institutional context

each of f m next three chapters at a different level of analysis. In
Chapter 3, we shall focus on the level of generation of the educational policies in
question. We shall outline the fundamental social, political and ideological - con-
stituents of the Christian Democratic party and attempt to determine the general
meaning of education for the "Revolution in Liberty" project. In Chapter 4, we
shall focus on the level of realiZation of the reform. We shall attempt firstly to
determine the political conditions - both general and internal to education - of
implementation of the changes. A detailed account of the actual measures and
internal features of the reform will follow. In Chapter 5, we shall focus on the
deep level grammar, or code meanings, of the changes described in Chapter 4.

Chapter 3

The "Third Way": the party, the programme, and education

"The Christian Democracy has been, at

the same time, agent of modernization
of capitalism, expression of the middle
classes and the animator of a great tide
of popular participation."

A. Touraine, in M.A. Garreton, El

Proceso Politico Chileno, Flacso,
Santiago, 1983, p.8


The origins and development of the Christian Democratic Party were critic-
ally linked to the renewal of the social thought of the Catholic Church and to
transformations among the non-entrepreneurial middle class groups. Both strands of
changes contributed decisively to the political demise of the Radical Party which,
by the end of the 1950s, the CD substituted in the centre of Chilean politics. We
shall firstly give an account of .the origins of the CD. We shall characterize then
the main features of its social basis and ideology. In the closing section we shall
refer to the position and meaning of education for the party's global project of
transformation of Chilean society.

Historical elements

In 1938, a group of university students inspir'ed by the social teachings of

the Catholic Church and active in different minor groups of "social Christians",
abandoned the Conservative Party (as this had failed to nominate a presidential
candidate which satisfied their reformist views) and founded their own political
organization: the Falange Nacional. Working in close contact with priests who at
the time represented the first signs of a process of breaking down of the orthodoxy
which had put the Church on the side of the ruling land-owning groups, the
falangistas closely followed the Papal Encyclical letter "Quadragesimo Anno" (1931)
in their first ideological pronouncements. The Papal document had emphasized
social justice and a simultaneous condemnation of liberal Capitalism and Commun-
ism. The fledgling organization tried to interpret the Chilean situation and form-
ulate its programme of change with corporatist notions of a hierarchical society
where "intermediate organisms", like the family, unions, local organizations, etc.,
would provide a basis for order and a sense of belonging and brotherhood absent in
both Capitalist and Communist types of society.'

In its first two decades the Falan7e did not alter its initial characteristics
as a tiny party of Catholic intellectuals and in no election before 1957 was able to
obtain more than 4.0 per cent of the vote (see Table 3.0.

From an iriiti.l (1939-194i) independent position - "above the Right-Left

division" - which led the ownization to support legisla.tive measures of the

Popular Front Govermnent and an anti-Popular Front candidate in an election for

senator in Santiago, the Falange moved to a centre-left position. During the decade
between 1942 and 1952, the party on the whole supported the Radical Govern-
ments, briefly .occupying some ministerial posts and preserving a reputation for
principled policies. Its first minister, E. Frei, resigned over a. labour policy which
led to a massacre of workers in 1946. Similarly,_ it opposed the suppression of the
Communist Party in 1948. A disposition to align itself with Socialists and Commun-
ists in support of legal strikes or every "concrete good work" brought the Falange
to a serious but ultimately inconsequential confrontation with the Church-.

During the first half of the decade of the 1950s the Falange started to
abandon its condition as peripheral political actor. In a context defined by serious
economic problems (inflation reached 84.0 per cent in 195.5) and a Government
which lacked in talent and sense of direction, the phalangists reverted to their
original positions against pacts and compromises and successfully began to project .
themselves and their programmes for renewal as arr alternative to the structural
problems of the country. The emphases were on social, justice and a technical

"Why not start with a methodical and scientific plan which shall not
produce miracles ... but which truly will work for an improved future
for Chile, for achieving the social justice which the people need and
for implanting a real democracy instead of a warped one in a country in
which three million people are living not in poverty, but in misery?" -

In 1957 the Falange and the Partido Conservador Social Cristiano merged to
form the Christian Democratic Party. The year is a landmark not only because of
change of labels and. reorganisation of the "social christian" groups, but also
because the Falange obtained 9.4 per cent of the vote in the election of a new
parliament, signalling the -end of its "leaders without followers" character. In 1958
the CD had its own candidate for the presidency of the Republic for the first time.
Senator E. Frei obtained 20.5 per cent of the vote, behind the alliance of the
Right (31.2 per cent) and S. Allende, the candidate of the Left (23.6 per cent), but
ciearly displacing the candidate of the Radical Party, who obtained 15.2 per cent
of the vote. With a talented and cohesive leadership and an organizational effort
based on a new generation of professional and middle level employees, the CD had
conquered the Centre in Chilean politics. The rise of the party continued un-
abated durirN the presincy of 7. Alessandri (1953-1964), a member of one of the
ruling economic groups v,iho cut public expenditure, provided incentives for private
and foreign investors, and contained wage increases from keeping pace with initia-
tion. By the conjuncture of the presidential elections of 1964, the CD had success-
fully extended its influence beyond the professional and white collar groups into
the rural working groups and shanty-town dwellers. Defending a programme which
combined images of the "Communitarian" Chile of the future with specific "tech-
nically founded" policies for every domain, the party claimed its third way -
"Revolution in Liberty" - as the only form of conquering economic development and
social integration, which. as well would impede the triumph of Communism. In a
highly polarized political context in which the electorate confronted two alternat-
ives of reform and where the dread of Communism was intensely agitated, 4
Eduardo Frei gained the presidency by a substantive majority, in September 1964.
The CD candidate obtained 56.1 per cent of the vote .against 38.9 of Salvador
Allende, candidate of the alliance of the Left (see Appendix 4).5

Table 3.1
Percentage of the vote received by the Falange or the Christian Democratic Party
in Parliamentary. Elections,1941-1973

1941 1945 1949 1953 1957 1961 1965 1969 1973

3.4 2.6 3.9 2.9 9.4 15.4 42.3 29.8 29.1

Source: Appendix 3

Beyond immediately political events, the rise of the CD seems inseparable

from profound changes in the social and cultural categories of the Field of
Symbolic Control. In terms of this latter the CD represented a new generation of
professional groups, richer than their predecessors in terms of cultural capital and,
against the background of underdevelopment, advocating changes founded on
"scientific" or "technical" grounds. To these new groups the Radical Party meant a .
past of partial and intuitive solutions as well as political opportunism. By the end
of the 19.50s the Radical Party had lost most (:)f. its progressive appeal and was
openly a party of patronage, its wayward trajectory expressing bOth its lack of
programme and its will to maintain its quota of control over the state irrespective
of the social or ideological meanings of the ailLInces it needed for that hold on the
sute to be kept. In contrast ), the new party in the Centre advocated comprehen-
sive economic and socio-political change on strong ideological as well as "tech-
nical" grounds and proclaimed its will to break with the traditions of ad-hoc solu-
tions and political expediency which had characterized the period of the Radical
governments. - However, the CD based its project of change not only on a techno-
cratic basis but also on a moral one. On the latter account, changes in a non-
partisan but politically strategic agency of Symbolic Control - the Church -
contributed deCisively to legitimate and gain support for the CD's claim to power.

In 1962 the Chilean bishops-published two pastoral letters: one addressed the
agrarian problems and the other the general economic and socio-political challenges
posed by underdevelopment. Abandoning the traditional emphasis of such pro-
nouncements on "general principles and individualistic solutions", the bishops made
ample use of empirical studies by secular experts and called for agrarian, tax,
industrial and administrative reforms. They emphasized that "love of neighbour also
involves a serious responsibility for economic development".6 As one author has

"The synthesis of religious motives and technical expertise encouraged

by the (Catholic) hierarchy to produce equitable development coincided
very closely with the ideology of the Christian Democratic Party."7

The ideological congruence was accompanied by strong generational, social

and educational identities between the leadership of the CD and the bishops and
clerics who came to lead the Church in the late 1950s and early 1960s.8 There is
little doubt that the move of the Church from the right to the centre, in terms of
politics, and from the individual and the other-worldly to the social and economic
inequalities underlying the country's poverty, in terms of focus of concern, greatly
enhanced the CD's project and the atmosphere of comprehensive change which
defined the period of its government.9

It is worth remarking that the CD's electoral growth was not achieved at the
expense of the Radical Party (the christian/mason divide being deep enough to
have generally impeded such a change of allegiance) but rather at the expense of
the Conservative and Liberal Parties, and other minor centrist groups.10 The
changes in the Church obviously impinged upon the loss of support for the
Cons.2rvative Party, the carrier of the old clerical principles.1 1. Additionally, the
transformation of the numericany insignificant Falange of the early 1950s into the
massive CD of the early I9 ;0s coincided with a process of expansion of the elect-
orate, which incr(N2J,r1 from three qu a rters of a at the beginning of the
1950s, to 1.25 r zillion in 1960, 7_.06 millions in 1963 and then to 2.5 millions in

1964.12 This coincidence, together with the fact that the CD's mass supper[ car re
from rural working groups and ..women in genera], categories which were partially
or totally disenfranchised before 1957, strongly suggests that the party's gro,,
was to an important extent linked with the access to political participation of new

Finally, the CD's bid for power in 1964 counted upon the strongest support
from a Democrat Administration in the USA interested in a "third way" for Latin
America. For the American Government, reforms aimed against the traditional
elites were to bring economic development and stall the progress of Cuban inspired

2 Social basis

The occupational basis of the groups which set up the CD and led its
organizational and ideological development, prior to and during its period in
government, was predominantly professional and "white collar".

By the start of the 1960s, the upper levels of the party were overwhelmingly
constituted by university professionals of middle or upper class backgrounds. Of
President Frei's 28 ministers, 24 were professionals;14 lawyers constituted the
largest single grbup among the parliamentary party in 1967.15The party's life as
spearhead of a major process of social and political mobilization, previous to and
during its term in power, was ensured and dominated by the figure of the young
professional or the university student. As one of the leaders puts it:

"On the basis of time, the Chilean university youth were the first
national group to be enrolled as a majority in the Christian Democratic
movement. As far back as 1935 they provided the central integrating
nucleus. In 1938 they assumed the responsibility of founding a new
political party. In 1954, while the Christian Democratic Party had only
succeeded in electing five representatives in a House of 147, and one
senator in a senate of 45, they obtained the highest majority in the
elections of the students federation of the State university. Since then
until now, for thirteen consecutive years, Christian Democracy has been
the overwhelming force in university politics, not only in the University
of Chile, where half of the college students of the country receive
their education, but in other univc-rsities as well."

Although mainly professional or "\vhite collar", the party's militantes also

comprised a substantial number of workers, as the data of a study of three
representative local CD parties in Santiago, included in Table 3.2, show.

Amongst the dominant "white collar" categories, the overall predominance of

the "state" as opposed to the "production" based groups is clear. Further, the per-
centages in Table 3.2 corresponding to "production" collapse the categories
employers and employees. The study's author makes clear, however, that only a.
17 The non-
minority of the former ("businessmen") were represented in the sample.
.entrepreneurial character of the middle class groups predominantly represented in
the party's organisation is beyond question.

It is important to recognize that the CD's appeal among the professional

groups was not restricted to those typical of the Field of Symbolic Control (which
were the dominant ones in the party) but included also professionals and tech-
nicians linked to Production. Unfortunately, the data in Table 3.2 do not distinguish
the relevant groups. A pertinent piece of historical evidence in this context is that
the CD's specific proposals for change of every institutional domain, including of
course production and problems like infrastructure creation and industrial expan-
sion, were, to a decisive extent, the result of a congress of professionals it called
in 1962. In the event a new generation of engineers, technicians and economic
planners, together with the different professionals of the Field of Symbolic- control,
put forward its views on a "rationalized" as well as more just society.18

The above-mentioned class and field elements were overdetermined by a

generational component. Across its different social categories the CD was pre-
dominantly constituted by the "under 35" age group.19 The average age of the CD
deputies in 1965 was 39.8, as compared to 47.6 of the Radicals, 47.5 of the
Communists and 44.6 of the Socialists.

Looking now beyond the party itself and into its electoral basis, the overall
dominant feature is its multi-class nature. An important proportion of its voting
carne from the ranks of the non-entrepreneurial middle class groups which v:e. have
characterized as constituting its organizational core, A survey following the 195S
presiilential .sho'..ved that t.he -)reter;nce among "Manrial
Employees" and "Lnivecst .i:v Professionals", as well as among "Non-Managerial
Friipoyces" and "Non- M
anager 1-"rofessionals" was for the CD's candidate .-•I

Table 3.2

Occupational distribution of Christian Democratic Party Members-in three

communes of Santiago (1965-1966)

Conchali Nunoa Las Condes All


(working (middle (middle

class commune) class commune) class commune)


Professionals 2 13 25 11

Upper level
white collar 4 17 44 16
(state) - , .- (11)
(production) (5)

Lower level
white collar 42 48 31 43
(state) -- - - (21)
(production) - - - (22)

Manual and
service workers 52 22 0 30 •

N . 41 N . 52 N= 16 N= 109

Source: G.W. Smith, The Christian Democratic Party in Chile, CIDOC, Sondeos No.39,
Cuernavaca, Mexico, 1969, Table 18.

result which, at least in relation to the former groups, is coherent with the hist-
orical evidence on the CD's dominance in university politics since the first half of
the 19.50s. For the lower strata of the non-entrepreneurial fraction of the middle
class, a study by R.L. Ayres indicates the existence of a positive correlation
between an indicator of "Administrative Lower Middle Class" of the provinces and
voting for the CD, as Table 3.3 shows. Furthermore, results of the 1972 election
for delegates to the Central Unica de Trabajadores - CUT (National Confederation
of Unions) point in the same direction. On that occasion the CD obtained 41.0 per
cent of the "white collar" votes, well ahead of the Communist Party (22.0 per
cent), the Socialist Party (19.0 per cent) and the Radical Party (7.0 per cent).22

Beyond its roots in the social space of the middle class the COP had also
significant support among the working class based in the most modern and normally
state-owned industries.23 Although the figures in Table 3.4, save for the already
cited year 19772, collapse "blue" and "white" collar workers as well as urban and •
rural categories, and are not based on the total of the unionized working class of
Chile, they do provide a broad guide about the CD's influence in it.

In addition to the middle class strata and the working class, the CD added
the electorally important support of two groups. The rural popular class, which up
to the beginning of the 1960s was partially under the political control of the
political parties of the land-owning class but fundamentally excluded from
processes of political participation, and of the underemployed shanty-town dwellers
of the greater urban concentrations. Both groups had in the CDP a political party
explicitly devoted to their social "integration and promotion". The former, through
a process of agrarian reform which contemplated processes of land redistribution,
unionization and increases in salaries; the latter, through a combined process of
government induced self-help initiatives, organization, and special housing, health
and education policies. The broad picture provided by ecological analysis of voting
patterns confirms that these two groups of the popular class, at least during the
1960s, mainly supported the CD. A. Portes, in a study of squatter settlements in
Santiago, in 1969, found that the Cl) received as much support as did the
Communist and Socialist parties corr;bined.-

Finally the natonal ri10:1erilization based on an expo.nsici1 cnd

div.:-rsifi(mtion of the economy also ,apt ei.led to specific groups of industrialists,
typically situated in the most dynamic and state dependent sectors of the er7oi-.oitiy.

Table 3.3

Correlates of Christian Democratic Party Votes with indicator of Administrative

Lower Middle Class (Provinces), Presidential Parliamentary and Municipal elections,


1957 1958 1960 1961 1963 1964 1965 1967

-.03 .40c .15 -.01 .42c ..59b .60b .68a

a - significant at .001 level

b - significant at .01 level
c significant at .05 level

Source: R.L. Ayres, Electoral Constraints and the Chilean way to Socialism,
Studies in Comparative International Development, Vol. 8, Summer 1973, Table 4.

Table 3.4

Christian Democratic Party percentage share of CUT (National Confederation of

Unions) Delegates and votes, 1953-1972

1953 1957 1959 1962 1965 1968 1972 1972 1972

general blue- white-
collar collar
6.3 147 14.6 17.9 11.9 10.2 26.3 16.0 41,0

Source; G. Fa;abella, Labour in Chile under the junta, 1973-1979,_ University of

London Institute of Latin American Studies, \`'Ic., r1;ing Paper No. 4, Table 2,

Though of course negligible, these sectors played an important role in

the Government. 25

3 Habitus and ideology: dispositions and positions

We want to characterize the CD not only in terms of its explicit discourses

but also in terms of a deeper level, of tacit schemes of thought and action
regulating its practices and discourses, that is in terms of its habitus.

We shall take ideology to refer to a specific type of representation, i.e.,

those ideas produced either by the CDP itself, its intellectuals and its inspirers, in
the form of explicit discourses. Ideology in this context corresponds therefore to
explicit definitions of policy and practice produced by specialists. However, habitus
refers not to discourses (positions) but dispositions.26 That is, to tacit generative •
principles of practice and representations. Habitus,corresponds to:

"Systems of, durable transposable dispositions, structured structures pre-

disposed to function as structuring structures, that is, as principles of
the generation and structuring of practices and representations ..."27

We attempt below to list the practical, tacit schemes or principles which we

consider generative of the practices and discourses of the CD. Whereas these
latter can vary according to political circumstances, individual_agents and
institutional contexts, the schemes which orchestrate them, defining their
regularity and socio-political identity, are more permanent in time and across
contexts and agents. (The list is not intended to exhaust the tacit generative
schemes of practice of the groups dominant in the CD. It provides the principles of
only their political practices.)


(a) Between and within relationships

The eminently professional and "white collar" occupational basis of the

groups define the political idcntity of the CO positions them at the mental,
and therefore dominate , side of the s3cH iiLvision of labour. However, if the social
division of labour of domh:ation is taken into consideration, the predominantly

indirect links of the mcntioned „' roups \vith the Field of Production and therefore
with material power, and their mainly "Field of Symbolic Control" basis, define
them as dominated groups of the dominant class. This double principle of social
positioning lies at the most general sense of limits, i.e. if what is "possible" and
"impossible", "for us" and "not for us" inscribed in the CD habitus. The sense of
• limits created by this habitus produced a definition of the possible within the
existing social order in which the group held positions of control and prestige. On
the other hand their practices produced changes within and not of almost every
hierarchy. At its most general, the fundamental regulating principle of the CD
habitus generates partial subversions which do not, on the whole, address relations
between categories (of contexts, institutions and structures)• but only relations
within these categories.

(b). The symbolic as privileged means and focus of practice

The dominant groups within the CD were not only on the mental side of the
social division of labour but at the top of the hierarchy- within the division of
mental labour in society. One major orientation of these groups was towards the
value of science and the technical as crucial sources cf changes and rationalization
of society. A technocratic élan was intrinsic to the CD. At the same time, a
christian ethos founded upon the notion of the transcendent nature of the person
emphasized moral commitment as the key resource of social integration, instead of
force or the material, "automatic", constraints of market-like mechanisms. The
party was the product of the University and the Catholic Church and as a
consequence its principles of practice combined the tension between scientific
rationalization and deep moral commitment. Thus, we can say that one of the
crucial distinguishing features of the habitus of the CD articulated the symbolic as
the privileged means and focus of practice.

(c) Conciliation of contraries

A further principle of the habitus, arguably related to both the ambiguous •

social position of the dominant groLips of. the CD and their christian cultural basis,
is a disposition towards conciliation with respect to political practice and logical
synccetism With respect to tl)..'ory. 1/_
4 )!Tu[AtC'd in th middle space of class
and sociali7.ed into an ethos imd,-rlir-Hng the conmonalitv of man ever his
differences, CD groups practices and d syst.ei)atic,-iilly correspond to "third

way" options which intend to negate the existence of irreconcilable differences in

society, and therefore of irreconcilable alternatives in politics.

(d) Euphemisation of hierarchy and social distance

The main direction of the changes within structures and hierarchies inscribed
in the principles of the CD habitus was towards the euphemisation of hierarchy and
social distance or, more precisely, towards the weakening of the framing of
relationships without parallel weakening of their classifications. Change for the CD
had to do with achieving benevolent social relations and communications,
substituting persuasion for repression, public relations for public force,
participation for authority, "la maniere douce pour la maniere forte".


The main principles of the CD's ideology, as articulated in the official docu
ments of the party or the work of its intellectuals and inspirers, can best be
understood against the double-structure of the institutional background of the
organization's origins. As we have already shown the party arose out of a schism
within a clerical political party about the interpretation of the social and political
implications of the Gospel in the Chile of the 1930s. Further, the. founding group,
its leadership and apparatus throughout its development had its basis in the
University. Thus, Catholic doctrines, the social sciences of modernity and the
social processes of its production, are the constitutive threads of the discourse of
the CD.

The doctrinal foundations of the CD are in the writings of the French

Catholic philosopher J. Maritain and, as mentioned, in the Encyclical Letters of
the Popes. Indeed, ideologically the CD is a national expression in the domain of
politics of the major turn of Catholic orthodoxy in the century, away from (simp► y
put) its almost exclusive concern with the otherworldly to secular culture and
science, economic and socio-poiitical reations, present throughout the Encyclical
Letters of Pope John XXIII and the coriclusions of Vatican II Conciiium
(1962-1965). This renew el Catholic tho,ight constitutes the inspiraLion, the critic
term of reference and ultimate 'curse of legitimation of the ideological fra:riev,',Drk
of the CD movement in Chilr,.

The central' principles of the CD ideology are the human dignity of the
person, or its spiritual and sacred, nature, and society as an integrated, organic
totality whose aim is the attainment of the Common Good. The participation and
creative cooperation of society's several organic parts should be oriented towards
that end, ordered by Divine and Natural Law.30 From these principles stem both
the values the ideology holds, pluralism, democracy, cooperation, fraternity, and
the ideologies it rejects, simultaneously, individualistic Capitalism and collectivistic

"The nineteenth century," writes Maritain,

"experienced the errors of individualism. We have witnessed the

development of a totalitarian or exclusive communal conception of .
society which took place by way of reaction. It was natural, then, that-
in a simultaneous reaction against both totalitarian and individualistic
errors the concept of the human person, incorporated as such into
society, be opposed to both the idea of the totalitarian state and that
of the sovereignty of the individual."31

More specifically, one of the CD's leaders defined the doctrinal core of the
movement as follows:

"... the thought of the Encyclicals is very clear. The Pontif ices' teach-
ing is oriented towards a communitarian notion of society and, there-
fore, it rejects the individualist liberal order. Likewise, and with
identical vigour, it is against any return to the absolute power of the
state. The fundamental axle of the doctrine comes to be ... the notion
of 'human person', this is, that which permits the linking of the reality
of the individual with the reality of the social group through a common
value which is the spirituality of man. No form of state absorption and
no form of individualism, political or economic, are accepted in the
social thinking of the Catholic Church.
Catholic social thinking destroys the present order and constructs a
new one. It is anti-individualist and it says it; it is anti-collectivist and
it also says it.. At the same time, as it replaces economic liberalism, it
advocates a society which cannot he collectivist nor totalitarian, nor
either founded upon atheism. The only image of society compatible with
the christian doctrine is that in ‘.vhich the fraternity of man as
neighbour of other men is " .32
Different terms, used at different periods and by distinct fractions, within
the party will reflect the stdbilii:y of an ideological position constantly confronting
the challenge of setting up a "third way" in terms of final values, diagnosis of the
social reality and concrete political proposals. Thus "organicist" concepts about

intermediate institutions as providing means for participation and defence against

the alienating forces of statism and individualism played a crucial role in the 1930s
and 1940s. The general notions of personalism and communitarianism replaced them
later on, when the CDP substituted the Falange in 1957. The cornmunitarian model
of society, as already indicated, adheres to the principle that the hUman person as
such, and not the state, or class, or race, is the supreme value of the social order.
The polity, in its turn, has to be oriented towards the Common Good and based on
the participation of the majorities in the structures of power.

On economic relations, despite controversy and confusion in the discourse,

some principles stand clear. Capital has a social dimension and, while there is a
natural individual right to property, "the entire community possesses a superior
right to the full and equitable enjoyment of the good of society".33 The economy
ought to be organized so as to allow workers' participation in the ownership and
management of enterprises. Workers' participation was seen as an alternative both
to traditional capitalist relations of production and the socialist state ownership or
intervention. As the then senator E. Frei defined it in 1958,

"Business is composed of the shareholder, who is the owner of capital,

the manager and the worker. If we could imagine a vast process of
'universalizing' property through the organized purchase of stock by the
workers - not in the old limited sense of workers' ownership of stock
but on a massive, planned basis leading to the workers' real participa-
tion in capital and property - we would be able to imagine a social
order in which men would participate in the economic process on two
levels:, as worker with a salary and as a property owner with a share of
the profits."34

Communitarianism proposed a humanist economy where the profit seeking

motif was to be subordinated to moral duty and production was to be organized in
accordance with the needs of the totality. Strong emphasis was put on conscious
planning and state intervention. This, however, was not to be compared to forms of
intervention typical of the socialist economies, as at its basis "working
communities" would have powers of decision.

A central tenet of the Christian Democratic ideology was that cooperation

rather than conflict was the driving force in society. Although conflict and diver-
gence of interests were recc,-., nized as inevitable in a pluralistic order, the DC
doctrines rested upon the bt.:lief that a cooperative instinct was a much more

powerful force. The cornmunitarian society had to be a result of conscious


"... the great adventure of man and his trial is to construct a society
founded upon the agreement of wills, a fact which requires an act of
intelligence but also an act of obedience."
For cooperation to be possible, participation of all the members of society in
the social and political organizations which were related to their lives had
promoted. The participation of individuals in various intermediate bodies (between
the individual and the state) or communities, was to provide the social ground for
the setting up of: the bonds of cooperation between functionally or hierarchically
different agents; the organization of the political and economic demands of the
excluded (lobbying functions); and, more generally, the generation of practices
centred upon the values of solidarity and brotherhood. Participation and coopera-
tion were the founding principles of a just social order envisioned as a "community,
of communities".36

Although in. many ways close to Liberalism, Communitarianism reveals

important differences. As can be inferred from the preceding, CD doctrines

"stress the role of the citizen as a participant in the community rather

than the rights of the individual independent of the community. The
idea of government promotion of a sense of belonging, of being part of
society, overshadows in (communitarian) ideology the idea of the
government's guaranteeing individual rights that prevails in liberal
doctrine.... Frei contrasts the individual's role in the present and the
ideal future society: 'Then the man trembling in the night will be
replaced by a citizen who can feel a sense of participation in the
community and who can understand that he is a part of a great

More generally, although both models of society are founded upon pluralist
principles and the acceptance of the realities of compromise, Communitarian
ideology stresses the normative character of the goal to be achieved. In contrast,
the competitive model underlying Liberalism assumes that the free competition of
conflicting forces, by itself ("automatically"), produces the Common Good.38

Together with the abovementioned features, the partisan discourse was also
constituted by more secular contents provided by neo-capitalist economics and the
socioloical theories of modernization. With respect to the former, the economic
of the influential Econoinic Co:nmission for Latin America CE.CLA, a UN

agency) provided the party with the specifics of a project of development based on
a mixed economy and foreign financial support and investment, within the general
boundaries of the world capitalist system. ECLA's ideas on development closely
fitted the doctrinal principles of the CD on an integrated society able simul-
taneously to produce growth, •a better distribution of the product and an increased
democratization of its power structures. Sophisticated planning and decisive state
intervention, together with agreements with the developed economies outside the
country and the private sector inside it, were the principal elements of the Eel-A's
project which the CD adopted as it own.39

On another level, the multiple branches of the basically American socio-

logical "theory of modernization" provided the categories and additional intellec-
tual legitimation to the CD's non-class conception of the problems of under-
development and social conflict and allowed it to speak about revolution as
"popular promotion", or the societal effort to integrate its marginalized sectors. •
The christian-humanist theses of Maritain join here with the theories developed by
the jesuit Roger Vekemans and Desal on "integration and marginality" and also with
the American views on underdevelopment as a problem defined by the contradiction
between modern and traditional structures. The result was a new discourse on the
problems of Chile centred not on the class contradictions as exposed by Marxism,
but on the contradiction between incorporated and excluded.40

"The narrow, rigid ideology of Communism leads it to concentrate

exclusively on the dichotomy between the poles of the economic situa-
tion: the workers versus the owners of capital. The more strategic and
comprehensive dichotomy between those who exercise social power (of
which economic power is only one part) and those who are denied such
power is heavily disregarded by Communism."41

A host of newly developed intellectual centres in Santiago, like the afore-

mentioned DESAL (Centre for Economic and Social Development of Latin America),
the Jesuit centre Bellarmino, the Sociology Department of the Catholic University,
and others, contributed with specific theorizations and data to the idea that the
oppositions modern/traditional and incorporated/excluded were the key contradic-
tions of the situation of underdevelopment. The CD conceptualized its political
effort to mobilize and socially "integrate" the rural working groups and the ; .-largin-
alized shanty-town dwellers (poi cal scans which neither the old Centre nor the
Left had systematically exploited bLfore) both iii terms of its ethical discourse
in terms of its theories of modernization. Both discourses coincided in the
conceptual negation of class and its political implications as propounded by the
Marxist parties in Chile at the time. The party members, across class divides,
placed human similarities before class associated human differences as criteria of
practice. At the same time, the majority perceived society as actually divided into
classes, as we can infer from the data in Table 3.5.

For all its identification with economic development and the values of
modernity, the ethical - religion-based - constituents of the CD ideology to some
extent stood for traditional, pre-capitalist values, which emphasized likeness and
commonality over functional specialization as criteria for the establishment of a
just order. Thus,

"If we adopt the dilemmas presented by Talcott Parsons (Mediatism vs.

Immediatism, Individual Interest vs Collective Interest, Universalism vs
Particularism, Ascription vs Achievement, Specificity vs Diffuse) in the
communitarian society we see that, along with the value bestowed upon
rationality, the Common Good, personal merit (in public affairs), and a
Universal Ethic, ... the limitation of the functional specificity of the
institutions is also considered important* (by introducing in them an
optimal degree of Diffuseness)."42

The CD's discOurse was simultaneously religious and technocratic in inspira-

tion and its specificity rested in the ambiguous relations between its two
components, that is, in the internal tension between its utopia-leaning and strongly
moral dimensions, and the scientific-technical foundation of its proposals for

4 A broad programme of reforms

Underlining its distance and differences with the politics of partial changes,
typical of the Compromise State, the Christian Democracy entered Government
committed to a comprehensive programme of reforms. forge Ahumada, the most
important intellectual influence in that programme, had written in 1958 that Chile
was in a situation of "integral crisis" in which not a sector or factor could be
singled cy.d as predominant or causal. On the contrary, the roots of the crisis lay in

* Our emphasis.

Table 3.5

Party :-embers rejecting class basis of society. by Commune

(Santiago, 1965-1966)

Conchali Nunoa Las Condes

(working (middle (middle
class commune) class commune) class commune)

Party members choosing human 85 84 88

similarities over human

Party members stating society 66 69 63

will not always be divided
between upper and lower classes

Source: G.W. Smith, The Christian Democratic Party in Chile, CIDOC, Sondeos
No.39, Cuernavaca, 1969, Table 11.

the totality and the inhrmonious processes of change experienced by its different
constitutive structures.

The moral condemnation of an unjust social order was combined, in the case
of the CD, with a comparatively sophisticated and, in the Chiean context, new
interpretation of its structural characteristics and historical possibilities. The
result was a project which attempted to confront simultaneously the problems of
economic stagnation, social inequalty, non-integration ("marginalidad") of vast
sectors, inflation, the lack of representation and the general anachronisms and
inefficiency of the institutional system.44

"What was proposed was the demand for simultaneous processes of

social development and economic development. The first was impossible
without the second and this latter lacked human meaning without the

Development was to be achieved via modernising agriculture, increasing

exports and expanding mining and industry, in a process led and planned by the
state but with . the support of both the Chilean private sector and foreign
capital.46 Beyond the immediate goals of controlling inflation and increasing the
economy's product by way of a more efficient use of the productive structure
existent in 1964, the government's strategy sought to lay the basis for a permanent
programme of industrial development (petrochemicals and chemicals, wood pulp,
processing of copper, etc.) oriented to export and the substitution of imports,
together with a radical expansion of copper production.47

The different policies which aimed at the objective of social integration

included redistributive, participiatory and modification of power relations.
Redistributive measures included taxation and income policies which favoured
labour, a reform of the labour code aimed at reducing differentials in family
allowances between "white collar" and "blue collar" workers and, in general, a vast
expansion of the state's expenditure on health, education, social security and
8 more
ho'u But the aim of achieving an integrated society required
than redistribution, as a crucial aspect of the crisis Was understood to be the lack
o organization of the people. The conditions of "marginalidad" affecting a
substantial proportion of the popular class was seen as a true barrier to the
constitution of a real national corncriuv,i whereas previously these conditions were
only formally recognized a,-Id gave rise to no policies of change. The process of
change was to bc' based now on simultaneous processes of organization and social

and political mobilization leading to participation of the masses of "margina!es" and

peasants, hitherto the most clearly excluded groups. All the weight of the
Government was therefore to be put behind an electoral reform to extend the
suffrage to illiterates, the passing of a law facilitating the unionization process in
the rural areas and, foremost, a comprehensive process of "Popular Promotion"
whose core was the organization of neighbourhood and "mothers centres", consumer
cooperatives and community centres, in the cities and the country. This diversified
network of state-supported popular organizations was expected to contribute to
self-help solutions to immediate problems, create lobbying functions in relation to
the state and produce a basic politicization which would break the barriers of the
exclusion of these social groups. The government defined "Popular Promotion" as a
requisite of a true democracy.

"By the term 'Popular Promotion' the Government means the incorpora-
tion of the people in the economic, social and political life of the
country, this integration being the only means of giving real content to
the word democracy."
"There is no democracy without an organized people, able to represent
itself in the different sectors. The right to vote is not enough; the
people should have the means to act over the destinies of the national
"The 'Community Centres', and 'Neighbourhood Committees', the unions,
the cooperatives created by the rank and file (and then developed) into
federations and confederations, will be the mechanisms which will allow
the incorporation of the people in the life of the country in all its

Finally, an agrarian reform which contemplated the expropriation of the

backbone of the landowning class in favour of the peasantry, in order to create
"one hundred thousands" new owners, and a parallel state-supported process of con-
scientization and organization of the rural labour force as a whole, constituted,
more clearly than any other policy of the CD's programme, an attempt to modify
the structure of power in Chilean society. This certainly affected the power struc-
ture of rural Chile, where before the reform only 7 per cent of the estates owned
79 per cent of the agricultural land, but the reform arguably had an impact
across the country-city boundaries. The alteration of property relations in the
country would generate changes both v.'ithri the dominant class, where the
!and-based traditional .8rous wo..ild lose part o heiv material base, and also
within the popular class, as an important sector of hitherto landless and excluded
gr oups would transtorm?ci into sma!l-holders strongly supported by the st:_lte.-

These reforms implied unprecedented levels of social and economic planning

and, accordingly, the programme of transformations included also the modernization
of the state. In fact., from the top, where the new Government set up a .National
Planning Office (ODEPLAN), downwards to the different principal projects of
transformation, a whole new system of state institutions unfolded during the

The "Revolution in Liberty" was ambitious not only because of the compre-
hensive character of the transformations which it proposed, but also because of the
complex political demands of "third way" policies in a political context as polarized
and ideologized as was the case in Chile during the second half of the 1960s
decade. As has been observed, -

"In Chile, a government policy of extensive agrarian reform must have

the support of organised labour and the Left to counteract the
pressures of conservative landowners. On the other hand, a policy of
industrial development dependent on foreign investment and long term
investment guarantees against nationalization, must have the support of
the more conservative business and landowning groups."
More generally, each of the most important changes of the CD government
bears the imprint of the attempt to strike a balance between the often contra-
dictory demands of economic development under capitalist principles and those of
"social justice". The main assumption here was that it was possible for the group in
government to define a space for a neutral state, able to articulate conflicting
class interests through the pincer-like action of a modern social and economic
planning apparatus from the top and coordinated organization-and-moral-building
processes from the base. Hence each policy was dual in nature, demanding social
and political engineering from the state and self-discipline from the social move-
ment, and also the coordination between state and private (local and foreign)
capital. Thus, the "Chileanization" of the copper mines implied the tensions
between progress in the path of nationalization and the need for foreign financial
support. 54 The agrarian reform was simultaneously "modernization of agriculture"
in its aim of increasing production and generating a modern capitalist sector of
estates, and a "change of power relations" or a pursuit of "social justice", in that
it essentially consisted in the exproori - non of the more traditional groups of the
landowning class in favour of land!ess secularly excluded peasants 55
with respect to the industrial sector, tiv, CD's project conceded key developmental

roles to the state, the private sector and foreign investment. Further, it did not
accept the need to choose between investment and consumption.56 . With respect to
the industrial working class, the Government's policy was also two-pronged, as it
generally sought to enhance labour organizations while, at the same time, on poli-
tical and ideological grounds (as these organizations were controlled by the
Communist and Socialist parties), it tried to undermine the most important of its
organizations, the previously mentioned Central Unica de Trabajadores. The
"Popular Promotion" of the underemployed masses of poor in the cities was also a
policy torn between its "conscientization-mobilization" aspects and its political
paternalism and instrumentalization by the state features.57

Finally, education in the 1964-1970 period was by far the least contentious
of the domains where reforms were applied, as no organized forces confronted the
Government's efforts. However, as we shall see, the Government agonized between
the goals of social integration and economic development in relation to the reform
of Secondary Education, finally devising a policy Which seemed to satisfy both
demands. A post-hoc interpretation of the period sympathetic to the CD has
naively pointed .out that the Government did not have a system of priorities to
solve the conflicts between some of its fundamental goals. Given the CD position
in social and ideological terms, its very identity rested on the negation of the need
to choose between economic development and social justice, that is, on the
negation of the irreconcilable nature of class interests, as stated by Marxism and
lived by the ruling groups of the Field of Production.58

5 "Revolution in Liberty" and Education

The meaning of education for the CD was much more than that of a
"sectorial social policy". For a vision which conceived the just society as the result
of an "act of intelligence .„ and obedience", education was a critical resource to
inde,?.d, for CD education was essential for the achieve-

were primary functions which a renewed education had to perform. The co

government assigned a high priority to the training of human resources. PreSi:Jent
Frei explicitly referred to this rationale of his government's educational policy:

"It is our firm belief that the principal resource we ought to mobilize is
the human resource. Before financial resources the country depends on
human (resources). Even more, I am convinced that a country with a
high level of human preparation will always find the financial resources.
It is most probable instead, that even with adequate financial resources,
these will be ill-used or wasted if we do not have enough human
(resources) in order to use them in an optimum way. The greatest
failure which our countries can have is this lack of human resources in
the quantity and quality needed by modern development."
At the same time, education was considered essential for the process of
social and political integration of the excluded and essential for the maintenance
of an order based on consent, cooperation and participation. The latter would not
be possible or would be a sham if not supported by processes designed to reduce
cultural inequalities. Education had to provide everyone with the symbolic
resources for conscious participation.61

Finally, education was also defined as a cardinal resource for the self-
liberation of the person. Maritain identified the fundamental goal of education as:

... the conquest of internal and spiritual liberty, to be achieved by the
individual person.... This liberation through knowledge and wisdom, good
will and love.... This conquest of being, this progressive attainment of
new truths ... opens and enlarges our mind and life, and really situates
them in freedom and autonomy.
There is a further, less explicit sense in which education was vital for-
the CD project. The previously mentioned social ambiguity of each one of the
most important reforms of its period in government, together with its
advocacy of working within the institutional limits of the "Compromise State"
meant that change could only come about if the necessary social mobilization
were disciplined, that is only if the social movements were able to respond to
the appeals for self--restraint by a government attempting to accomlish the
delicate balances implied by "third way" policies. The permanent and funda-
mental risk of the "Revolution in Liberty" was the escalation of social
demands beyond the economic capabilities or the political limits of the
"Compromise State". This \vas a risk all the rn:)re present because the project
of change itself presupposed the :social and political awakening, and the

organization of the most excluded and poorest groups of the popular class.
The balance between the dynamics of participation and demands for change on
the one hand, and self-restraint of the mobilized groups on the other hand,
demanded consciousness of and commitment to the chosen goals and means.
Education from this viewpoint, in its formal and non-formal variants, was an
obvious and key resource. Discipline was fundamental and it had to be the
result of conviction, i.e. to an important extent, the product of an educa-
tional endeavour.63

At the risk of repeating ourselves, the CD was predominantly a political

expression of middle class groups defined less by their material property or
direct links with the Field of Production, and more by their cultural capital
and their roots in the Field of Symbolic Control. It is this complex relation
which we believe defines the specificity of the habitus of the CD. We have
argued that the party's origin in the Church and the University privileged the
symbolic as the means and focus of practice and therefore privileged
education as a key to change. Such privileging can be understood from our
perspective as a translation at the level of the habitus of the group's
specific, objective conditions of existence. In putting education at the basis
of the manifold changes it sought, the CD was realizing the principles - or
system of limits - underlying its own conditions of production.64


The "Revolution in Liberty" project originated in the Field of Symbolic

Control and the magnitude of the resources invested in the expansion of formal
and non-formal education, as well as in their re-orientation, during the
1964-1970 period, should be seen against that fundamental background. Further,
the educational changes we are to analyse are a realisation, in a specific
domain, of the general structural and symbolic conditions and principles we
have analysed in this chapter. Accordingly, we should expect that the changes
of the period should he based on a radical expansion of the Es; should have
greater reference for "within" than for "between" relationships; should bear the
results of efforts to mr,:diate between the educational implications of the goals
of social integcation and economic development (or between commonality and a
rk.y-nDlex social division of labour); and should focus on the weakening of the
framing of social relations and communications of schooling.

Chapter 3 Notes

N—Lechner, La Democracia en Chile, Editorial Signos, Buenos Aires, 1970.

2 G. Grayson, El Partici° Democrata Cristiano Chileno, Ed. Fco. de Aguirre,.

Santiago, 1968; A. Angel!, Politics and the labour movement in Chile, Oxford
University Press, London, 1972.
It is important to clarify from the outset that the CDP saw itself as in no
way directly related to the Catholic Church. It was non-confessional and
existed outside the institutional Church. It was not necessary to be a
Catholic in order to join it.

3 E. Frei, Speech announcing his candidacy for the Senate, 16 December 1956,
quoted in G. Grayson, op. cit., p.309.

4 A. Valenzuela, The breakdown of democratic regimes: Chile, Johns Hopkins

University Press, London, 1978.

5 Months before the 1964 presidential election a candidate of an alliance of

Conservatives, Liberals and Radicals lost an important parliamentary by-
election to the Left. Convinced that on a three-way contest the Marxist
candidate for the Presidency could win, Conservatives and Liberals threw
their support behind E. Frei. The Radicals put up a candidate of their own,
hoping that a hung result would transfer the decision to Congress where they
could bargain for posts in Government. Their candidate, J. Duran, obtained-
only 5.0 per cent of the vote. The Right's support for the "lesser evil"
represented by the Revolution in Liberty did not have the form of a pact or
alliance and the CD did not have, in return, to compromise its programme of
change, threatening in particular the traditional landowning groups rep-
resented by both the Conservative and Liberal parties: a clear-cut symptom
of the political and ideological bankruptcy of the ruling groups at the time.
Cf. A. Valenzuela, op. cit.; J.F. Petras, Politics and social forces in Chilean
development, University of California Press, Los Angeles, 1969.

6 Episcopado Chileno, "El deber social y politico en la hora presente", cited in

B.H. Smith, The Church and politics in Chile, Princeton University Press,
1982, p.110. We have drawn heavily from this important study for the
relationships between the CD and the Church.

7 Ibid. ant.

8 "Between 1955 and 1964, fourteen of the twenty-eight bishops in the country
retired or died and their replacements tended to be social progressives.... All
of them had received their education in the same high-schools and university
circles which formed the leaders of the Christian Democratic Party in the
1930s and 1940s. Many of the new bishops and leaders of the PDC also had
close friendship or family ties." Smith, op. cit., p.11-2-.
9 The changes in the Chilean Catholic Church were, needless to say, the echo
of changes in the uniliersal Church which were mode official in the sessions
of Vatican II Cor;cilium. See, in p::,rticn:ir, Gaudium et Spes (Pastoral con-
stitution of the Church in the modern \5.-. )rld), in W.M. Abbot (general ed.),
The documents of Vatican II, London end DLO:-)Iin, 1966.

10 On this point, Cf. A. Valenzuela, op. cit.

11 B.H. Smith cites survey data on political choice by regularly practising

Catholics in 1964. 57.9 per cent supported the CD and only 7.7 per cent the
Conservative or Liberal parties. Cf. B.H. Smith, The Church ..., op. cit.,
Table 5.2.

12 See A. Angell, op. cit.; A. Valenzuela, op. cit.

13 "The Christian Democrats in Chile were the logical group to receive strong
support for a preemptive effort to undermine the threat of the Left while
bringing about a measure of development. The 1964 election saw an un-
precedented interference in Chilean politics from exterior sources. The
Central intelligence Agency channelled three million dollars to the Frei cam-
paign, which also received substantial sums of money from European and
private business sources." A. Valenzuela, op. cit., p.35.

14 B. Stallings, Class conflict and economic development in Chile, 1958-73,

University of California Press, 1978, p.60.

15 A. Angell, op. cit., p.183.

16 R. Tomic, Chile faces human development, in M. Zanartu, 3. Kennedy (eds.),

The overall development of Chile, University-of Notre Dame Press, London,
1969, p.10.

17 G.W. Smith, The Christian Democrat Party in Chile, CIDOC, SONDEOs,

No.39, Cuernavaca, 1969, p.5.13.

18 Cf. Partido Democrata Cristiano, Informe preliminar para un programa de

Gobierno de la Democracia Cristiana. Primer Congreso Nacional de Pro-
fesionales y Tecnicos de la Democracia Cristiana e Independientes, Santiago,
Editorial del Pacifico, 1962.

19 The study of G.W. Smith (The Christian Democratic party ..., op. cit.) dis-
covered that 54.0 per cent of its sample of party militantes belonged to the
"under 35" age group. See Table 16. G. Grayson states that "the 'under 30'
members constitute approximately 60.0 per cent of the organization". G.
Grayson, op. cit., p.424.

20 G. Grayson, ibid. ant.

21 A. Angell, op. cit., p.183.

22 G. Falabella, Labour in Chile under the Junta, 1973-79, Institute of Latin

American Studies, University of London, Working Paper No. 4, London, n.d.,
Table 2.

23 C. Falabella, Labour under authoritarian regimes: The Chilean union move-

ment 1973-79, D. Phil Dissertation, University of Sussex, 1980.

24 A. Portes, Urbanization and 1-)olitics in Latin America, Social Science.

Quarterly, 52. 3, !Jecornbei7 1971. Cl. aho M. Zeitlin and 3. Petras, The
working class vote in Chile: Christian Democracy versus Marxism, -The British
:Journal of Socioloc,,v, Vol. 21, 1970.

25 B. Stallings, op. cit.; E. Faletto, E. Ruiz, Conflicto Politico y Estruct!Jra-

Social, in A. Pinto (ed.), Chile Hoy, Siglo XXI, Santiago, 1970.

26 "The word disposition seems particularly suited to express what iscovered by

the concept of habitus (defined as a system of dispositions). It expresses :first
the result of an organizing action, with a meaning close to that of words
such as structure; it also designates a way of being, a habitual state (especi-
ally of the body) and, in particular, a predisposition, tendency, propensity, or
inclination" (P. Bourdieu, An Outline of a Theory of Practice, Cambridge
University Press, 1977, p.214, n.1).

27 P. Bourdieu, An Outline ..., op. cit., p.72.

We cannot discuss here the central concept of Bourdieu's sociology. Despite

its descriptive rather than explanatory nature, we consider it fundamental
for linking structures with practicesin a way which does not overplay the
role of either of the two terms. Even if we use it as a metaphorical notion,
it will allow us to trace back the pedagogic projects we are to analyse not
only to the logic of "decision making" by intellectuals or politicians, but to
the more general material and social conditions of generation of the tacit
limits of the mental structures within which those decisions were taken. A
minimal expansion on the concept itself is in order.

The structures of habitus, cognitive and motivational, inextricable moral and

logical in character, are dispositions inculcated by the possibilities and
impossibilities, the liberties and necessities inscribed in the objective condi•
tions of existence of a group or class. The limits intrinsic to the economic
and social necessity typical to given objective conditions of existence weigh
upon the relatively autonomous world of the domestic economy and family
relationships ... "providing the structures of habitus which are, in their turn,
the principle of perception and appreciation of every subsequent experience"
(P. Bourdieu, Le Sens Pratique, Minuit, Paris, 1980, pp.90-91). The concept
can be operated at very different levels of abstraction and therefore it can
include just the above mentioned "class through family" structuring struc-
tures or the full range of structures which can be conceived as generative of
practices, e.g., beyond material conditions of existence and family socializas-
tion, formal education, religious socialization, political socialization, etc.
Thus, in attempting to characterize the structures of the habitus dominant in
a political organization, we shall be considering not only class mediations
(determinants of the primary habitus) but also other institutional dimensions
(determinants of secondary or tertiary order habitus). (See P. Bourdieu, J.C.
Passeron, Reproduction in Education, Society and Culture, Sage, London,
1977, pp.43-45).
The relation between the habitus of individuals and that ofa group, or class
(or political organization) is one of homology, that is, "of diversity in homo-
geneity reflecting the diversity in homogeneity typical of their social condi-
tions of production" (P. Bo!..irdieu, Le Sens ..., op_. cit., p.101). The structurc::,
of habitus exist only as incarnated, incorporated into tine body, structures.
To refer then to the ha.bitu:s of the CD is to refer to those structures or
tacit, generative, practical princples common to its dominant agents and
idenifiable as such despt,:: differe.nces 50tween individuals.

A review of the literat!.ire critic,:11 of the concept of habitus is in .11.H.

Scahill, The cultral reoroduction theories of Basil Bernstein and Pierre
Bourdieu, Ed. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of 'Kentucky, 1931. CriticisTns

focus .mainly on the alleged non-falsifiable nature of the concept and the too
general or suspect character of the "causality of the probable" regarding the
key process behind the habitus' formation, i.e., the dialectic of subjective
aspirations and objective probabilities.

28 Cf. J.J. Brunner, Sociologia de los Principios educativos: un analisis de dos

reformas de los Planes y Programas de la Ensenanza Basica Chilena,
1965-1980, Flacso, Santiago, August 1980.

29 P. Bourdieu, La Distinction, Minuit, Paris, 1979, p.172.

30 G.W. Smith, The Christian Democratic Party ..., op. cit., p.22.

31 J. Maritain, The Person and the Common Good, Geoffrey Bles, London, 1948,

32 J. Castillo Velasco, Las Fuentes de la Democracia Cristiana, Editorial del

Pacifico, Santiago, 1963, p.96.

33 G.W. Smith, The Christian Democratic Party ..., op. cit., p.2.5.

34 E. Frei, Pensamiento y Accion, Editorial del Pacifico, Santiago, 1958, p.43.

35 E. Frei, I, Bustos, Maritain entre nosotros, Il P, Santiago, 1964, p.41, quoted

in G.W. Smith, The Christian Democratic Party ..., op. cit., p.2.13.

36 N. Lechner, La Democracia en Chile, Editorial Signos, Buenos Aires, 1970,


37 J.F. Petras, Politics and social forces ..., op. cit., p.200.

38 G.W. Smith, The Christian Democratic Party ..., op. cit., pp.2.12 and f f.

39 The creation of ECLA and, later on, of its paradigm on development, were
tenaciously opposed by the United States.

"The fact that (ECL A's propositions) recognized the need for
international cooperation and foreign capital for projects of
development did not ameliorate the heterodox emphasis of a theory
which had as basic pillars planning, an incremental role of the State in
the economy and the foundation of an industrial sector under certain
protectionist and privileged conditions." G. Salazar, El movimiento
teorico sobre desarrollo y dependencia en Chile, 1950-1975, Nueva
Historic, 1, 4, London, 1982.

40 Cf. R. Vekemans, La Prerrevoiucion Latinoamericana, Centro para el

Desarrollo Economic° y Social de America Latina, Santiago, 1969, and, in
general, the vast production of this centre.

See also on "modernization" theories in ge,Ieral: T. Parsons, Societies Evolu-

tionary and Comoz-u- ative perspectives, Englewood Cliffs, Ni], 1966; D. t\pter,
The Politics of Modernization, University of Chicago Press, 1965.

41 L. Scherz, The peo:-)10'3 role iii the revolution, in V. Zan:LI- to, J. Kern c:ly
(eds.), The overall develot)m,_‘nt ..., op. cit., p.99.

42 L. Scherz, The people's ro► e ..., op. cit., p.110, n.7.

43 J. Ahumada, En vez de la Miseria, Editorial del Pacifico, Santiago, 1958.

44 See President E. Frei, First Address to Congress, "Primer Mehsaie del

Presidente de la Republica don Eduardo Frei Montalva, al inaugurar el
periodo de Sesiones Ordinarias del Congreso Nacional, 21 de Mayo, 1965".

45 S. Molina, El proceso de cambio en Chile, Ilpes, Editorial Universitaria,

Santiago, 1972, p.68.

46 B. Stallings, op. cit., especially Chapter III.

47 S. Molina, op. cit.; R. Ffrench-Davis, Economic aspects of the Revolution in

Freedom, in M. Zanartu, J. Kennedy (eds.), op. cit.

48 S. Molina, op. cit.

49 President E. Frei, quoted in M. Lechner, op. cit., pp.130-31.

50 N. Lechner, op. cit., p.128.

51 The CD's Government expropriated 1,224 holdings equivalent to 3.2 million

hectares of which 265 thousands were irrigated and corresponded to more
than a fifth of the irrigated land of Chile. The process favoured 28,000
families or, approximately 180,000 peasants. See- S. Molina, o--). cit., p.92.

52 Thus, a by no. means exhaustive account of State institutions set up or radic-

ally expanded and re-defined between 1964 and 1970 includes organisms such
as: (1) the mentioned National Planning Office (ODEPL AN); (2) The Agrarian
Reform Corporation (CORA), the National Institute for Agrarian Development
(INDAP), the Office of Agricultural Planning (ODEPA), The Agrarian Reform
Institute for Training (ICIRA), in the agrarian reform front; (3) Popular
Promotion (Consejeria de Promocion Popular); (4) the National Commission
for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICYT); (5) National Television
network, etc.

53 J. Petras, Politics and Social forces ..., op. cit., p.248.

55 See J. Chonchol, Poder y Reforma Agraria en la experiencia chilena, in A.

Pinto (ed.), Chile Hoy, op. cit.

56 See B. Stallings, op. cit.

.57 Cl. H. Lancisberger, Ideology and practical labor politics, in M. Zanartu, J.

Kennedy (eds.), op. cit.; A. Angell, op. cit.; G. Falabella, Labour under
Authoritarian ..., op. cit.

58 See F. Foxley, El Gobierno de Frei: una etaDa de modernizac ion y reforma

de la sociedad chilena, Institute de Ci c'icias Politicas, U. Catolica. do Chile,
Santiago, 1971.

An explicit reference to the problem is in a most significant speech by

President Frei, in 1969, when already the youth of the CD ha.d seceded to
the - Left, arguing the impossibility of a "Third Way", Cf. E. Frei,

Perspectivas y riesgos en la construction de una nueva sociedad, Leccion

%lagistral, 1..Iniversidad Catolica de Chile, Santiago, 1969.
59 Cf. T.W. Schultz, Investment in Human Capital; J. Karabel, A.H. Halsey,
Educational Research: A Review and an Interpretation, both in 3. Karabel,
A.H. Halsey (eds.), Power and Ideology in Education, Oxford University Press,
New York, 1977.
60 E. Frei, Speech to secondary teachers, in Revista de Educacion No.3,
Ministry of Education, Santiago, December 1967, p.47.
61 Cf. Ministerio de •Educacion, Una nueva educacion y una nueva cultura para
el pueblo de Chile, Leaflet, Santiago, 1970, p.3.
62 J. Maritain, Education at the crossroads, Yale UP, New Haven, 1943,
pp.11-12, cited in K.B. Fischer, Political ideology and educational reform •in
Chile, 1964-1976, UCLA Latin American Center, California, 1979, p.18.
63 "This productive effort demands sacrifices and discipline; but the great
challenge is how to obtain the latter. There are only two ways: force or
conviction. If we are not able to obtain the latter, we would have resigned
beforehand to live in democracy.... It will seem utopian but we believe that
there is no other alternative for obtaining that discipline ... than the consent
of the people." E. Frei, La \'erdad tiene sdHora, Editorial del Pacifico,
Santiago, 1955, p.143.
We are indebted to J.J. Brunner's work for this important point on the role
of education in the CD's global project of change. See Sociologia de los
principios ..., op. cit.
64 "The recognition a group or class objectively accords a pedagogic agency is
always (whatever the psychological or ideological variations of the corres-
ponding experience) a function of the degree to which the market value and
symbolic value of its members depend on their transformation and consecrea-
tion by that agency's (Pedagogic Action). It is therefore understandable that
the medieval nobility should have had little interest in Scholastic education
and that, in contrast, the ruling classes of the Greek city-states should have
had recourse to the services of the Sophists and rhetors....". P. Bourdieu,
J.C. Passeron, Reproduction op. cit., pp.27-28.
Chapter 4

Field contexts and contents of the Christian Democrat Educational Reform



The aim of this chapter is to provide a detailed account of the field

contexts which were directly relevant in producing the Reform's measures, the
contents of these measures, and the relations between the Official Pedagogic
Discourse (OPD) inaugurated by the Reform and the teachers' practices. In terms of
the analytical model introduced in Chapter 1, we shall be examining the sets of
relations which connect the Dominating Principles of the state, as controlled by
the CD, with a given Pedagogic Discourse of Reproduction (see Diagram 1.1 on
page 41). The analysis of the internal features of the ES will be examined in the
next chapter where we shall attempt to formulate the underlying pedagogic code.

Political and intellectual fields of educational policy

We want to examine here the primary contexts of production of the general

ideological principles and educational concepts and criteria which the CD in the
Ministry of Education re-contextualized in order to produce the new Official
Pedagogic Discourse,* and the new organisational structures of the ES. The most
fundamental of the 'primary contexts' we characterized in our analysis of the field
configuration of the 'Compromise State' (Chapter 2) and the Christian Democratic
Party (Chapter 3). We shall focus here on two international fields which were
directly related to the CD Reform of Chilean education. The first is a political
field constituted by the relations between the Latin American governments, and
the US government, as well as by international agencies like Unesco, the Economic
Commission for Latin America (ECLA) and others. The second field is the
International Intellectual Field of Education.

(* Bernstein's definition of Peda:,ogic Discourse is: "the rules regulating the

prodi,:ction, distribution, reproduction, inter-c elation and change of what counts as
legitimate pedagogic t(2xts". See M. Diaz, A Model of Peda g ogic Discourse with
sDecial a2plication to the Colombiar: Primary level of education, Ph.D. The!,is,
University of London, 19:3, p. SI.)

1.1 The US, underdevelopment and educational reform

During the 1950s and the early 1960s, US sponsored agencies and activities
produced a discourse on the "Integral Planning of Education" which advocated the
expansion and comprehensive reform of Latin American national education systems.
This discourse on "planning" conceived of education as a critical lever in a
development model which took for granted both the dominant principles of
capitalist forms of production and the dependency structures subjecting Latin
America to the USA. The core was constituted by a notion of planning, entailing a
scientific approach to the reform and administration of Latin American educational
systems. The overall explicit goal of planning was to coordinate educational reform
with the demands of economic development and greater democracy.

During the 1950s, a series of conferences developed the categories of the

new discourse and integrated the views of the educational authorities of the Latin
. American countries. The basic conclusions recommended setting up 'national
planning commissions' of education, 'national statistical- services', and institutions
for the training of the specialists. An Interamerican Seminar on Integral Planning
of Education (Washington, 1958) defined the fundamental concepts and set the
course to be followed:

"The overall planning of education is a continuous, systematic

process, involving the application and co-ordination of social
research methods, and of principles and techniques of education,
administration, economics and finance, with the participation and
support of the general public, in private as well as state
activities, with a view to securing adequate education for the
people, with definite aims and in well-defined stages, and to
providing everyone with an opportunity of developing his
potentialities and making the most effective contribution to the
social, cultural and economic development of the country."1

However, of more importance than the recommendations of these seminars,

which gave a definite impetus to educational reforms throughout the continent,
were the effects of the Cuban Revolution upon the US government's strategic
thinking on Latin America.. The multiplication of Cuban-like guerrilla 'focos' was
perceived by a newly inaugurated Kennedy Administration in 1960 aS a threat
which demaild,=Ni new responses.

"... this threat had dimensions that went beyond the purely
military, and in fact the threat was seen as more economic, social
and politican than as strictly military. The Kennedy
Administration, in an early analysis of the military threat posed by
the focos, quickly recognised this problem and realized that the
fundamental solutions lay in extra-military areas.

In this sense the Alliance for Progress was basically an anti-foco

weapon in that it attacked the root economic, social and political
causes that could provide fertile breeding grounds for the focos,
although the Kennedy Administration took pains to ensure that the
Alliance would not be presented as such, or as a response to

The Alliance for Progress was launched by the Kennedy Administration in

August 1961 at the Chancellors Conference of Punta del Este (Uruguay).
Educational change was the first priority in the plans of the Alliance.
Resolution Al passed by the conference advocated the setting up of a ten years'
plan for educational development.

The educational goals of the "Decenal Plan of the Alliance for Progress"
were: the achieving of six years of compulsory and free primary education for
the Latin American population; the ending of illiteracy in the continent through
systematic adult education campaigns directed towards community development,
manpower training and cultural extension; extension and reform of secondary
and tertiary education; promotion of the teaching of science; setting up of
welfare and scholarship schemes for students; promotion of vocational
education; promotion of research aimed at determining the manpower needs of
the different national economies for their development; promotion of specific
training rogrammes for workers and farmers.3 The US agreed to contribute
financially to the plan, provided that the Latin American governments
concerned made a special financial effort and took the necessary steps towards
setting up their own institutional mechanisms of "Integral Planning of

For the Liberal-Progressive political and in -tellectuat estaNishment,

dominant during the Kennedy and 73ohnsoii Administrations, Latin American
edu,:ation had to hc not only exDanc:L-ri, but a drastic redefinition of its ba!ic:
structures, transmissThns a
- nd ethos \YL:s required. The tcitaHt was diagrios:?.,1 as
dysfunctio:Ial for th prociesses of eccrtamic sociJi and poliLcal
modernization. The US e'lytal)lishment existing educational institutions in
• 29

Latin America as fostering aristocratic and traditional (Spanish) 'values of

rejection of manual work and the bourgeois virtues of austerity and capital
accumulation. it saw the role of the reforms and, of itself, as liberating and
humanizing. 4Parsons' categories of 'diffuse' and 'specificity', and 'ascription'
and 'achievement' were used to characterize the underdevelopment or
traditionalism of education in the area, allegedly geared to the reproduction of
roles typified as 'diffuse' and of !low achievement' orientations.5 At the same
time 'human capital' theories provided the economic rationales for the
substantial allocation of resources to education, which was regarded as
'productive investment'. Education would provide the knowledge and skills
necessary for the efficient use of modern technology which poor countries
lacked.6. Functionalist sociological theories of modernization and the economic
theory of 'human capital' provided the conceptual categories and the implicit
ideological justifications for programmes of economic and social development
which the American Government saw as critical for its counter-insurgency

Less than a year after the launching of the "Alliance for Progress", an
inter-governmental conference held in Santiago, Chile, specified the general
recommendations of Punta del Este in the concrete plans for channeling aid into
the reform of education. Every major international institution participated in
the event, summoned by Unesco, the Organization of American States (OAS), the
Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the International Labour
Organization (ILO).

The first recommendation of the concluding 'Declaration of Santiago de

Chile' stated:

"National planning should make possible contact with those who

work at the international level; each country should formulate in
the shortest possible time programmes of educational development
which integrate the plans for economic and social development.
Without wishing to diminish the importance of harmonious human
development, the plans should establish priorities to raise-the
population's productivity in order to accelerate the economic and
social progress of all in!-!abitFInts." 7

A national respon:-,,e to the press!._tres of the US government,Sand

the 'climate of orrpinion' created the hl lean educ.ation.:d d.uthoritles by

the consensual discourse on plannIng produced by the international agencies, was

the creation by the govern, nent of a 'planning in5:tancet. The :4`dessandri

administration designated a ''Commission for the Integral Planning of Education. "
(Decree 19, 138, 28 December 1962) charged with responsibilities for diagnosing the
current educational situation and for studying and for creating solutions to the
administrative, economic and pedagogical problems arising out of the extension and
improvement of the schooling system.9 Headed by Oscar Vera (at that time the
most prominent figure among Chilean educators and head•of the Latin American
Division of the Department of Education of Unesco) and supported by Chilean
and foreign experts, the Commission produced, between 1962 and 1964, a
comprehensive, systematic and quantitative analysis of the schooling system's
structure, the administration problems of the Ministry of Education, and an
evaluation of the changes required by the demographic tendencies and by the needs
of economic and social development.

The Commission recognised problems of high school absenteeism and

repetition rates, the general inadequacy of teaching with respect to the
development of the country, and the inefficient administrative structure. It called
for a major structural reform, consisting basically of the extension of primary
education from 6 to 9 years and the diversification of a shortened Secondary level.
It also called for a massive expansion of the ES.11 The Commission's proposed
strategy for the changes called for pilot projects which would be tried in specific
geographical areas before the development of legal regulations for the whole of
the system. However, this strategy engendered considerable political controversy
and became bogged down in a legislature where the government had no clear
majority. The project was abandoned in the political context of the election of a
new president.12

Despite its failure to produce changes in the ES, the 'Commission for
Integral Planning' left a wealth of information on Chilean education and a
catalogue of its problems which was to be invaluable to the CD planners. The
analysis of the 'Commission' started with the quantitative inadequacy of the ES;
although in 1965 87 percent of the 7-12 year old group was attending school. The
analysis underlined, as one of the ES's most grave problems, its inability to ensure
that those children who did have access to the system completed the six years of •

comp u lsory education. Approyjmately a third of the children finished the sixih
year, and another third left with no more than two years.
13 On another front, the
1 31

analysis characterized the structure of the educational system as more "a set of
uncoordiaateci and disparate elements" than a system. Finally the administrative
structure of the Ministry of Education encouraged the politics of interest groups
which led to overlapping of functions and boundary disputes between the system's
different levels and branches. The primary level was almost an educational system
on its own, spreading dOwnwards towards Pre-School education, and upwards
towards forms of Secondary education and Normal (teachers') education. Further,
this level had not solved the contradiction inherent in being simultaneously
terminal and 'preparatory' for the Secondary level. Secondary education also had
primary courses in its liceos. Professional or vocational education, duplicated in its
first three years, the curriculum of scientific-humanist secondary education, and its
vocational specialized curriculum was patently unrelated to the economy's
demands.15 In addition, the curriculum as a whole was found to be anachronistic
and encyclopedic in character. It favoured rote learning rather than
problem-solving skills, it consicuously lacked concepts which integrated the
information which it organized. It was highly structured and unresponsive to
individual, social or regional differences and, fundamentally, it seemed irrelevant
to the needs of economic and social development-16

The CD Re-contextualizing Field drew its principles to a large extent from

the theories, rationales, assumptions and data produced by a field constituted by
the interrelations between the US government, the international agencies, the
Chilean Government and the latter's 'Commission for the Integral Planning of
Education'. Thus, the principles of economic development and social integration
(the external relations of the ES) were derived from an international political
context esentially dominated by the US.

1.2 International Intellectual Field of Education and the Theories Selected for

The political field characterized so far was primarily concerned with the
macro-institutional relations of education. turn now to the intellectual fj.eld
which proJticed the theories the CD ',Zeform selccEed to provide the princip!cs for
:.he new teLchirg of Chilean educ,:J.tion. We arc herc
■vith th
theorie underpinning the pedaL;osic discourse of the CD's Reform. The sources

were twofold: firstly, the paradigm of instruction developed by the Chicago

University educationalists, Tyler and Bloom, and secondly, the definitions of
childhood and contexts of learning of Piaget.

The initial beliefs underlying the CD Reform, shared by the whole of the
Chilean intellectual field of education, were a reaction against subject- and
content-centred principles of curriculum organization, pedagogy and evaluation.
Despite the introduction of partial changes in the pedagogical orientations of
primary education since the 1920s, by 1964 the Chilean system was still working on
principles inherited from its 19th-century European origins. These understood
schooling as synonymous with the transmission of the higher expressions of a given
cultural heritage organized in tight compartments of different subject matters.
Education under these conditions was fundamentally the transmission of contents.
For this traditional paradigm,

... the basic fields in the arts and sciences are important because

they best exemplify and exercise the human's rational abilities.

Their study is what education is basically about. 'Furthermore,
within the various fields to be taught, the very best content, the
most intellectually significant ideas, should be what students
encounter." 17

To the reformers, a content-focussed organization of educational.

transmissions was strongly associated with the shortcomings typical of traditional.
education. In purely learning terms, it tended to privilege rote learning. It was
traditional in its methods and the content of its teaching. Of more importance,
contemporary conditions of rapid changes in the social division of labour and in the
structures of knowledge questioned the relevance of the teaching which centred on
given states of knowledge. The Reform adopted Tyler's and Bloom's 'rational' or
'technological' approach to curriculum which provided the theoretical principles
and specific instructional forms .18 This theory's founding principle was that
teaching should be conceived not simply as the transmission of contents but as
contents to be communicated and behaviours to be elicited. The accent was on
behavioural modifications and on the activity of the student. The focus, the theory
argued, should he changed from the teacher to the student; from contents to

IT term "acarning experiekce' is not the same as the content

With v.hch a course cie,als nor the acti,rri ties performed by the
!Te -.1,.- .7.hcr. The term reiscrs to the interaction

between the learner and the external conditions in the

environment to which he can react. Learning takes place through
the active behaviour of the student, it is what he does that he
learns, not what the teacher does."

A second important principle of this paradigm referred to the question of

what should school transmissions communicate. The principle in this context was
that the school should communicate procedures rather than contents; ways of
learning rather than sets of information; more generally, abilities and skills rather
than knowledge as "remembering or recall".20 The theory concentrated on the
questions of the efficacy of the transmission process and on the relevance of what
was intended for inculcation.

"... intellectual abilties and skills ... are more widely applicable
than knowledge.* If we are concerned with the problem of transfer
of training, by definition we should select intellectual abilities and
skills as having greater transfer value."

"Whatever the case in the past, it is very clear that in the middle
of the twentieth century we find ourselves in a rapidly changing
and unpredictable culture. It seems almost impoSsible to foresee
the particular ways in which it will change in the near future or
the particular :problems which will be paramount in five or ten
years. Under these conditions, much emphasis must be placed in
the schools on the development of generalised ways of attacking
problems and on knowledge which can be applied to a wide range
of new situations."
(* 'Knowledge' in the context of the paradigm refers to
remembering or recall processes and not to knowledge as
'understanding' or 'insight'. See B. Bloom (ed.), Taxonomy of
Educational Objectives, Vol.1, Cognitive Domain, Longman, London,
1972, p. 29.)

Not unconnected with the above, a third instructional principle from the
Tyler-Bloom paradigm referred to the importance of integration of different
'learning experiences' and, within experience, integration between the 'learning of
specifics' and 'learning of principles'.

"Integration refers to the horizontal relationships of curricolum

experiences. The organization of these experiences should be such
that they help the student increasingly to got a unified view and
to unify his behaviour in relation to the elements dealt \‘•:th."
"Our general understnding of lea rmng theory would set--) to
indicate that knowledge which is organized and related better
learned and retained than knowledge which is specific: and

The other source of theories directly impinging upon the pedagogic discourse
generated by the Reform was research from the field of child psychology and the
psychology—of learning. Overall the most influential ideas in this context were
those of Piaget. Additional references of the Reform included works by Havighurst,
Gesell and others. Despite otherwise important differences between them, the •
cited works share:

(a) a universalistic view of childhood, based in the sequence of biological


(b) the abstracting of the child's personal biography and local context from
his/her cultural biography and institutional context;

(c) the understanding of learning as a tacit process of development of

competences whose maturation is facilitated by contexts of inter-personal
relationships which elicit the child's active involvement without explicit public
control by the socializer.

(d) the viewing of socialisers less as exemplary figures and more as

facilitators of the contexts of socialisation, where hierarchical relations are
implicit and so euphemized.25

For the CD recontextualizing Piagetian principles were important for both

instructional and regulative features of the pedagogic discourse. Piagetian
principles of the integrated nature of the development of the child's cognitive
frameworks were directly instrumental to the definition by the curriculum experts,
of an 'integrated curriculum' (Curriculum Globalizado) for the first four years of
primary education.26 This integration idea was to be influential not only at the
primary level, where the Reform sought in tegration of subjects; but also at the
secondary level. Here integration would apply more to the relations between

In terms of regulative discourse, Piaetian principles provided a scientific

. foi.indation which favoured contexts of trarismission conducive to the expression of
the self, the revealing of uniqueness and or)enness to charge.

1.3 Principles of the Reform

We shall refer briefly to the principles of the Reform, so as to obtain a

preliminary view of how The different sources of orientations and theories we have
been describing were appropriated and re-contextualized by the group who acceded
to Government in 1964.

1.3.1 External relations of education

Education and social integration:

The most fundamental definitions of education by the Christian Democrats

derived from their views on the nature of the just social order as egalitarian,
pluralist and open to change. These overarching values spanned the founding moral
principles of the communitarian ideology and the liberal modernization principles
present in the American intellectual and political fields and in the pre-1965
Chilean reformist thinking on education. At this level the recontextualizing
undertaken by the CD's educational decision makers generated principles which
were inextricably 'corn munitarian' and 'modernizing' in character. Democratization
is their grand label. Three meanings of this concept can be discerned in the
official formulations on 'foundations' of the Reform. Firstly, democratization meant
the enlarging of access to the ES in order to ensure equality of opportunity.
Indeed, this was the most elementary requirement for social justice, in the
language of the cornmunitarians, or for advancing from ascription to achievement,
in the language of modernization favoured by the US dominated international field.
Secondly, democratization meant the increasing of opportunities of advancement
for all within the ES. As parallel to the extension of opportunities for individual
educational progress, the democratization of education also implied the fostering of
increased social mobility Finally, democratization entailed the more political
connotations of pluralism and openness to change; principles which were dear both
to the communitarian ideology and the American definitions on inoclernity.27

ES-production: the development orientation:

We have repeatedly referred to te. central nature, in the CD's project, of

the goal of economic dcveionment, and ft.D\i" this goal was conceived of, basically,

in terms of an industrialization effort which demanded the mobilization of, and

training, of the human resources of the whole of society. Education was seer; as
playing-dn essential role in this context. The second grand principle which defines
the positioning of the ES during the 1964-1970 period emphasized the need for
strengthening the systemic relations of education, i.e.., its relations to the field of
production and the growth of productivity.

A relevant official text indicates:

"Education, is an essential agency for leading the country towards

a solidly founded development. It requires to be in close contact
with the diverse operational forms of the labour process and be
able to respond to the need of supplying the country, both in
quantity and quality, with the diverse levels of human resources
needed for the country's progress."28

1.3.2 Internal relations of education: orientations of transmissions

The Reform derived its instructional criteria without alteration from Tyler's
and Bloom's theory. The Ministry of Education's discourse supporti;T, its measures
on curriculum, pedagogy and evaluation underlined that,

"... in the educational process it is not so important to emphasise

the amount of knowledge that the student acquires as to emphasise
the behavioural changes that the teaching-learning process creates
in the students. This is the essential intention of the new
programs, their structure arid their application."

"The emphasis of all the programmes (of study) lies in the

maximum possible development of abilities, habits, skills, etc., in
the students, and the subjects' contents play an instrumental role;
they are not the aim of instruction in themselves."29

The Reform's principles affecting the regulative features of the pedagogic

discourse were the results of a dialectic between the values and assumptions of the
CD as a political movement struggling to establish a new hegemony and
propositions concerning the internalization of principles of order, relation and
identity in the work of Piaget and related authors.

The CDTs crucial ideplecal principles here are its concept of person as a
unique and transc ,:-;. ;Iden.1 being- ar, r1 0,-; of community, as tie cooi.)erative
frameworl< wher:_, the values of irdtt'i- tv ;_ind common good are realized and within

which the person reaches his or her self-realization. Fducationally, the r)rinciplc.s
of the unique and transcendental nature of the person and of community required
contexts of transmission for self-expression where, in addition, social relations
would. be based not on hierarchies of positions, but on inter-personal relations of
cooperation. We can be more specific. With respeCt to hierarchical, relations
between agents, the. critical values privileged by the Reform were those of
solidarity, participation and cooperation. The official discourse defined 'basic
elements' which would need to underlie the whole of the educational endeavour:

"The solidarity and interdependence of the social groups,

dimensions which imply, from the standpoint of the individual, the
acquisition of attitudes of cooperation, tolerance, responsibility,
perseverence, capacityof initiative and politeness, through the
knowledge supplied by the different subjects and through the total
set of socializing experiences constituting the curriculum of each
Among the objectives of primary education it was pointed out that the
inculcation of values of tolerance, respect for others, honesty, responsibility, were
needed for

"... the integration of man in the community (and his) efficient

participation in the tasks of the common good, within the
structures of a democratic and pluralist society in constant

With respect to practice, or the relations between agents and processes, the
principles of the Reform emphasized expression of the self and creativity. With
respect to identity, the relevant principles implied both the need to produce
flexible individuals, able to .adapt constantly to the new conditions of their world,
and to create the moral parameters of that flexibility as defined by the values of
solidarity and the communitarian goals. The secular, modern references to a
flexible identity, were explicitly positioned within the ethical framework of the
Catholic humanism at the root of the CD's ethos.

1.4 Primary contexts of the nroduction of discourse and the re-contextualizins.

Drocoss: A summary

The cliagrdm which follo\vs maps thc cliscussion.• The arrows

coriesponding to the relay ions of the Cl.) .,vith the Fields of Production and
svm!Dolic Control c .;,:resent the !strong relation of th party with the latter and its
Diagram 4.1

Field relations, discourses on education and the CD Reform's re-contextualizing field

International political field

External relations
US GOVERNMENT Cuban Revolution Democratization of access
International 4. Counter-insurgency strategic Strengthening of
Development Agencies 'Alliance for Progress' systemic relations of
US Foundations and ES with Field of
Unesco, OAS, ILO, FAO, USAID intellectual field
>__ Production
rCIA, \x/orld Bank etc. v1
ORF 1%2-64:
Field of Commission for Integral Planning
`-)ymbolic Control
Discourse of 'planning' and 'human capital'
Diagnostic of insufficiencies in ES

Official Re-contextualizing Transmissions

Christian Field 1964-1970 (Pedagogic discourse)
,Modorn and Dominating Reform's discourse
1)emccr2 tic Principles Political planning and
cottirni_init ,- :irian society
Parry Capitalism curriculum authorities of Instructional
/:\ Democratization the Ministry of Education Behavioural changes,
rather than rote learning
General procedures,
Discourse of behavioural not specific contents
objectives and open Integration of
contexts of transmission transmissions (between
and within subjects)
International Intellectual Regulative
Field of Education Weakening of hierarchy
Personalization otz
practice 00
Piaget, Gesell and Tyler's and Bloom's Flexible identity
others' concepts of paradigm on within explicit
childhood and instruction moral parameters
contexts of learning

weak links with the former. This fact we consider of fundamental importance for
understanding the whole of the CD's project and its specific re-contextualizing in

2 Conditions of implementation of the Reform

A common initial condition for the different reforms of the CD government

was the strong electoral support the 'Revolution in Liberty' commanded in 1964
and 1965 (see electoral data in Appendices 3 and 4). President Frei's government
had a clearer mandate than that of any other government in the previous four
decades. Despite this, very soon after its inauguration and increasingly throughout
the second half of its term of office, it was confronted by strong parliamentary
and extra-parliamentary opposition in key areas of its programme, notably the
Agrarian Reform and the economic stabilization strategy. It took two years for the
government to pass the law of AgrarianReform through Parliament and its measures
for controlling inflation were defeated by organized labour.32 In contrast, the
educational reform had no opposition in the political arena nor visible detractors
within the educational field.

The decisive factor in this respect was the scientific-technical aura which
permeated the changes and the forms of action of the group responsible for them.
In turn, the 'technical' character of the changes rested on their direct links with
the theories of the International Intellectual Field of Education and the findings
and recommendations of the 'Commission for the Integral Planning of Education'
which, as previously pointed out, also represented a particular concretization of
national and international power relations and theories. The Government attempted
to create a particular context which removed the reform from politics and made it
appear as a rational/scientific device for producing desired changes in the social
and economic life of the country. Juan Gomez Minas, President Frei's appointee
for leading the transformations as Minister, was politically an independent, and
with a long history as leading actor in the educational field. As a university
student Gomez had been connected with the teaching groups responsible for the
"Reform of 192S" (see Chapter 2). During the i950s he had been a reformist
Minister of Education and Rector of the university of Chile. Even more relevant in
terms of the politics of the Reform and the specific circumstances in which the CD
took control of the ES, Gomez Minas beorq:y.d to the iecist progressive
1 r■

tradition (as opposed to the Cat'lolic one) and was close to, and highly reg:irded
by, the radical establishment controlled the main teachers' unions and
Ministryls- bureaucracy. He represented d major bridge between the incoming group
and the Radical past.33 The other two main shapers of the Reform were Ernesto
Schiefelbein and Mario Leyton. The former, a Harvard trained economist and
educational planner, headed the Planning Office which modelled the reform. Like
Minister Gomez Millas, he was also an independent and, having been one of the key
specialists in the previous "Commission for the Integral Planning of Education", he
represented the most direct kind of continuity with the immediate reformist past
within the field, and also with the international institutional context surrounding
the diffusion and application of the planning creed. Finally, Mario Leyton,
responsible for the key changes in curriculum, pedagogy and evaluation, was a
University of Chicago trained curriculum planner, and a firm believer in the
neutrality of the curricular conceptions the Reform introduced. Together with the
Vice-Ministers Patricio Rojas and Ernesto Livacic, they were the key CD party
members inthe management of the changes.

From the start, then, the new party 'gave way' to the agents and theories
which at the time represented an unchallenged consensus in the field with respect
to the new education the country needed. Needless to say, at a deeper level, this
autonomy which the Reform enjoyed was based in the class and Field of Symbolic
Control identity of the CD's general orientations and the educational field's
particular orientations.

The lack of opposition to the Reform was also based on more specific
features of its politics of implementation. Firstly, the Government judged that it
could accomplish its objectives without having to resort to a law and, accordingly,
it by-passed Congress and the attendant risks of a legal blocking or disfiguring of
its plans and, more generally, of a risk of a public debate on the issues of the
Reform. The most important cost of this was that without a law the Government
could not establish a new administrative structure and, in fact, it had to set up
parallel departments to carry out the Reform, thus complying with the historical
political constraints typical of the Compromise State (see Chapter 2). The Reform
was implemented essentially thrk..)., Presidential decrees. This meant that the
process as a whole was internJLl to the Executive; a fact which greatly facilitated
. 3(4
its coherent and consensual iii;:)erneni]ation. S.:.c..)r.dly, the strategy adopted to
bring about the modifications was careful in its attempts to avoid any opposition.
The planners tended to incorporate into their committees anypotential oppo:;ents.

"Many of (the reform proposals) bore a strong resemblance to

proposals made during the previous Government, but theircururent
feasibility had been carefully evaluated. Gomez and his advisors
looked at whether the proposal would gain approval from a
sufficient number of interest groups ...

"The Educational Planning Office ... late in 1964, began to review

all the proposals of reform that had been developed over the
years. For each proposal examined, careful note was made of
which groups within and outside the Ministry had supported them.

" ... membership in the Curriculum Committee was expanded to

include representatives from each of the interest groups presumed
to be antagonistic to change."
The key agency of the Reform was the 'Planning Office' of the
Superintendency of Education, an agency which as befitted a daughter of the
planning initiatives and discourse of the international political and intellectual
fields brought the tools of empirical social science into the project. Teams of
economists, sociologists, statisticians, demographers and architects, aided by
computer facilities (a novelty at the time) and the support of foreign consultants
(from Unesco and the Ford Foundation, primarily) planned the application of the
changes decided by Minister Gomez and the CD authorities in the Ministry and the
'Education Committee of the party. The nature of the foreign experts' (basically
Americans) participation in the Reform is a moot point. A work co-authored by
Schiefelbein maintains that they were not allowed to contribute substantively to
the design of the changes.

"To protect themselves from control by the Americans, theChileans

in 1966 began to spend their USAID sector loan before US advisors
could be hired and placed. The Ministry insisted on the right to
approve all advisors before they left the United States and then
deliberately stalled that process. When the planning advisors
finally arrived, they were assigned to a research project and
encouraged to go off on their own. However, they were not invited
to planning meetings or otherwise allowed to make substantive
contributions to the design of the Reform .

In a personal testimony, VI. Ley ton confirmed the above version. American
specialists did not wor t; on the desi g n of the reform but on partial projects, such
as the teaching of science or the project 'Adolante' (on hov,.' to teach ba s ic
liter a 0. 37 At the sam(-2 time, it would be short.-sighted not to realise thatthe

American consultants did not need to attend the relevant meetings in order icir the
US influence to become effective. 1-:€.1 cadres of. the Reform had been trained in
North American social science and pedagogical principles* . and, as referred to in
the precedent section, the theories re-contextualized were also predominantly
American. Given this, and that the US agencies (governmental and private) viewed
the CD's attempt more than sympathetically is proof enough that they contributed
in a substantive way to the changes. The Reform was financed by internal
resources in 1965 and 1966. However, at the end of 1966 the Ford Foundation
donated 1 million US dollars to a programme for the in-service training of teachers.
In 1967 and 1968 the US Government, via the International Agency for
Development, conceded loans for 10 and 16 million dollars which allowed the CD to
accomplish the programme of transformations in a shorter time than had been
originally planned.38

• Just as it would be naive to dismiss the existence of influences of the

American agencies and agents upon the Reform, we do not want on the otherhand
to suggest that the CD teams responsible for it were not in control. The
complexities-and ambiguities of the concrete manifestation of the relation of
dependency should be investigated in more detail than we are able to do now, and
could begin by distinguishing between its power and control features (see Chapter
1). Briefly, in terms of power, there was a coiuncidence between the national and
the international sides of the relation, i.e. there was -a profound, although not •
all-embracing, meeting of views between the CD's dominant groups and the
Liberal-Progressive establishment of the USA on the basic political-ideological
parameters of the 'Revolution in Liberty'. The CD's project of hegemony coincided
with the general capitalist-democratic principles of the US and, more specifically,
with the latter's counter-insurgency strategy of the 1960s. In terms of control, in
all probability the Americans were unable to exercise it. With respect to the
details of the decision-making and the applications of the Reform, foreign agents
and agencies were subordinated to the national ones, to both their rules and
initiative.s. 39

"- Not Minister Gomez, though, who had obtaned Doczorate in Ci(-:.rr-rany during
the 1930s.

In November 1964, immediately after assuming power, the new Government's

educa.tional authorities announced an 'Emergency Plan' of expanding the enrolment
capacity-of the Primary level. The plan aimed at attending every Chilean child who
asked for schooling in the academic year starting in March 1965.

A long-term plan for a comprehensive reform of the ES was worked out

during 1965. The plan was conceived as a set of projects which would be gradually
implemented and open to alterations during their realization.40 The foundation
decree of the Reform was issued by the Executive at the end of 1965 (Executive
Decree 27, 952, 7th of December, 1965) and the first changes in the curriculum
were put into practice in 1966. The key decision about the pace of the Reform was
that all the principal modifications in the structure and curriculum features of the
system would first require pilot experiments over several years before their
generalisation to the system as a whole. The new curriculum and its accompanying
modifications were to be tried out for one year in 136 pilot schools and then
reviewed before they were generalized to the rest of the system. In fact, this
curriculum 'trial' was abandoned. after the first three years of the Reform (see
Diagram 4.2). Further, the changes did not affect all the twelve grades at the same
time, but were spread over a period of six years (1966:1971). Diagram 4.2 shows
the schedule of implementation of the curriculum changes.

The fundamental point to make with respect to the implementation of the

Reform is that the CD was able to leave to the elite of the educational field itself
the design and specific definition of all the measures strictly connected with the
pedagogic discourse. In turn, this elite's legitimacy rested on its control over two
key discourses originating abroad: the discourse of planning and the discourse of
behavioural objectives and open contexts of teaching (see Diagram 4.1). In the
educational field, as beyond it, the Reform was perceived as realizing "the latest
ideas of educators all around the world",41 i.e., as being exclusively autonomous of
both national and international politics.42

Diagram 4.2

Schedule of the implementation of the curriculum changes of the Reform

New curriculum New curriculum

Year introduced in pilot schools adopted nationwide

1966 Grades 1 and 2 Grade 7

Primary education Primary education

1967 Grades 3 and 4 Grades 1 and 8

Primary education Primary education

1968 Grades 5 and 6 Grade 2

Primary education Primary education
Grade 1
Secondary education

1969 Grades 3, 4, 5 and 6

Primary education
Grade 2
Secondary education

1970 Grade 3
Secondary education

1971* Grade 4
Secondary education

Sources: K.B. Fischer, Political ideology and educational reform in Chilez

1964-1976, UCLA Latin American Center, Los Angeles, 1979, Table 1; I. Nunez,
Reformas educacionales ocurridas en Latinoamerica en los ultimos 50 anos y
orientaciones pedagogicas que las han sustentado. Un analisis comparativo.
Estudio de base: Chile, Mimeo, OEA, Programa. Regional de Desarrollo
Educacional, Santiago, 1978, Volume II, p. 361.

* The new curriculum of the last grade of the Secondary level was applied by
disposition of the Popular Unity Government, which assumed power in September

3 The Reform's measures

We shall now describe the contents of the CD Reform. We shall refer first
to the measures related tothe access and duration of acquirers in the ES. We shall
then describe the measures which affected the organisational structure of the ES.
Finally, we shall give account of the measures which aimed at re-defining the basic
transmissions of education, that is, curriculum, pedagogic practice and evaluation.

3.1 The expansion of access

The first principle of the Reform was that of "Educational Guarantees". The
principle defined education as a right to be guaranteed to all in terms of access
to, and progress within, the structures of formal education.

"The development of the schooling system must guarantee an

effective equality of opportunity with respect to the access,
duration and ascension in it (if it is to be characterized) as a
democratic system of education. The right to culture must be real
and extended to all, without any limit other than personal

A national school census was ordered by the Government in December 1964.

It showed that more than 180,000 children of Primary school age for whom there
were no placesin the ES were going to require enrolment in March 1965. The state
effort to provide enrolment to all of them meant extraordinary plans of school
construction, acquisition of school materials and training of teachers. The school
construction plan was carried out with the support of voluntary work by the
university youth, at that time strongly mobilized around CD initiatives, teachers
and the Armed Forces. Aid in building materials or siting was provided by
neighbourhood organizations, unions, cooperatives and local communities, as well as
by private persons, amid a general atmosphere of social mobilization for an
educational crusade. 44

More than fifteen hundred primary schools were built in 1965. During the
same year and part of 1966, 2,668 new primary teachers were trained in an
accelerated programme which combined their course at the Normal Schools with the
practice of teaching in the newly created rural schools. The budget for the
acquisition of school materials (furniture, books, teaching materials) was augmented

acquisition of school materials (furniture, books, teaching materials) was augmented

by 185.0 percent in 1965.

The big leap in enrolments achieved in 1965, basically occurring in the

Primary level, was followed in 1968 by another big leap, this time in the Secondary
level, when the first effects of a reformed primary level reached secondary
education. This indicates that the expansionist effort included not only access to
the system but also, to an extent not previously known, the length of the
educational life..

The data on the growth of enrolments and rates of schooling presented in

Tables 4.1 and 4.2 places the CD's years against the immediate background of the
previous Government period (1958-1964). Although the growth of education had
already begun before 1965, the absolute and relative expansion of the different
levels (with the exception of pre-school education) for the 1965-1970 period stands
out as distinctly higher. Pre-school education, whose total growth during the
1965-1970 period was lower than during the 1958-1964. one (see Table 4.3) was not
seen as a priority. In fact, this level was not an object of policy during the

At the Primary level, the construction effort, intensive use of existent

resources (double shifts were established in many urban schools), and other
measures taken during the first months of the CD's administration, resulted in an
enrolment figure in 1965 which indicated an almost 13.0 percent growth over the
previous year (or the equivalent to the previous five years' total growth). This
carried the rate of schooling of the 6-14 years old group over the 90.0 percent
mark (see Tables 4.1 and 4.3). At the end of the period, practically the whole of
this age group (97.0 percent) was at school, for the first time since the 'Law of
Compulsory Primary Instruction' of 1920 had decreed that it was an obligation of
the state to provide free education to all children under the age of 14.

Beyond the Primary level, in relative terms, the expansion was even more
remarkable. The Secondary level, defined by the Reform as beginning after eight
years of schooling and comprising of an academic and a technical (or vocational)
modality, leapt from 140,000 students in 1964 to 308,122 in 1970. This represented
a 111.0 percent growth and transformed what up to 1960 was still a highly

Table 4.1
Evolution of enrolments of Pre-School, Primary, Secondary and University Education. Public and Private, 1960-1970

(in thousands, percentage growth in brackets)

Pre-school Primary Secondary University Educational system

1960 27.6 1,284.9 110.9 26.0 1,449.4

1961 34.0 (23.1) 1,371.8 (6.7) 117.2 (5.6) 25.6 (-1.5) 1,548.6 (6.8)

1962 39.0 (14.7) 1,434.2 (4.5) 126.4 (7.8) 28.4 (10/9) 1,628.0 (5.1)

1963 40.4 (3.5) 1,455.8 (1.5) 135.6 (7.3) 30.7 (8.0) 1,662.6 (2.1)

1964 44.0 (8.9) 1,506.1 (3.4) 146.0 (7.6) 32.6 (6.1) 1,728.8 (3.9)

1965 48.7 (10.6) 1,699.1 (12.8) 151.4 (3.6) 39.2 (20.2) 1,938.5 (12.1)

1966 51.5 (5.7) 1,735.3 (2.1) 165.5 (9.3) 44.1 (12.5) 1,996.4 (2.9)

1967 54.4 (5.6) 1,874.4 (8.0) 183.8 (11.0) 55.6 (26.0) 2,168.3 (8.6)

1968 57.5 (5.6) 1,934.8 (3.2) 231.1 (25.7) 61.9 (11.3) 2,285.6 (5.4)

1969 56.2 (-2.2) 1,980.0 (2.3) 271.9 (17.6) 70.5 (13.8) 2,378.8 (4.0)

1970 58.9 (4.8) 2,048.4 (3.4) 308.1 (13.3) 76.9 (9.0) 2,492.5 (4.7)

Source: R. Echeverria, R. Hevia, G. Lopez, Estadisticas de Matricula y Poblacion 1958-1979, Programa Interdisciplinario
de lnvestigaciones en Educacion, PIEE, Santiago, 1981, Tables I, V, VI, XII, XIV and XV.
We consider this work as the most reliable and complete on the 1958-1979 period of Chilean education. The information
sources of the authors were the Superintendency of Education, the Council of Rectors of the Chilean Universities, the
National Institute of Statistics and the Statistical Research Institute of the University of Chile. The data of these
sources has been corrected and homogenized. "The indicated figures are strictly official and they have been respected
even in those cases in which the data on enrolment and population show some significant differences" (R. Echeverria et
al, op. cit., Presentation).
The data on Primary and Secondary level enrolments of this and all the following tables consider both levels in its
post-1965 Reform form, i.e., as levels constituted by 8 and 4 years respectively. This should be kept in mind when
making comparisons with sources which up to 1966 consider Primary and Secondary education in their pre-Reform
organization of six years each. See for example, E. Schiefelbein, Diagnostico del Sistema Educacional Chileno en 1970,
Depto. Economia Universidad de Chile, Santiago, 1976, Table 7.
Table 4.2

Growth by educational levels, for government periods 1958-1964 and 1964-1970

Pre-school Primary Secondary University Educational system

1958-1964 39.2 23.8 50.4 44.0 26.0

1964-1.970 33.9 36.0 111.0 135.9 44.2

Sources: For the period 1958-1964, R. Echeverria, R. Hevia, G. Lopez, Estadisticas de Matricula y Poblacion, 1958-1979,
PlIE, SanLi:ago, 1981, Tables I, V, VI, XIII, XIV and XV; for the period 1964-1970, Table 4.1.
Table 4.3

Rates of schooling, 0-24 years old group, 1960-1970

Pre-school Primary Secondary University Educational system

Percentage of Percentage of Percentage of Percentage of Percentage of

schooled 0-5 schooled 6-14 schooled, 15-19 schooled 20-24 schooled 0-24
year old population year old population year old population year old population year old population

1960 2.0 80.2 14.6 4.2 33.3

1961 2.4 83.6 15.1 4.0 34.7

1962 2.7 85.2 15.8 4.2 35.5

1963 2.8 84.2 16.6 4.4 35.3

1964 3.0 84.8 17.5 4.5 35.9


196.5 3.2 93.2 17.8 5.3 39.4

1966 3.4 92.2 19.2 5.8 39.8

1967 3.6 96.3 21.0 7.1 42.5

1968 3.8 96.3 26.1 7.8 44.1

1969 3.8 95.8 30.3 8.6 45.3

1970 4.1 97.0 33.5 9.2 46.8

Source: R. Echeverria, R. Hevia, G. Lopez, Estadisticas de Matricula y Poblacion, 1958-1979, PIIE, Santiago, 1981,
Tables I, V, VI, XIII, XIV and XV.

selective level into a wide educational avenue to which more than a third of the
age group now had access.

The University level figures reveal a similar picture of substantial growth.

Although not dependent upon the Ministry of Education, and in fact was subject
during this period to a process of reform of its own, the University was nonetheless
financially dependent upon the state, and it should not be seen independent of the
general perspective on education of the Christian Democracy. Between 1964 and
1970, University enrolments increased by 135.9 percent. By the end of the CD's
administration, more than 9.0 percent of the 20-24 year-old group was experiencing
university education.

The radical expansion of the schooling system as a whole, but particularly of

grades 5 to 12, show that new sections of children coming from thevpular classes
were now able to remain. at school longer than in the preceding decades. This was
related to factors beyond the educational field, such as the redistribution of
income in favour of labour which took place during the period,47 but also to the
state's policy of providing for some of the hidden costs of an education which was
statutorily free. Table 4.4 includes data on the type of welfare benefits distributed
in the period and the percentage of students reached by the different programmes..
On average, more than half of the Primary school population was provided with
breakfast or snacks, and a quarter with lunch; six percent of the students of the
last two grades of the Primary level, as well as of the Secondary level, received
state aid in the form of scholarships.

Needless to say, the expansion of enrolments entailed more schools and more
teachers. 2,665 Primary, Secondary and Normal schools were built between 1965
and 1970 (equivalent to more than 1.6 million square metres). The number of
teachers (public and private) increased by 35.5 percent, from 56,509 in 1962 to
76,585 in 1970.49 This expansion also meant a more intensive use of existing
resources. As mentioned before, double-shift systems were established in many of
the larger city's schools. Administrative procedures were also improved. This
contributed to the increase in enrelmeiI::s as many children had her-n left previously
without access to Secondary education because of administrative inefficiency.

The average state expenditu:- 0 LI education during the 1958-1964 government

period was 14.0 percent of the fiscal expenditure 5I For the CD period it was 16.5

Table 4.4

Student aid programmes, .1965-1970

Food Programme Scholarship Programme

Percentage of Primary school Percentage of Primary* and

children provided with: Secondary students provided
Breakfasts Lunches with scholarships
and snacks

1965 38.6 13.6 5.5

1966 48.3 20.6 5.5

1967 56.3 28.2 6.0

1968 60.7 29.8 6.0

1969 59.6 29.3 6.4

1970 63.5 30.2 6.5

Sources: C. Luz Latorre, Asistencialidad estudiantil en el periodo 1964-1979,

CPU, Doc. 220, Santiago, July 1980, Tables 3, 4, 5; R. Echeverria, R. Hevia, C.
Lopez, Estadisticas de matricula y poblacion 1958-1979, PlIE, Santiago, April
1981, Tables III, V and VI.

* The scholarship programme applied only to the two last years of the Primary
level and the percentages were calculated on that basis.

percent. The figures in Table 4.5 reveal the magnitude of the resources allocated
to the sector and the growth in absolute terms of the financial effort which the
democratization of access policy required.

3.2 Organisational modifications

We shall refer here to the measures of the Reform impinging upon the
internal institutional divisions of the ES. The Reform at this level included:

- change of the extension in annual courses of the schooling

system's two levels, from a 6-6 structure (six years of Primary
education and six years of Secondary education), to an 8-4

- reducing of the differences between rural and urban Primary


- weakening of the boundaries between the Primary and the

Secondary level;

- weakening of the boundaries between the academic and the

vocational modality of Secondary education and the creation of
specialized curriculum options in the last two years of the
academic modality;

- opening of the industrial and agricultural options of vocational

education to girls;
- up-grading of Normal education from the Secondary to the
Tertiary level.

'More education' and 'less differentiated education' are the readily apparent
principles which underlay these modifications. 'More education' as the limits
defining Primary and Normal education were moved upwards and the transition
between Primary and Secondary education was made more open. 'Less
differentiated education' was the result of changes aimed at reducing specialisation
of the ES.

(a) From a 6-6 to an 8-4 structuring of the two levels of schooling

The basic decree of the RE-Jeri-1i ( Decree 27, 9_52, of 7th December 196_5)
re-strnctured the schooling syste„ extending by two years the six years'

Table 4.5

State expenditure in education, 1964-1970*

Total fiscal Fiscal expenditure Percentual

expenditure in education expenditure
(million US$ 1976) (millions US$ 1976) in education

(A) (B) (B)/(A)

1964 14.6

1965 1,842.2 273.3 14.8

1966 2,015.4 311.9 15.5

1967 1,900.1 324.1 17.1

1968 2,043.2 348.7 17.1

1969 2,104.3 362.6 17.2

1970 2,388.7 414.9 17.4

Source: C. Luz Latorre, Recursos asignados al sector educacion y su

distribucion en el periodo 1965-1980, PIIE, Santiago, 1981.

* Fiscal expenditure does not include the de-centralized organisms of the state,
some of which perform educational functions. The total allocation of resources
to education by the state (public expenditure) corresponded to between 7.8
(1965) and 21.0 (1970) percent more than the fiscal expenditure. See C. Luz
Latorre, op. cit.

level and defining a Secondary level of four years with two modalities: a
scientific-humanist one, and a 'technical-professional' or vocational one.

With respect to the Primary level, or 'General Basic Education', as it was

labelled, the decree stipulated that,

" (it) will provide a general common education of nine years of

duration which initially will have eight years only.* The objectives
of the 'Educacion General Basica' will be: towards the integral
development of the pupil's personality; to educate him for an
active adaptation to democratic society and to promote the
changes which are inherent in the latter. This education will
create the basis for the decision to continue studies at the
secondary level or to enter a working life."52

Primary education had been diagnosed as systematically failing in the

preparation of children both for work and for the continuation of studies.
Irrespective of the curriculum aspects of that failure, it was widely assumed that
the upper age limit - 13 years - was too low to take the key vocational decisions
which were supposed to take place at the end of the sixth year of schooling, i.e.
the choice between work or the continuation of study, including the choice
between the academic or technical modalities at Secondary education level. The
most favoured rationale for the extension of primary education by two years was
based upon child-development concepts of the desirable age for making vocational
decisions. Economic and general social requirements of the process of development
were also offered as supporting arguments. Both types of arguments, 'personal
development' and 'social development', had been present in the field of education
for more than two decades as a an agreed proposal of change. In this the CD's
administration did no more than decree what had been already specified by the
'Commission for the Integral Planning of Education'.

The National Council of Education, approving the project for a new structure
of the schooling system, stated:

* The ninth year was never imDlemented.


" Secondary education is accepting a student who does not have

the basic formation needed to begin studies of the secondary level
(and) who additionally lacks the elementary conditions of physical
and psychological development for the vocational decisions which
every student completing Primary education must take."54

Minister Gomez adduced child-centred and work-process based rationales,

against the background of world-wide cultural currents, for the extension of.
Primary education:

"In general, the child is unable to make a well founded

vocational-professional choice before the age of 15.... Neither
physical vigour nor the personality, is sufficiently developed to
_ permit the child to enter work before the age of 15 .... On the
other hand, the general knowledge (maths, language, etc.) which a
student needs for a profession or trade, together with the
disciplines and other educational aspects, cannot be completed
before 8 or 9 years of general studies. These are demands of
pre-professional formation which come from scientific-technical
development. These reasons and others are the ones which at
present impose all over the civilized world a need for a general
education of 8-9 years and not 6."

(b) Rural and urban Primary schools

The principle of 'equality of opportunity' demanded by the CD was intended

to reduce the traditional differences between the schooling of the rural working
groups and the longer and better schooling of the urban working groups. At the
Primary level, official discourse underlined the objective to achieve one type of

"This new conception discards altogether maintaining of schools by

levels, of different kind, in accordance with the different social
classes and their expectations of participation in national life.
There is only one school* which in the basic stage offers equal
educational opportunities for all Chilean children and provides
them with the cultural stimuli which facilitate national

* Underlined in the ocigina I.


During the Reform period the Government started to replace those Primary
schools which did not provide the full course of studies by 'non-graded complete
schools'. These were schools where one or more teachers taught a group of
students of different ages without dividing them into claSs-courses according to
their age. They were named 'complete' schools because they provided the eight
years of the reformed Primary level.57

(c) Re-definition of the Primary-Secondary transition

The Reform not only extended the boundaries between Primary and
Secondary education, but re-defined the boundary itself, formally weakening it. The
examination process which traditionally regulated access to Secondary education
was eliminated (Executive Decree of Education Number 12, 449, 21st of November,
1966). Moreover, the minimum average mark required to be promoted in the 8th ,
year was decreed to be 3.5 and not 4.0, as in the rest of the system (Decree 7056,
23rd of September, 1967).

(d) Secondary education: homogenization and specialization measures

Secondary education was defined by the previously mentioned Decree of 7th

December, 1965, as offering two modalities of studies for the children leaving the
Primary level: a scientific-humanistic modality which would prepare the students
aiming for the University, and a Technical-Professional modality, whose aim would
prepare students for the different 'trades and technical professions' as well as for
continuation of studies at the tertiary level.58

The CD's common aims were the integral development of the adolescent's
personality and to meet the requirements of economic development.59

The main thrust of the measures have to do with the search by the reformers
for a change_ in the numbers as well as in the status of the academic and technical
modalities; from a situation in which the former was strongly predominant, to a
more equal relation, in which at least half of the students proceeding to the
Secondary level would under tale a modem 'tee- hi:Ica] education'. Official discourse
emphasized the technical mcdahtv as one of the cornerstones of development in

the long run, it would produce the backbone of the skilled human resources
needed for the industrialization process and the growth in the country's
productivity in general. The changes here consisted in reducing the formal barriers
dividing the two modalities and inthe homogenization of their transmission. Firstly,
the certification of completion of studies of both modalities was made equal for all
'legal, administrative or continuation of studies purposes', a step which meant that
for the first time students leaving Technical education could continue their studies
at the University (up to then a possibility restricted to the scientific-humanist
channel).60 Secondly, the restrictions which impeded movement from one to the
other of the modalities were eliminated during the first two years of the secondary
cycle. Thirdly, during the first year, the curriculum .of the Technical-Professional
modality was similar to that of the Academic modality, thus giving real basis for
the possibility of movement between the two modalities.

Thus the three boundary-modifying measures rested on the general assumption ,

that the reformed Secondary education system should transmit a curriculum
modified so as to provide a 'general formation in both of its channels, despite their
different objectives. This was to be accomplished by an emphasis on practical work
and technology in the academic channel and an up-graded general-formation
curriculum in the technical one. The official discourse underlined the unity of
purpose of both modalities, the formation of the adolescent personality, as well as
the equal social value of their differing transmissions.

However, a measure which pointed in an opposite direction applied to the

academic modality. In the last two years of the Secondary cycle a specialization of
the curriculum was introduced which distinguished a humanist-social sciences option
from a mathematics-natural sciences option. We shall come back to this later.

(e) Gender and the vocational modality

Traditionaly the options available to girls in the vocational modality were

restricted to the 'Technical Schools of Girls', whose specialized- curriculum aimed
at training 'women-specific' productive like weaving and tailoring. The
reformers found this an anachronism and made Industrial and Ap,ricuitural options
available to girls.61

(f) Up-grading of the Primary teachers training

With respect to teacher training, the criteria of the reformers were also
those of 'more education' and a 'less differentiated one'. Although the Ministry of
Education had direct control only over the Primary teachers' section of the
teaching body (the Secondary section belonged to the autonomous University
system), the reformers defined a 'Comprehensive School of Pedagogy' ('Escuela
Unica de Pedagogia9 as the horizon towards which the policy efforts on the
teachers' training sub-system should be oriented.

The Reform was only able to implement its proposals with respect to the
Primary teachers' training, through a re-definition of Normal Education. This
sub-system of the ES had historically been conceived as imparting 'Secondary level'
education and its curriculum was basically that of the liceos with the addition of
some specific subjects relevant to the teaching of children from 6 to 13 years old,.
The Reform's redefinition of Primary education demanded a new type of teacher
and this was intended to be produced by up-grading Normal education to a
post-Secondary type of education and redefining its programmes of studies, so that
the statutory requirement now for the course was the completion of 12 years of
formal schooling. Whereas the latter was blocked by the teachers' union concerned
(they rejected the reform of the curriculum and other features because it was
financed by the Ford Foundation 62) from 1968 onwards Primary teachers' training
became part of the tertiary level (Decree Number 3,908, 10th of June, 1967). This
was hailed by the reformers as 'the definitive destruction of the class aspects of
the primary teachers' training'. These teachers were now to be on a similar footing
to the rest of the teaching profession.63

3.3 Measures on transmissions

We shall refer now to the measures of the Reform on curriculum, pedagogic

Practice and evaluation or the inner structure ofcultural reproduction through
schooling. For the CD reformers modiNcations in the structures of the ES had to
be accompanied by a ch nge in its messages if society to have an education
which served its democratization and economic devc..1,Dpmelt needs. HEnce,

unprecedented efforts were addressed to modify the what and how of educational


The formal curriculum defines what counts as valid knowledge in schooling.

The organization of school transmissions in a curriculum presupposes the
selectionof sets of contents to be transmitted, the assignment of different units of
time to the selected contents and definitions of the relationships between these
contents. Basically, then, curriculum involves features of selection and organization
of contents to be transmitted; organization referring to both the temporal order of
contents* and their "between" relationships.64

The Reform redefined what subjects should be taught, the units of time per
year required for each of them, the syllabus for each subject (including the
sequence of the topics to be covered), and, at some levels of the ES,. the
boundaries between subjects.

Two measures contributed to define new temporal dimensions of

transmissions. Firstly, the amount of time to be spent daily at school by students
was reduced. According to Schiefelbein, this was 'in opposition to the up to then
prevalent theory which sustained that it was necessary to maintain the children at
school for the maximum possible time in order to avoid the family influences in the
lower socio-economic strata'.65 Be this as it may, the decision must have been
strongly influenced by the need to establish double shifts in the existing schools so
as to make possible the expansion of access even before the physical expansion of
the ES was achieved in the levels required.

Secondly, time was assigned to the different units of transmission not in

weekly hours but in yearly hours, in an attempt by the central authority to permit
each school some autonomy in its planning of activities and therefore to make
these eventually more relevant to the particul.=::rities of regional or local contexts.

Temporal order r.:-.fer to two of a criven unit of content in tirn

i.e. seciLwnce, and amount of time to it, i.e. nacin; (see Chapiec.

"The annual plan gives the minimirn number of hours which should
be completed with the class in each subject during the school
year. Each school should distribute its instructional activities
during the year in accordance with the particular cultural,
economic, social and pedagogical conditions in which it

Beyond this re-definition, the most important curricular changes (not having
directly to do with the syllabuses of the different subjects) were the ones
affecting the units of transmission or the principles ruling the boundaries between
subjects. The general principle here pointed in the direction of the integration of
transmissions. Its realization varied according to the different levels of the ES.

In the first four years of Primary education (ages 6 to 9), the new plan of
studies envisaged the greater integration, as it substituted the notion of a
programmatic unit for the traditional one of subject as the basic organizing device
of the curriculum. A 'programmatic unit' links the contents and activities of all the
subjects of the plan of studies, subordinating theidto an integrating central theme
or topic. The boundaries between subjects were thus weakened in order to
communicate relevantly to children whose psychological development was deemed
to require integrated structures of knowledge. The new syllabus for the four initial
years of schooling was constituted by eight 'programmatic units' which went from
'The Community in which we live' to 'Our Planet, the Earth; our star, the Sun; the
next conquest, the .Moon', in a perfectly Piagetian progression from the immediate
• to the most general of contexts. Each of the units articulated the contents of
language, mathematics, natural sciences, history, etc., judged appropriate for the
different years.67

The second cycle of Primary education included four grades within the 9-10
and 13-14 years age groups. The planners' theories of child development and
learning pointed out that here the 'emergence of reflective thinking' and the
beginnings of an analytical appreciation of the world were salient features of the
age group and they assessed that it was necessary to supersede the stage of
integrated instruction, although not abandoning some of its features. The relevant
decree and accompanying official definitions created an organization of
transmissions in which there '.vould be both subjects and the presence of integration
of subjects labelled 'Programmatic Area' and based upon the internal affinith of
the constituent subjec.ts. Diagram 4..3 indicates the organizational scheme of the
curriculum for the second cycle of the Primary level.

Diagram 4.3
Organizational scheme of the curriculum for the second cycle of Primary



Spanish Mathematics Technological education

Social sciences Natural sciences


Plastic arts Music Physical education, Foreign language

hygiene and
social security

Complementary Orientation** Religion


* 'Complementary activities' were contemplated for the last two grades of

Primary education and correspond to an open category of instruction which was
expected to be determined within each school taking into consideration regional
peculiarities, students' interests and the possibilities of individual schools and
teachers, as well as of the community.
** The unit 'Collective orientation' corresponds to the activity 'Class Council'
(Consejo de Curso), or the meeting of a class with its head-teacher for the
discussion of common tasks related with 'the demands of the community, the
integral development of the personality of the students and immediate needs of
the life of the group' (Cf. Ministerio de Educacion, Revista de Educacion 5,
April 1968, p. 35).

Each area was to be taught a different teacher; from the viewpoint of

the students, it was said that the areas avoided 'the danger of an undue
atomization of culture'.69 Although common behavioural objectives were defined
for each of the mentioned areas, the actual syllabus followed the divisory lines of
the subjects constituting each of them. The Reform thus defined different
Programmes of Studies for Spanish and Social Sciences for the first area; for
Mathematics and Natural Sciences in the second, and so on. The integration
between them was based not on some relational principle at the level of contents,
but on the final behavioural changes to be attained by the totality of the
transmissions of one area, taught by one teacher. Within each subject, the relevant
unit of transmission continues to be the 'Programmatic Unit', which in this context
does not involve integration between subjects, as in the first cycle of the Primary
level, but in the organization of transmissions around some connecting theme whose
development requires several weeks. This was thought to be instrumental for
achieving both integration and student-based relevance or, in the jargon of the
period, 'vitalizacion' (experiential meaningfulness).

The transition from Primary to Secondary education in terms of the

organization of the structural elements of the curriculum involved the movement
from combined structure of 'areas and subjects' to the traditional one of subjects.
For the last four years of schooling (14-15 to 18 year olds), the curriculum was
divided into ten or more subjects.

Summing up, the curricular organization established by the Reform for the
ES as a whole had three distinct forms: a core integrated curriculum, during the
first four years; a mixed structure of subjects and 'Programmatic Areas' or broad
fields for the fifth to eighth years; subjects for the four years of Secondary
education. The progression, in terms of the views of the reformers, corresponded to
the development path which progresses from the mental structures of the child to
those of the pre-adolescent and the adolescent. In curriculum terms, the sequence
developed from the maximum integration of contents across subjects, to some
integration of subjects within a given field and, finally, to specialization.70

In relation to the measures on the curriculum we have descried, it has to be

noted that the same decrees •.vhich proposed the terms of integration, defined the
distribution of the schooling time, irrespective of levels, in terms of the tradiional
divisions by subjects. Further specialised textbooks existed, at least p to 1970, for

each one of the supposedly integrated units of the Primary leve.l. 71 Both facts
suggest that the complexities and difficulties intrinsic to the attempt to
subordinate the units of school knowledge to some relational idea added to the
demands put on teaching and on the administrative structures by the project. This
proved too daunting, and the officials in charge of the Reform settled for a
solution which did not represent a major break with the past. In fact, integration
across subject lines was implemented only in the first cycle of the Primary level,
where each teacher had traditionally taught all the subjects and for whom the
modifications introduced were feasible in terms of existing practices.

With respect either to the curriculum's contents, or to the 'Programmes of

study', an important feature was their definition by the central authority in terms
of both contents to be transmitted and activities to be carried out. The syllabus of
every subject was designed according to Tyler's two-dimensional matrix of
behavioural objectives and the majority syllabi specify 'Behaviours to be achieved'•
or objectives, 'Contents', and 'Suggestion of Activities'.72 Furthermore, some
syllabi included methodological suggestions for the teachers as well as a suggested
bibliography. The departure from the past centred on the whole not on the
explicitness or otherwise of the official definitions of what each teacher had to
transmit, but on the effort to define objectives in terms of behavioural
modifications, and teaching as emphasising the active role of the students. The
following diagram, a summary of the official definition of a unit of transmission of
Spanish, illustrates the forms we are referring to.

Overall, the 'activities' and 'methodological suggestions' of the different

programmes indicated ways of transforming discursive teacher-centred transmissions
into active, student-based transmissions, for all subjects.

The main instructional aim of the programmes of study was the inculcation
of a 'scientific' mentality. This was understood to lie not in the transmission of
facts, terminology or specifics, but in the transmission of principles (the 'methods
and abstractions' of the different fields) for the understanding, interpretation and
evaluation of data and symbols.' The Reform's theoretical references affirmed here
that the knowledge of facts and specifics was only a first step in a process whose
final aim ',vas the handling of higher level iaiaAlectual 6per ations such as analysis
and synthesis.73 Thus, the official de llui tions of the programme of social sciences
in the. Secondary level emphasized rr.e'thods rather than the learning of facts.

Diagram 4.4

Example of a state defined unit of tranmission, Secondary level

Programme of Spanish, First year, Secondary level

Central theme: Confronting the world

Second semester: Unit: The Inner World

Behavioural objectives:
- Ability to adequately use diverse forms of oral and written expression.
- Ability to analyse, interpret and synthethize another's thoughts and feelings expressed in diverse literary and
informative expressions.
- Five other similar statements on objectives follow.

Aspects of the Learning Situation

Contents Suggested activities Methodological suggestions Suggested readings

The inner world and its Write a piece which Create a propitious Efrain Barquero:
diverse forms of expresses the inner world ambience so that the 'La Companera'
expression: of each one. Read and students may express
analyse them in class, their inner life with Julio Barrenechea:
(A) Personal expression considering content and spontaneity.... The La luna de Montepatria;
(oral and written) form (with previous students should know that Escuela nueva en
consent of the author). their reflexions, thoughts, Carahue
(a) poems letters, evocations, dreams,
autobiography Carry out debates in will be considered with (a list. of 8 authors
diary relation to themes or respect and attention. and 13 works follows)
letters common motifs expressed Put emphasis on authenticity
reflexions and in essays which reflect and beauty.
thoughts problems and concerns.
Discuss and comment on The recital of verses
(b) stylistic resonances possible solutions. will not be reduced to a
simple recall exercise;
(c) lexicological Attend recitals or listen tend to develop the
aspects as: to tape-recorded poems and ability to make public
- signification comment on the impressions the affective world of
- associations caused by them. Analyse and the poet.
(semantic and comment on contents.
etymological) (more suggestions follow)
(6 more activities are
(d) Corrective grammar suggested)

Source: Ministerio de Educacion, Revista de Educacion 5, Santiago, April 1968, p.9.


"(The goal of the programme is) ... to familiarize the pupil with
the objectives, the stroctures, methods and techniques of each one
of the disciplines which constitute the social and historical
sciences.... Of course, systematic courses which cover the whiz of
the contents of disciplines are not proposed.... The programme puts
special emphasis on methodological aspects and recommends
diverse measures in order to avoid the reduction of the
teaching-learning process to a simple transmission of an
encyclopaedic knowledge."74

The same is apparent in the case of the natural sciences programme of


"... it should be a fundamental concern that the student see the

sciences as a system of research and not as a body of knowledge
which he should memorize.... The programme of Natural Sciences
includes three units: biology, chemistry and physics. Although in
each of them there exist specific contents, it is designed to enable
the students to acquire experiential appreciation of the different
stages of the scientific method and an understanding of the
processes and general structures which constitute the natural

The emphasis of the official directives was undoubtedly enhanced in its

implementation by an important change in the national University entrance
examination. The change involved the substitution of the traditional Bachillerato,
a copy of the French baccalaureat which assessed knowledge of different sets of
subjects in arts and science, for an 'Academic Aptitude Test'. This latter, an
importation from the US, had a multiple-option test format and aimed to evaluate
intellectual abilities, rather than contents.76

In terms of regulative features, the official definitions which accompany the

programmes of study underline two main criteria. The need to select and organize
student-relevant contents which permit students' self-expression. These two
principles refer to the students' relationship to the curriculum in general, but
especially to those subjects more directly linked with the regulation of individual
experience (language, arts). The first official criterion guiding the teachers' use of
the programmes (repeated time and time again) referred to the need for 'vitalising'
them or making them relevant to the ps1,..chological development of the students as
well as to their day-to--day realities. The second criterion was particularly clear in
the cdse of the programmes of L,Einuage and Art of the Secondary level, and wz‘..s

referred to as the importance of producini; 'personal comprehension', 'e:::pressieri",

'creativity', 'originality'.77

The decisions dealing with the differences between curricula within the
Secondary level were also a significant aspect of the Reform and the curriculum.
The Det—ree also established two modalities in Secondary education.

"Secondary education will be directed to the schooling population

which has completed the 'General Basic Education' and will have
two modalities of continuation: Scientific-Humanistic and
Technical-Professional. Each one of them will have a flexible plan
of studies so that specific, differentiated, features and contents
can be emphasized."78

This Decree, however, did not define the curriculum for the two modalities.
In fact, the formulation of changes in the Secondary level. transmissions entailed
the solving of a series of dilemmas posed by tensions inherent in the ideology of
the group in power. It is clear that, whilst the Primary level did not present
problems in terms of choosing between alternative curricular orientations, the
Secondary level, on the -contrary, demanded some _answer in curriculum terms to the
contradictory demands of the principles of equality; personal expression, and
economic development, all similarly powerful within the governing group's ideology.
The reformers faced two concrete dilemmas: (1) Should Secondary education
provide a common curriculum or a differentiated one? (2) Should it be primarily
concerned with providing a general education or specialized, specific skills? A
middle course was chosen between the two options. The 'National Council of
Education', but even before it, the Education Committee of the Christian Democrat
party, discussed three alternatives for Secondary schools. Alternative A proposed a
'National Secondary School' which eliminated the traditional academic/technical
division and set up instead a comprehensive modality, where a common curriculum
of Humanities, Science and Technology occupied 60 percent of the tima for a four
year schedule. The common curriculum was complemented by an 'elective' one
composed of subjects of open specialization both in academic and technical areas.
Alternative C proposed a clearly divided two-channel system for what was
envisaged as two types of student, the 'intellectual type' and the 'concrete and
typ , 80 Aiterna.tive B, chosen, z- presented erlectir solution
of V.i-ute no ,-_-_hall'r-r7:11_1; theJ.(-1 ,2c.lia::-.‘," of the of two
1 ;7

formative needs of the adolescent and the social and economic requirements of

"In order to accomplish the objectives of Secondary education

especially for, on the one hand, attending to the personal needs of
the pupils, derived from their different capacities and interests,
and on the other, the demand for human resources of a developing
country, Secondary education should offer two modalities: an
intensification and diversification of general education, expressed
in the scientific-humanist cycle, and an intensification and
diversification of technical education, expressed in the
technical-professional cycle....
"These educational opportunities do not mean a segmentation of
the objectives of Secondary education, but different forms of
achieving them. In fact, both seek a personal formation and a
preparation for participation in national development, through
general culture, in one case, and through the technical and
professional crafts, on the other....
"On the other hand, general culture should not be understood as
foreign to economic reality, to the demands of production, the
world of work and technology. And technical -and professional
skills cannot be obtained without a strong general formation.
"Whatever the modality of Secondary education concerned, the
integral formation- of the adolescent personality will always be its
essential objective."82

Beyond the rhetoric, the solving of the tension between these opposite
principles resulted in a complex and differentiated curricular structure.organized in
a general and several differentiated plans of studies. the General Plan of Study
was aimed at satisfying 'the common needs of every adolescent' and included the
following subjects: Language, Mathematics, Social and Historical Sciences, Natural
Sciences, Philosophy, Foreign Language, Art, Technology and Physical Education. It
also included the activity 'Class or Course Council' (see Diagram 4.3).

These disciplines, with the exception of Physical Education and Class

Council, could be offered in plans of two, three or four years, and their contents,
although conserving a common core, could vary according to the modality (and
speciality within a modality) in which they were transmitted."The differential
Plans of Studies offered several routes of curricular specialization and, in terms of
the state discourse, they permitted the students to choose according to interests,
need:; and aptitudes. - Fhe mud,Tility (SH) included a common plan,
containing ail the disciplines of the General PL-!e of Studies, for all the stuck.nLs

during the first two years. Two differentiated plans were applied in the last two
years, 'humanist' and 'scientific'. The Technical-Professional modality (TP), on the
other hand, presented more internal differentiations. The first year was,
fundamentally, general formation; about two thirds of the time was dedicated to
the disciplines of the General Plan. As from the second year, the differential
plans acquired increasing importance. The TP modality was organized in four
channels of specialization - Industrial, Agricultural, Commercial, and Services - and
each of them included further possibilities of differentiation through specialized
sets of transmissions. The following diagram schematizes the curricular
differentiations of the Secondary level.

For the reformers, these differences in curriculum did not contravene the
principle of equality with respect to the transmission of a common basic curriculum
to all Chilean adolescents. As we have previously mentioned, by law, school leavers
from either of the two modalities could apply for entry to the University. It was
assumed that the Technical-Professional modality, xlespite the nature of its
specialized curriculum, ensured the possibility of continuation of studies, without
limitations other, than those posed by the student's own 'capacity and effort'.

One of the recurrent considerations in the 'whereas' of Decree 11,201, which

defined the Plan of Studies for the two modalities of Secondary education was that
the two curricula should provide an open concept of education, which in this
context meant that there were to be no substantive differences between them.
Both were similarly formative and appropriate for work 'whatever the field of its

"One of the fundamental characteristics of the new Plan of

Studies of Secondary education, in the Scientific-Humanist as in
the Technical-Professional modalities, is the presence of a broad
and open concept of education, in accordance with the dominant
tendencies in the general development of our contemporary
culture. This is required for intellectual formation for work,
whatever the domains of its realization, and demands a basic
general formation, not only to understand the phenomena in which
modern man lives and works, but to promote his effective
integration in the accelerated processes of change which lead to
the development of modern science and technology.
"The contents of the General and Diffel- eniated Plans are
inteF,rateci with riK11-,:iiv, possible the formative efficacy
of both, since it is in the educatinal process as a whole and not

Diagram 4.5
Scheme of curricular differentiations within Secondary education

Modality Channel Plan of study

Scientific-Humanist Humanities and social

Mathematics and natural

Technical-Professional Agricultural Cattle breeding


Commercial Accountancy
Marketing and publicity
Secretarial studies

Industrial Mechanics

Services and Health and social welfare

specialized (Services)
techniques* Tailoring and weaving

Source: J. Bermudez, Sistema Educacion y Requerimientos del Desarrollo. La

Educacion Chilena en el periodo 1964-1974, Mech, Santiago, 1975, p. 71.

* This channel was constituted by what up to 1968 were the 'Technical Schools
for Girls'; up to the Reform these represented the only possibility for women
within the Technical-Professional modality. As of 1968, it was decreed that,
according to material possibilities, all the different schools of the TP modality
were open to both boys and girls.

exclusively in the contents teat the authentic intellectual development and

preparation for action is produced."85

Moreover, it was stated that the differences between SH and TP education

with respect to the amount of time assigned to Common or General plan of studies
were 'not substantial' and did not contradict the fundamental aim of the common
curriculum, i.e. the satisfaction of the needs common to the adolescent stage. 86

The wishful nature of these assertions should be apparent from the data in
Table 4.6 Almost two-thirds of the total school tima of the TP modality was
allocated to the specialized curriculum, from Forestry to Mechanics, to Tailoring,
etc. In the opposite modality, close to 90.0 percent of the time was given to
academic subjects. It seems difficult, then, even with the clouds of rhetoric
surrounding the final curricular decisions of. the CD in relation to the Secondary
level, not to see two curricula at work, however internally modified and, with
respect to the past, less differentiated.

Pedagogic practice -

Pedagogy defines what counts as a valid transmission of knowledge.87 In the

context of our analysis pedagogy corresponds to the state discourse on what counts
as valid transmissions. In contrast with curriculum and evaluation, and indicating
the state's recognition of the relative autonomy of teaching, there are no decrees
on pedagogy. However, in addition to the strict positioning of pedagogy by the
state's regulation of the material boundaries of the system, the 'what' of its
transmissions and the rules of the processes of evaluation and promotion, there is a
specific discourse of 'methodological suggestions' for teachers. We will briefly
describe its major characteristics.

The grand turn which the state sought to impose on teaching practice was
directly linked to the behaviourist notions of learning institutionalized by the
Reform and consisted in privileging students' activity and making this activity the
centre of the transmission-acquisition process. The rote of the taught ,vas
transformed. The student was supposed to be actively involved in the process of
transformation•acquisition, to an extent without precedents and demanding levels
of motivation certainly higher than those required by the more traditional, didactic
forms ( f pedagogy. This redefinition of the intrinsic features of the students'

Table 4.6

Curriculum differences between the Scientific-Humanist and the Technical-Professional modalities of Secondary

education: allocation of the total number of transmission hours in the 4 years of the Secondary level

Minimum total number of hours (4 years) and percentages (below in parentheses)

CURRICULUM'S Scientific-Humanist modality Technical-Professional modality

BASIC SUB-SETS Agricultural Commercial Industrial Services

Academic curriculum (native 5,280 1,800 2,310 2,100 1,830

language, maths, natural (88.8) (30.3) (38.8) (35.3) (30.8)
sciences, social sciences,
foreign languages, philosophy, art

Technological curriculum 120 3,780* 3,270 3,480 3,750

(2.0) (63.6) (55.0) (58.5) (63.1)

Physical education 360 240 240 240 240

(6.0) (4.0) (4.0) (4.0) (4.0)

Class Council 180 120 120 120 120

(3.0) (2.0) (2.0) (2.0) (2.0)

Total 5,940 5,940* 5,940 5,940 5,940

(100.0) (100.0) (100.0) (100.0) (100.0)

Source: Elaborated from data in E. Schiefelbein, Diagnostico de la Educacion Chilena en 1970, Depto. Economia de la
Universidad de Chile, Santiago, 1976, Table 47.

* We assumed the same total number of hours for the two modalities and estimated the number of hours of the
specialized curriculum of Technical-Professional education by complement, as this did not appear in Schiefelbein's data.
It is possible then that there may be slight differences between these estimates and the effective time distribution, but
by no means significant enough to alter the argued fundamental difference between the two curricula.

activity implied manifold consenuences for the planning and realisation of teaching.
The emphasis on, and intensification of, the role of the students meant that the
teacher was not seen so much as an instructor as a facilitator: an organizer of
contexts of transmission where the student's own work occupied the centre space
and within which s/he acted as a guide more than the sole or key bearer of the
transmission activity.

We quote at length from a text which touches upon all three of the just
mentioned features. Firstly, the past which was negated:

"The general critique addressed to the traditional programmes of

study is aimed at the encyclopaedism which usually limits the
educational process to one of almost exclusively cultural
information. This emphasis routinizes the teacher's instructional
work, curbs any creative initiative and prevents any flexibility in
teaching. This explains the unwarranted priority given to the role
of exposition and verbalism in traditional teaching.
"From the viewpoint of the taught, they have been led towards a
passive-receptive attitude, conditioned by the lack of
encouragement towards their dynamic participation in the
educative process. In that kind of context, opportunities for
exploring aptitbdes, needs and interests of the students are
extremely rare and, even more so, the learning situations leading
to the development of abilties, skills, methods and techniques of
individual rather than team work....
"Summing up: the Programme of Studies created an exhaustive
index of subject-matters, an almost exclusive use of the expositive
method, verbalism of teaching, all setting up practically
unsurmountable barriers for the student to act creatively in the
learning situation. This interference reduced to a minimum
expression the intellectual, technical and manual activities of the
pupil. The teacher, on the other hand, instead of being a guide of
the process, was transformed into a protagonist."88

The redefinition of the learning situation and of the roles of teacher and
taught reads:

"The teacher receives a Programme of Studies which he judges as

an instrument to be handled by him, selecting and organzing the
learning situations in accordance with the concrete characteristics
of the group of which he is the guide, in a sensitive process of
human forFr,ation. In this process Lhe protagonist is always the
pupil. Accordingly, the learning situations shouiid be organized so
that (s/he) actively particip:.,Ite,_-_:, 'et trout interference's.

"It is not, obviously, a task.left to the whims of the pupil. The

teacher performs his role adjusting step by step, the learning
situations to the needs, aptitudes and interests of the students,
with the aim of achieving the behaviour implied in the specific
objectives of the respective areas of study.
"It is undoubtedly easier for the teacher verbally to expose
mathematical reasoning, for example, or a scientific hypothesis,
than to create the class situation so that the students, with the
guidance of the teacher, are the ones who develop the mental
processes associated with the problem or realise, at its proper
level, the stages of the scientific method for the experiential
comprehension of the hypothesis under examination."89

The goal of achieving active and motivated students as the key protagonists
of the learning situation redefined the relations between school knowledge and
student-based common sense knowledge. There are both knowledge and social
control considerations at play here. What is crucial to achieve is the 'experiential'
comprehension of what is transmitted. Teaching, under the new terms, consists to a
great extent in the connection of the curriculum with the real, day-to-day world of
the taught, so weakening the barriers between the two _in order to make school
knowledge effectively acquired and transferable to contexts outside those of the
learning situation. Moreover, the effort is to be meaningful in terms of the basic
motivation of the students and this implies new forms of control. Official
methodological remarks suggest that teachers should:

"... initiate the development of the lesson on the basis of adequate

motivation, linking the work of the student with the school and
extra-school milieu and referring it to current events and to facts
related to the direct and indirect experiences of the children...."90

Apart from this change in the teacher-student context, two organisational

changes were proposed. One refers to the emphasis upon co-operation in teaching
favoured by the Reform. Subject and Area Departments were set up in every
appropriately sized school and the planning of transmissions as well as the
evaluation process came to be regulated, to an important extent, by these new
instances of teacher cooperation. The Reform also established inter-school sites of
cooperation and common planning for Secondary teachers: Local Councils were
created for all the headmasters of a given area and Local Departments were
created for all the teachers, public and private, of a given subject in a given
gec)g[- aphical area. These had the specWc task of de sighing common evaluation
instruments for the area concerned. AlthoLIgh these measures created greater
cooperation between teachers, they were, simultaneously, a new and effective

instance of central control over the key message 'evaluation' and, by implication,
of the teachers' instructional practices in general. To the reformers, these
measures represented effective means for the diffusion of the new orientations.'

Another instance of intervention of the state in teaching was constituted by

the new official definitions on how the teachers should approach the curriculum.
The emphasis here was on flexibility and the instrumental, adaptable character of
the programmes.

"... the Programmes of Study are flexible instruments and they

should be viewed as open to change, in accordance with the
dynamics of the educational process itself and with the changing
socio-cultural reality."92
"It is useful ... to emphasize the instrumental character of the
programmes. In education there are' no panaceas.... The
programmes of study should be applied by the teachers ... with a
great sense of flexibility and function, so that the activities
chosen are appropriate to the capacities, interests and needs of
the students and the community. There is here, of course, a really
creative task for the teacher...."93

However, the above should be put into perspective. With reference, at least,
to the Programmes of Primary education, between the alternatives of determining
(1) 'contents and activities valid for the whole country' and (2) 'a vast range of
contents and activities from which the teacher would choose", the Reform opted
for (1), thus making clear that the flexibility expected to be applied by the
teachers in transmitting the Programmes was limited by fairly explicit boundaries.
We will come back to this.


The third constituent of the 'three message systems' of education defines

what counts as a valid realization of knowledge on the part of the taught.94 The
discourse of the state here takes the form of statutory decrees which make
explicit the criteria and rules of evaluation as well as of promotion of students
inau g urated by the CD's Reform.

The main assumptions of the Reform of evaluation and promotion were,

firstly, that the repetition of a course was not necessarily linked to positive
effects upon learning, but that it was rather a major factor in emotional and social
maladjustments of the repeaters. Secondly, that evaluation was not a process to be
separated from the day-to-day classroom or school activities and carried out at the
end of a given period, but one that was continuous. Further evaluation was
extended beyond capacity for recall to include intellectual abilities and skills, and
was also expected to take into account and make provision for individual
differences. These changes in the scope of evaluation affected the rules of
transition from primary to secondary level.

The general criteria approved by the National Council of Education make the
first and the last of the mentioned points explicit:

"... Evaluation is a continuous and permanent process, simultaneous

to the educational activity and therefore realized on a day-to-day
basis. Hence, the promotion of the students from one course to the
other will depend on the continuous evaluation of the schooling
year work."
"... In the evacuation and the promotion of students it is necessary
to take into account as much the minimum levels of performance
for adequate school progress as the individual interests and
capacities which are expressed through performances which are
positive in certain activities and negative in others."95

The need for a continuous process of evaluation was much emphasized.

According to official statements it would enable a diagnosis of the student's
situation and the discovery of his or her rate of progress, difficulties, etc., to be
made during the process of transmission-acquisition rather than at the end of it.
Further, it permitted the assessments to be fed-back into everyday classroom or
school work and not appear as a sanction for failure..

"Evaluation ... forms, with the objectives, a curricular unit; in fact,

evaluation is not more than a comparison between goals (objectives)*
and results (experiences)". It is an integral part of the learning
process, and permits modification of the faults at the time in which
they appear in the learning of the student; and at the end of the
process enables an assessment of the extent to which the achieved
experiences correspond to the stated or theoretical objectives." ,5

Parentheses in the text.


The extension of criteria to be assessed derived from the new aims of the
Programme of Studies. The extension of the latter from knowledge to dispositions
was replicated by the new criteria of the evaluation process.

"An efficient process of evaluation should take into account the

fact that the accumulation of knowledge is not the only and
fundamental aim of education, but that it is also important to
achieve the development of intellectual abilities and skills and the
conceptualization of personal experience."97

The extension of the criteria to be assessed implied on the part of the

teacher a need to assess not only that which was "easy to measure ... but all the
behavioural changes in those taught".98

The four indicated criteria - continuity, extension of the criteria to be

assessed, consideration of individual differences, and redefinition of the causes of
repetition - were operationalized by the Ministry in a series of Decrees. The
problem of repetition undoubtedly ranked first in Che priorities of the Reform.
There were numerous rationales for attacking the problem. Egalitarian-democratic,
pedagogical, psychological and economic reasons were adduced in this context as
the following text makes clear.

"(The new promotion procedure) is more in accordance with the

democratic ideal of giving adequate education without constraints;
it favours the integrated development of the taught, since it
permits him to grow within his age and bio-psychological
development group; it eliminates repetition which, as demonstrated
by educational research, does not favour better intellectual
development, but rather creates serious emotional and social
adaptation problems; it retains within the system the students who
(would normally drop out) because of repetition; it tends to ensure
a better use of economic resources, since it guarantees a greater
productivity of investments in education; it permits a better
selection of human resources since it increases the number of
students; and, finally, it is in agreement with modern pedagogical
tendencies which consider education as a process which places the
child as the essential focus of its activities."

Decree 27, 954 of the 7th of December, 1965 (to which the above quote
refers) was probably the most radical of the measures taken on evaluation, since it
confronted the proble71 of repetition at the initial stages of schooling by
establishing autorndtic pt )metion, the first of schooling: atteodanco at
school g,tiar nteed promotion. 1•is.o. same Decree established semi-automatic
promotion between the second and the third year of schooling, in addition to a
17 7

minimum attendance, a proficiency level (a mark of 4, in a scale of 1 to 7) was

required in Language and ,' NAathematics. The Decree meant that the criterion
determining much of the repetition within the system, that basic literacy and
numeracy should be mastered by the end of the first year of schooling was no
longer officially sanctioned and that the period for acquring those abilities was
extended by a year.010

Decree 11, 207 of the I 1 th of October, 1966, established the promotion rules
from 7th to 8th year of education. A 66 percent rate of attendance and a mark of
4 as an average of all the marks obtained in the different subjects was established
as the minimum necessary for promotion. There would no longer be final exams
except to give an opportunity to reach the minimum level of average competence
to those students who were below it at the end of the schooling year.

The procedure for evaluating and promoting students of the 8th grade,
the class constituting the last year of the Primary,- level, was established by Decree
7,0% (23rd of September, 1967) and the only important departure which it
established in relation to the previous rules was that it lowered the average
minimum mark necessary for promotion from 4 to 3.5, thus facilitating access to
Secondary education. Access to this level was further regulated by a national test
whose object was 'to supply objective antecedents for contributing to the diagnosis
and orientation of the student'.102 However, the test was applied only between
1967 and 1970, and its results were not a signficant part (10.0 percent) of the final
score which allowed the students to choose the type of school at the Secondary
level (Scientific-Humanist or Technical-Professional) where they would continue

Finally, the decree establishing the norms for the evaluation and promotion
of students in the Secondary level (Decree 6,859 of 29th of August, 1968) re-stated
the principles that the new evaluation must be continuous and aimed at producing a
diagnosis more than an evaluation of students. It eliminated exams at the end of
the school year and instead based promotion on the marks assessing the students
work throughout the year.

"This mode of [Jr...,;-i- i ,.)tion ;-nears that what is recognised as really

valuable is the con.Y.ant and systematic work undertaker by the
student during th:--; schooling year. This de;:initely eliminates the
chance factor, th,F, hurried improvisation and the

accumulation of unnessary distress to which we have been

traditionally subjected at the end of each schooling period."104

The Decree changed principles of evaluation and promotion and the

curriculum was divided into two areas within each modality of Secondary
education: Scientific-Humanist and Technical-Artistic in the liceos; General Plan of
Studies - Differentiated Plan of Studies in the vocational schools.105 The Decree
designed the promotion rules so that a student could fail even two subjects within
an area and be promoted if in the other area s/he had not failed more than one
subject and had obtained a 'between-areas' average mark of 4. This recognized and
provided some room for individual differences. More concretely, though, the Decree
was intended to eliminate unjustified repetitions, especially those of students
coming from Primary schools where no teaching of foreign languages was offered
and who therefore found themselves at a disadvantage in the Secondary school.106
Summing up, then, the decree we are referring to permitted failure in three
subjects without the need to repeat a course, provided that no more than two
belonged to one area and the average of marks reached the minimum required.

Measures supporting the changes in teaching

The state's effort at changing the ES's transmissions did not stop at the
issuing of decrees on evaluation and the production of new programmes of studies
for every course of the system. A host of measures aimed at supporting the new
orientations were taken, amongst which the most relevant were the in-service
training of teachers, the production of guides for teachers and textbooks for
students along the lines of the new pedagogic criteria, and the public diffusion of
the Reform in general.

From its start in 1965, the Reform sought to disseminate the new measures
among the teaching body via a National Programme of In-service Training. During
1965 and 1966, courses, seminars, congresses aimed at modernizing pedagogy at the
Secondary level were held. But it was with the setting up of a 'Centre for
Training, Experimentation and PedaLT,ogicat (Centro de
Perfeccionamiento, Exoerimentacion e Investiv,4ciones Pedagogicas CPEIP) in
1967, that the re-training teach e rs gathered national dimensions. 107 Teachers
were introduced to the P. e Progrimmes of Study and their basic principles through
summer courses wh:ch t -)e. CPE..:IP organized with We cooperation of the
Table 4.7

Teachers who attended courses of the state programmes of in-service training, 1965-1970 period*


Scientific-Humanist Technical-Professional

1965-1966 6,384 1,500 - 7,884

1967 5,370 638 161 6,169

1968 5,859 1,497 1,260 8,616

1969 15,290 4,240 384 19,914

1970 14,515 3,164 498 18,177

1965-1970 47,418 11,039 2,303 60,760

Source: Ministerio de Educacion, Of icina de Relaciones Internacionales, La educacion en Chile 1979-1980, Santiago,
1981, p. 43.

* The data correspond to the total aggregate of the number of participants in each course or seminar. As some teachers
attended more than one course, the actual number of teachers involved was less than indicated by the data.

The final account on the achievements of the 1965-1970 period by the CD's authorities of the Ministry of Education put
the figure of re-trained teachers at 50,000 (Cf. Ministerio de Educacion, Una nueva Educacion y una nueva Cultura Para
el pueblo de Chile, Santiago, 1970, p. 30), i.e., about 70 percent of the teaching body in 1970. This is corroborated by
the findings on in-service training of a study which included all the teachers of the 8th grade of the state ES in 1970:
67.0 percent had attended at least one in-service training course. See E. Schiefelbein, J. Farrel, Factores y Resultados
del Proceso Educativo Chileno (Informe Preliminar), PIIE, U. Catolica de Chile, Santiago; 1971.

Universities and t,-1c.. Normal Schools. Salary additions to those who undertook the
courses were established by law. 108 Table 4.7 indicates the quantative dimensions
of the in-service training of teachers.

In addition to the direct training of approximately two-thirds of the teachers

in the new transmission-acquisition measures, the Reform modified all the
textbooks on which Primary education was based. The Centre for In-service
Training, Experimentation and Research produced teaching guides for each of the
eight grades of the level, which contained lesson suggestions, possible experiments
and learning situations designed according to the principles ruling the changed
curriculum. Close to 250,000 of these guides for teaching were distributed in the
109 Equally, the state demanded that the publishing houses produce texts for
the students which complied with the orientations of the Reform. 5.3 million texts
for the different grades of the Primary level were distributed between 1968 and
110 The new forms of instruction demanded, beyond changed texts, extended
use of other teaching materials. 70,000 Cuisenaire boxes of material for the
teachingof the new mathematics were distributed in the Primary level. School
libraries were set up, or improved (libraries of 100 volumes were assigned to 4,500
Primary schools and 160 Secondary schools) and US$ 3 million (1970) were invested
by the Ministry in laboratories and workshops.111

4 Official Pedagogic Discourse and teachers' practices and views on their


To what extent, and when did the teachers put into practice the new
Official Pedagogic Discourse, is a question which has not been answered
conclusively. Leyton (see Section 2) wrote in 1970 that it was not known if the
new programmes of study and teaching guides had been wholly followed by the
teachers. Schiefelbein (see Section 2), also in 1970, argued that it was possible for
the teachers to transform the suggestions of the official programmes in lists of
topics 'to be passed' much as it had been done before the Reform. He does not
give any clues about whether this was the case or not.I12 1970 was probably too
early for assessing the effects upon teaching practices. Unfortunately, no
evaluation of the Reform focussing upon teachers was carried out in the
subsequent years. We will have to resort to secondary evidence and survey data
collected by ourselves in 1980 to argue that the dissemination of the new official

criteria among teachers'-.vas on the whole successful and that the paradigm for
teaching proposed by the CD reform gradually became the normative criteria held
by the teachers.

The first set of factors we will consider for our argument is derived from
the examination of the resources and actions of the state with respect to
education during the period. In as centralised an ES as the Chilean, a coherent and
persistent effort in the Official Re-contextualizing Field (in this case by the
planners, curriculum experts and politicians controlling the decision-making process
during the Reform) to re-direct the transmissions of the school is bound to have
some effects at the level of teachers' practices and/or views on their practices.
We must accept in this context the evidence presented in Section 2 of this chapter
on the technical capabilities, the financial resources and the overall coherence of
the reformist group's effort. From this viewpoint, and repeating ourselves, the CD's
intervention within the system has no precedents in the century. We shall briefly
summarize the key features of this intervention into the form and content of
teaching in schools, in order to convey the extent to which the Reform utilised all
the possibilities available for central control. The Reform changed the curriculum
both in its organisation and contents, producing new textbooks for every subject;
teachers were provided with 'pedagogic guides' for every subject; two thirds of the
teachers went through in-service training courses; the state greatly increased its
control over the key features of learning 'evaluation'. From any individual
teacher's standpoint these changes could neither be avoided or ignored.

As important as the abovementioned practices was the legitimacy_ which the

Reform was able to attract. As we argued in a previous section of this chapter,
this legitimacy drew its source from the technical and non-partisan image of the
Reform achieved by the group who created it together with its basis in educational
and economic theories and principles drawn from the international educational
field. Teachers seem gradually to have adopted the new principles of the Official
Pedagogic Discourse which was seen as legitimate and which all the means of the
state were used to bring about its reproduction at the level of classroom
interaction. Indirect but important evidence referring to the Primary level can be
quoted here. Data on promotion rates of students in the first grade reveal the
effective, albeit gradual, implementation of the changes sought by the Ministry of
Education. The figures in Table 4.8 show that the percentage of promoted students
increased year by year during the period of the Reform and that the rate of
Table 4.8
Estimate of promotion rates in the first grade, Primary education, 1966-1970*

1966 1967 1968 19'9 1970

Estimate of promoted
students 75.9 80.5 81.1 83.3 88.4

Source: E. Schiefelbein, M.C. Grossi, Analisis de la Matricula Escolar en Chile,

CIDE 10/1978, Santiago, Table 1.

* The percentages were obtained by dividing the enrolment figure of the -second
grade of a given year by the enrolment figure of the first grade of the previous
year. This means that the obtained percentages do not exactly correspond to
that of 'promoted students' as the enrolment figure of the second grade not
only includes the promoted students of the first grade but also the repeaters of
the second grade. Accordingly, the figures in the table are over-estimates of
the promotion rate. The estimate of the numbers of repeaters has traditionally
posed problems to educational planners in Latin America. See E. Schiefelbein,
Repeating: An overlooked problem in Latin American education, Comparative
Education Review, Vol. 19, No. 3, October 1974.
repetition in the first year of scho)ling clecr(-_asexi from close to 2.5.0 perceni.
1966 to just over 13.0 percent in 1970. :any factors, outside and within the LS,
may have contributed to this result; for exampl, the increased concern of parents
to send their children to school at the right age as a result of the general
education and community organisational efforts of the Government; the school-meal
programmes; the increased availability of textbooks and other school materials for
poorer children made possible by the State. But these contextual factors could
not have worked so decisively and immediately as the figures in Table 4.8 suggest,
without the new principles regulating repetition of year •having been accepted by
the teachers. We take the data of Table 4.8 to be an indication both of the
effectiveness of the Reform in general, and specifically of the gradual acceptance
by teachers of criteria which ran against the deeply seated -idea that childen who
did not write and read by the end of the first year should not be promoted.

That the state's efforts to modify teaching practices were also to some
extent effective at the Secondary level is evidenced by the data on Table 4.9.
Based on a survey conducted in 1970 among 1,217 secondary teachers, the data
show that attendance at in-service training courses was significantly associated
with the use of the pedagogic means and techniques favoured by the Reform.

We have examined the reform group's efforts (that is, the actions of agents
within the Official Re-Contextualizing Field) and found that it provided resources
(financial, material and technical), created internal coherence and legitimacy so as
effectively to produce practical modifications at the levels of teaching. Existing
evidence, albeit partial, suggests that the Reform did modify teachers' practices.
We now need to focus on the teachers and examine further evidence directly linked
to the questions of the teachers' relationship to the Reform.

An important fact with respect to the teachers' position regarding the

Reform is the absence, at the time, of any politically significant critical or
alternative discourse on education within the organized teaching body. The
teachers' unions accepted and supported the Reform, despite the fact that the
unions were not controlled by the CD, but by the Radical Party. The leaders of the
different unions were members of the National Council of Education, and, as we
mentioned in an earlier section of this Chapter, had to be consulted by the
Government before the implementation of the different changes in the ES.
Table 4.9

Relationship between the use of some teaching techniques favoured by the CD Reform and teachers' in-service training


Value DF Significance level

2 2 <.001
Audiovisual aids X = 32.10
C = 0.159

Pupils' research papers X 2 = 10.45 2 <.01

C = 0.092

Objective tests X 2 = 19.56 2 <.001

C = 0.126

Tests with open books X 2 = 3.91 2 not significant

C = 0.057

Supplementary reading material X 2 = 9.22 2 <.01

C = 0.087

Source: A.M. Andraca, The effects of policy on teaching: A study of some aspects of the Educational Reform of 1965 it
Chile on Teaching Practice in the Secondary School, M. of Education Thesis, Swansea University, 1975, Table 6.2

Although on occasions they .abstained from suaoorting some measures, the unions'
representatives did not oppose any of the initiatives of the Reform.11.4

In our view these occurrences in the 'superstructure' reflect the existence

within the majority of the teaching body of an identification with the basic
principles of the Reform but not with the political party which was carrying it out.
In terms of pedagogic principles the Radical teachers majority in the state ES did
not differ at all from the Christian Democrat teachers who were the second force
among the unionized teachers. (See Chapter 7, Sections and 2.2). As a political
actor, the mainstream of the teachers' organizations appear as supporting the

A decade after the Reform was completed, and after 7 years of a military
intervention in the ES, the teachers' views on some fundamental relations of
education and on the CD confirm the coincidence of their principles with those of
the Reform.

In 1980 we carried out a survey among a sample of 436 teachers from

thirty-six schools of Santiago, both private and public. The schools were selected .
randomly within a quota sample defined according to class composition and level
and type of school. The sample contained teachers from the Primary level and from
both forms of the Secondary school. The schools selected catered for the popular
class as well as middle class and upper class groups. The main original objective of
the survey was to gather evidence about the teachers' general ideological position
and their pedagogic practice in order to examine the forms of their probable
conflict with the new 'Dominant Principles' of the state, that is with the
authoritarian principles of a military dictatorship. We later decided not to include
the military period in the dissertation. However, some of our questionnaire's items
have a direct bearing upon the teachers' relation to the CD's Reform. Firstly, we
shall seek information on the general ideological features of the identity between
the teachers' views and the CD's position on education. Secondly, we shall present
evidence of the teachers' perception of change in their teaching practices. Finally
we shall attempt to identify the principles of their pedagogic practices as these
are conveyed by the teachers' own definitions of criteria .or conveyed by
statements on their regular practices.

(A) Teachers' views on the goals of the ES and the CD's period for education

We asked the sample to rank five hypothetical goals of the ES. The results
are in Table 4.10.

More than two thirds of the sample agreed on the development of the
'person' as the paramount objective of the ES and more than half of the sample
agreed in ranking 'economic' and 'socio-political development' as the second or
third objectives. The relative importance assigned to each goal, as expressed by its
mean value, reveals that the triad of principles-goals of education, as conceived by
the teachers in 1980, not only replicates the principles of the CD Reform but also
replicates the CD ideology in general.

We also asked the teachers if they could distinguish different periods in

Chilean education between 1960 and 1980 and, if that were the case, how did this
period relate to their own educational ideals. Understandably enough, in a context
of the Chile of the Generals, half the sample did not answer a question which
required a political opinion.* Those who did answer distinguished the CD period,
the PU period and the military period. Table 4.11 includes the results referring to
the CD period.

The cross-breaks of Table 4.11 with variables like 'type of school' (which
classified the schools of the sample according to their level - Primary, Secondary -
and class composition, 'years of experience in the ES', 'Father's education', 'sex',
'Private or Public' status of the school and 'levels of the ES' do not produce
statistically significant relations.115 These sociologically relevant features of the
teaching body do not affect the general evaluation of the CD's period. More than
three quarters of the teachers as a whole, in 1980, thought of the CD Reform as
close to their own views on education. This evidence is, on the whole, corroborated
by the facts on the distribution of the teaching corps' partisan loyalties within the
union movement. At the start of the 1970s the CD was the second force in the

* The questionnaire was anonymous but many questions could be thought of as

providing a basis for potential identification, e.g. school name, age, sex,
professional experience, etc. We hope to be able to publish a full report of our
survey in the near future. Information on the sample, the questionnaire and the
conditions of its application can be obtained from the author, at CIDE, Erasmo
Escala 1825, Santiago 1, Chile.
Table 4.10

Ranking of goals for the educational system by Primary and Secondary teacHc rs,

public and private, 1980

Order of importance: 2 3 4 5 Mean

Overall development of
student's personality 68.1 14.5 10.6 5.2 1.7 100.0 N =407 1.58
Education of students
for work and economic
development 12.1 31.7 30.0 18.6 7.6 100.0 N = 397 2.78
Education of students
for active participation
in the social and
political development
of the country 12.1 26.1 24.4 22.4 15.1 100.0 N = 398 3.02
Development of
individuals inspired in
the values of fatherland
• and nationalism 6.3 17.5 17.7 26.8 31.6 100.0 N = 385 3.60
Development of
cultivated individuals,
universal in their
perspectives 4.1 11.9 17.0 25.4 41.6 100.0 N =394 3.88

unions after the Radical Party; by tie end of the PU government, it was the first
(see Chapter 7, Section 6). The Radicals' educational views are very close to
those of the CD. The majority who in 1980 considered the CD's ideas on education
as 'relatively close' to its own most probably combined teachers of Radical
sympathies together with independent and CD teachers who were not willing to
register too strong a favourable opinion towards a party which, in 1980, was illegal
and a government which was an anathema to the group in power.

To try to determine with precision the features which distinguish the group
who, despite the risks, answered a question which entailed a political statement;
from the group who did not so answer, would take us too far afield. However, a
general analysis of some features of this group is relevant. Cross-breaks of the
'no-response' group of teachers with the variables 'type of school', 'years of
experience' and 'level of the ES' do produce statistically significant relations.
Briefly, the implicit variable 'apprehension' is more strongly present among
teachers in schools serving popular groups than other types of schools (for
categories of the variable see note 115). It also weighs more among the teachers
with less years of experience and those working in the Primary level. Secondary
teachers of the academic modality were, comparatively speaking, the less
apprehensive. Now, as none of the abovementioned independent variables is
significantly related to the evaluation of the CD period by those teachers who did
answer, we can be reasonably confident that in more open political circumstances
an evaluation by the whole of the sample would not have altered in any
fundamental way the proportions of Table 4.11. .

The data from our survey together with the historical data on the politicos
of the teaching body prove beyond doubt the existence of a strong identity with
the general principles of the CD Reform and the general views on education
sustained by the teachers.

We have argued. that the Official Re-Contextualizing Field was effective in

its attempt at comprehensive reform and that the teaching body on the whole
shared in the fundamental orientations of the CD's educational project. We shall
now present evidence which relates to the effects upon the teachers of the
Table 4.11
Teachers' assessment of CD's educational period (i 980)

Distant from own educational ideas 20.2

Relatively close to own educational ideas 49.3

Very close to own educational ideas 30.5


N = 213

(b) Teachers' perception of change in their transmission practices

One of the iidestioris of the survey asked the teachers to assess to what
extent they had changed their classroom practices as compared to when they
started. If we distinguish the teachers of the sample according to their having
started in teaching before, during and after the period of the CD reform, we
obtain the following distributions with respect to the assessment of change.

Naturally enough, the perception of having changed increases with the years
of experience. However, we want to argue that the differences observable between
the three groups are not solely attributable to an 'accumulation of experience'
factor but are due also to the historical variable 'CD Reform'. For this point, the
relevant comparison is between the group who started teaching during, or
immediately after, the CD period (second group in the table), that is between 1965
and 1972, and the group already in theES by 1964 and who therefore had been
trained and practised the pre-Reform criteria (third group in the table). Both
groups of teachers had had a long work experience by 1980, and we think it is
valid to assume that the effect of the factor 'accumulation of experience' upon the
perception of change would not be too dissimilar between the two groups and that
therefore the differences between them are reflecting the pre-post CD Reform
divide. If our assumption is correct then the evidence of Table 4.12 should be
considered as a further proof of the actual realization of the CD's Reform at the
level of teaching practice.

Finally, the views of teachers in 1980 on pedagogic practicelevaluation and

social control leaves little doubt about the identity of their views within the
principles held by the CD's Reform.

(c) Teachers' views on pedagogy, i.e. practice, evaluation and modalities of


A decade after the Reform the orthodoxy of the teaching body on

transmission replicates the central principles of the changes of the 1965-1970
period. The cross-breaks of the preceding two tables by the variable 'years of
experience' does not show statistically significant results.117 The orthodoxy in this
case is not 'stratified' according to the time of entry into teaching (a situation
Table 4.12
Extent to which teachers consider their classroom practices have changed, by period in which they started teaching.

Changed not at Changed to Changed to a

all or little some extent large extent

After CD Reform 14.3 48.9 36.8 100.0 N = 133
(0-7 years of experience)
During CD Reform 8.2 36.1 55.7 100.0 N = 122
(8-15 years of experience)
Before CD Reform 2.7 32.0 65.3 100.0 N = 147
(over 16 years of experience)

8.2 38.8 53.0

N = 33 N = 156 N = 213 N =402

X 2 27.78 4DF Significance = 0.0000

C = 0.25

Table 4.13

Teachers' selection of pc,lagopic principles

Pupils learn better by having things

explained to them 23.8
Uncertain 6.3
Pupils learn better by finding things
out for themselves 69.9


N = 429

Table 4.14

Teachers' selection of criteria of evaluation

In evaluation the focus is on measuring the acquisition of:

The subject matter 19.1

Uncertain 2.6
Ways of thinking 78.4


N = 388

which k not reDe.3,t(-...d with respect to the -teachers' practices of co•trol). o

argue in the next chapter that one of the overall fundamental meanings of the CD
Reform had to do with the weakening of the rules regulating hierarchical relations
between teacher and taught. Our survey results suggest that this was not
restricted to the level of 'official discourse' but affected the teachers' criteria of
. practice, as the evidence in Table 4.15 shows.

The question asked of our sample entails a strong version of the opposition
between strong and weak framing of social relations. At one level, it directly asks
for the nature of rules, and by implication authority. Should they be closed or
open? At another level, the question also implies two different relations to rules
and authority; one where the maintenance of the rule itself is valued and another
where the focus of the criteria is not on the rule's maintenance but upon its
variation or change. The teachers' responses are not significantly related to any of
the independent variables we used in the analysis. As with the teachers'
assessment of the CD educational period as a whole (Table 4.11), the teachers'
views on control, with the exception of the generational variable, are independent
of the manifold differences criss-crossing our sample.

It is important to remember, once more, that our data was obtained in 1980
when the 'Dominating Principles' ruling the state and the official culture as a
whole were those of a militarily based authoritarianism. Despite this fact, 44.1
percent favour weak rather than strong principles of control and over 18 percent
were uncertain. This view is in agreement with the CD's Reform principles and not
with those sustained by the state at the time of gathering the data. This general
result also holds for each one of the three groups of teachers, although the oldest
one is divided in equal proportions between the alternatives (44.1 percent vs. 44.9
percent). More importantly for our argument of the effectiveness of the Reform,
the groups differ significantly with respect to their distribution between the
alternatives and in terms of their uncertainty. If the rows of Table 4.15 are
compared, the group of teachers who started teaching during the CD Reform
favours weak framing criteria more than both the pre-Reform and the after-Reform
groups. This result suggests the existence of, if not specifically a 'CD Reform
effect', at least a 'period effect' upon the group of teachers who started their
career in the second half of the 1960s or beginnings of the 1970s. These teachers
were trained or started teachintiduring the application of the Reform and when
Table 4.15

Teachers' selection of principle of control by period in which they started teaching

Teachers should Uncertain Teachers should

only make rules make rules that
that can always can sometimes
be kept be set aside


After CD Reform 36.7 24.2 39.1 100.0 N = 128

(0-7 years of experience)

During CD Reform 34.8 16.5 48.7 100.0 N = 115

(8-15 years of experience)

Before CD Reform 44.1 11.0 44.9 100.0 N = 136

(over 16 years of experience)

38.8 17.2 44.1 100.0

N . 147 N . 65 N . 167 N = 379

X 2 9.64 DF4 Significance = 0.05


the Dominating Principles of the State and the official culture as a whole pointed
in the direction of the weakening of social hierarchies and principles of control.
This effect would-. have been less strong upon the older teachers. The younger
group shows more uncertainty than the other two and a significantly reduced
proportion of them favour weak principles of control. Thus, this appears to be the
group where the contradiction between the new, authoritarian, 'Dominating
Principles' of the state and criteria of control based on weak framing (derived
from the theories dominating this Field of Education) is strongest. What is
important in terms of the question of the relations between the CD Reform and the
teachers' practices is that it is possible to discern a 'period's effect' in as crucial
and overarching a dimension as that of the principles of control of .social relations..

5 Summary

We have attempted to answer four broad questions on the CD's educational

reform: firstly, the power and discursive dimensions constituting its immediate
antecedents; secondly, the politics of its implementation; thirdly, the contents of
the policy measures constituting it and, finally, its relations to the teachers'
practices and views on their practices.

With respect to the first question we ordered the exposition around the
concept of re-contextualizing. We found that in relation to the external relations
of education the CD formulated its policies drawing from the assumptions,
rationales, and data produced by a field constituted by the relations between the
US Government, international development agencies and the Chilean state's
'Commission for the Integral Planning of Education'. In relation to the Pedagogic
Discourse of the Reform we found that it was based on theories produced by the
International Intellectual Field of Education, namely on works by the Chicago
educationists Tyler and Bloom on curriculum, pedagogy and evaluation, and on the
works of Piaget and others on child development. With reference to the 'primary
contexts' behind the Reform's different features, the main point to be emphasized
is that the ideological basis of their power and discursive constituents
fundamentally corresponded to those of the CD as a political movement. This
permitted the CD to use the field's autonomy for its own general project of

In terms of the Reform's implementation, the key feature is that it did not
have to confront any significant opposition either within the educational field or
beyond. This we linked to the fact that the CD explicitly avoided both any
identification of its measures with partisan objectives or specific language, and
that it succeeded in leaving the design and specific definition of all the measures
more strictly connected with its pedagogic discourse to agents who constituted a
technical elite within the educational field. Thus the policies appeared as
autonomous of politics, national or international, and exclusively based upon
educational criteria. The in-coming CD group also met with an educational field
already mobilized by initiatives for change and, both ideologically and in terms of
specific proposals, prepared for a comprehensive reform •of the ES. Foreign
pressures and technical assistance had contributed significantly to this process.
Hence, the CD government could effectively 'give way' to the field's own proposals
of change in many important aspects.

With reference to the contents of the Reform, we distinguished measures

affecting access to the ES; measures affecting its organisational structure and
measures referring to the transmissions of the system. The principle of equality of
opportunity was realised through the expansion of access. The increase in the
numbers of enrolments at the primary level meant the schooling of practically all
the 6-14 years old group by the end of the period. The Secondary level was
expanded by 111.0 percent. The structure of the ES was modified to ensure 'more
education' and 'less differentiated education'. The Primary level was extended by
two years and the differences between academic and vocational types of Secondary
education were reduced, although not to such an extent as to produce
'comprehensive' types of Secondary schools. The overall instructional criteria of
the new transmissions was to produce behavioural changes rather than the recalling
of contents, and to inculcate general procedures rather than specific information.
The overall regulative criteria of the Reform pointed towards the weakening of
hierarchy, the personalization of practice and the valuing of change.

Finally, on the basis of historical and survey evidence, we established that

teachers' practices and views on their practices in a period after the Reform's
completion were consistent with the principles of the pedagogic discourse proposed
by the reformers. We considered this as proof of the implementation of the Reform
not only at the levels of 'access' and 'organisational features' of the ES, but also
at the level of 'transmissions'.

Chapter li Notes

See, Seminario Interarnericano sobre Planeamiento Integral de la Educacion,

Washington, 1958, in, Ministerio de Educacion, Comision de Planeamiento
Integral de la Educacion, Algunos antecedentes para el Pianearniento integral
de la Educacion Chilena, Santiago, 1964, p.11.

2 J. Child, Unequal Alliance, The Inter-American Military System, 1938-1978,

Westview Press, Boulder, Colorado, 1980, p.145. On the Kennedy
Administration's rationale for the 'Alliance for Progress', J. Child (a US
Army Lieutenant Colonel) quotes documentation which was declassified in
1975. Cf. United States Information Agency, Circular Telegram: The Problem
of Cuba, 19 April 1962, in Declassified Documents Reference System, 1975
Annual, Carlton Press, Washington, DC.

3 Cf. Pan American Union, The Alliance for Progress and the Latin American
Development Prospects, Johns- Hopkins Press, Baltimore, 1967.

4 For Secretary of State Dean Rusk (1961), the assumptions and motivations
for promoting educational change in the Third world were to do with
democracy, development, change and hope.

"Democratic institutions cannot exist without education for democracy and

functions only when the people are informed and are aware, thirsting for
knowledge and exchanging ideas. Education makes possible the economic
democracy that raises social mobility, for it is education that ensures that
classes are not frozen and that an elite of whatever kind does not
perpetuate itself. And in the underdeveloped economies education itself
stimulates development by ... demonstrating that tomorrow need not be the
same as yesterday, that change can take place, that the outlook is hopeful."

Quoted in M. Carnoy, The world education crisis: A system analysis, P.

Coombs, book review, Harvard Educational Review, Vol.44, No.2, 1974.

G. Rama, Educacion, imagenes y estilos de desarrollo, Dealc 6, Unesco,

Cepal, Pnud, 1977, p.4. D. McClelland's classic study, The Achieving Society
(Princeton, NJ, 1961), was partially replicated in Chile by one of the key
decision-makers during the CD period. Cf. E. Schiefelbein, N. McGinn, A.
Avalos, Contenidos Motivacionales de los materiales educativos en Chile,
Borrador PIEE, Santiago, 1977.

6 Cf. T.W. Schultz, 'Investment in Human Capital', in J. Karabel and A.H.

Halsey (eds.), Power and Ideology in Education, Oxford University Press,

"... the appeal of human capital theory to capitalist institutions such as the
International Monetary Fund and the World Bank resided substantially in the
comforting ideological character of its message. The nations of the Third
World, the theory suggested, were poor not because of the structure of
international economic relations, but because of internal characteristics -
most notably their lack of human capital. As with the poor within the
advanced countries, nothing in the situation of the Third World country
called for radical, structural change; development was possible if only they
would improve the quality of their woefully inadequate human resources.
Attention was thus deflected from structural variables onto individuals."

J. Karabc A.H. Halsey, 'Educationa! ReFearch: a review and an

interpretation', in Power and Ideology In Education, op. cit., p.15.

7 Unesco, La conferencia sobre educacion y desarrollo econonico y social en

America Latina, in, Provecto Principal de E,ducacion, Boletin No.14,
April-June 1962, p.85.

Cuba abstained from signing the final declaration on several counts. The
main one was the Declaration of Santiago's silence with respect to the US
intervention in the aggravation of the problems of Latin America. On the
discourse of the 'Proyecto principal' and its ideological assumptions, we
learned from R. Vera, El proyecto educacional de la teoria del desarrollo,
unpublished, Santiago, 1980.

8 P. O'Brien has described how US economic aid to the Chilean government

during the 1960-1964 period was made dependent on the latter's progress in
the agrarian, educational and tax reforms deemed necessary for the
development plans. See P. O'Brien, 'La Alianza para el Progreso y los
prestamos por programa a Chile', Revista de Estudios Internacionales,
Universidad de Chile, Year 2, Number 4, Enero-Abril 1969.

In general, throughout the 1960s, the international funding institutions

connected with development made the channeling of aid to a particular
country conditional on its having 'integral plans of education'. See, G. Rama,
Educacion, Imagenes y estilos ..., op. cit.

9 .ur:Los.
See, Ministerio de Educacion, Comision de Planeamiento Integral,1.
Antecedentes ..., op. cit., p.47.

10 Unesco provided one expert in Curriculum and another in Educational

Planning plus a mission of four experts in programming and investments in
education. The Ford Foundation supported the work of the Commission with
one consultant and an expert in Science Curriculum. See, Ministerio de
Educacion, Comision de Planeamiento Integral, Algunos Antecedentes ..., op.
cit., p.147

11 Cf. K.B. Fischer, Political ideology and educational reform in Chile,

1964-1976, UCLA, Latin American Center, Los Angeles, 1979.

12 Cf. I. Nunez, Reformas Educacionales ocurridas en Latinoamerica en los

ultimos 50 anos y orientaciones pedagogicas que las han sustentado. Un
analisis comparativo. Estudio de base: Chile, Mimeo, Volume I, OEA,
Programa Regional de Desarrollo Educacional, Santiago, 1978; N. McGinn, E.
Schiefelbein, D. Warwick, 'Educational planning as political process: two case
studies from Latin America',Comparative Education Review, Vol.23, Number
2, June 1979.

13 0. Vera, Los principales problemas de la situacion educacional Chilena y el

planeamiento de la educacion, in, Ministerio de Educacion, Comision de
Planeamiento Integral, Algunos antecedentes ..., op. cit.; E. Schiefelbein,
Diagnostico del Sistema Educacional Chileno en 1964, Departamento de
Economia, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, 1974; J. Bermudez, Sistema
Educacional y requerirnientos del desarrollo macional. La educacion Chilena
en el periodo 1964-1974, unpublished, Santiago, January 1975.

14 O. Vera, ibid., p.72.

15 0. Vera. ibid.; E. Schiefelbein, Diagnostico del sisterna op. cit. (1965).

16 J. Gomez Millas, Speech inaugurating the Educational Reform of 1965,

Ministerio de Educacion, La Superintendencia de Educacion y la Reforma
Educacional Chilena, Santiago, 1969, p.24; Ministerio de Educacion, Comision
de Planearniento Integral, Algunos antecedentes ..., op. cit., p.64; E.
Schiefelbein, ibid., p.48; J. Bermudez, 'Sisterna educational y requerirnieritos
...', op. cit., p.6; R. Vera, Disyuntivas de la educacion Chilena en America
Latina, Dealc 19, Unesco, Cepal, Pnud, 1979, p.10 and f f.

17 E. Eisner, The Educational Imagination, Macmillan, NewYork, 1979, p.55.

In its national version the paradigm was diagnosed by the reformers as

having contributed to produce: 'Rigidity and lack of diversification of the
plans of study; excessive emphasis on acquisition of intellectual knowledge,
memorizing and mechanical application of information; too extended and
intellectualizing programs, selectively orientated towards the university,
without generally promoting relevant attitudes for personal, social and
economic development and without providing, in the required quantity and
quality, the technical competence for the performance of the new
occupations which demand every accelerated (process of development) ..."

See, Presentacion General de los Programas de Estudio del Iro al 4to. ano
Basicos y metodologia utilizada en relation con ellos, in Ministerio de
Educacion, Cuadernos de la Superintendencia Numero 10, Santiago, Juni()

18 Two works by the previously mentioned University of Chicago educators

constituted the 'theology' of the qualitative dimensions of the Reform: Basic
Principles of Curriculum and Instruction, by Ralph Tyler, University of
Chicago Press, 1949, and Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, Cognitive
Domain, by B. Bloom and others, D.M. McKay Co., 1956. Both works were
translated and published in different editions of the Revista de Educacion,
the Ministry of Education's key publication for the diffusion of the new
criteria. (It was published montly during the schooling year with a circulation
of about 30,000.) Tyler's whole book and sections of Bloom's one appeared in
numbers 9, 10, 11, 13, 17, 18, 20 and 21, in 1969 and 1970. Further, M.
Leyton, the key decision-maker on the qualitative decisions of the Reform
(at different periods he was head of the committee in charge of the
curricular innovations, Vice-Minister of Education and Head of the Centre
for the Re-Training of Teachers) had studied in Chicago under the
supervision of B. Bloom.

19 R. Tyler, Basic Principles of Curriculum and Instruction, Open University .set

book, London, 1973, p.63.

20 B. Bloom et al., Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. Vol.1, Cognitive

Domain, Longman, London, 1972, p.29.

21 Ibid., pages 42 and 40, respectively.

22 R. Tyler, op. cit., p.85.

23 B. Bloom et al., op. cit., p.35.


24 See 3.M. Rosenfeld, Princimos organizddores de los nuevos programas,

Revista de Educacion Number 3, Santiago, December 1967.

25 Cf. B. Bernstein, 'Class and pedagogies: visible and invisible', in Class, codes
and control, Vo1.3, 2nd edition, Routledge and Kegan Paul, London, 1977;
J.J. Brunner, Sociologia de los principios educativos: un analisis de dos
reformas de la ensenanza basica Chilena: 1965 y 1980, Flacso, Santiago,
August 1980.

26 See J.M. Rosenfeld, Principios organizadores..., op. cit.

27 Vatican II Concilium and its doctrinal precedents, as well as the philosophy

of J. Maritain, emphasized a pluralistic approach to Christianity. Men of
different or 'erroneous' beliefs could join in the construction of a just social

28 Ministerio de Educacion, Una nueva educacion y una nueva cultura para el

pueblo de Chile, Santiago, 1970, p.14.

29 Ministerio de Educacion, Programas de Estudio de la Educacion General

Basica, Revista de Educacion, No.12, Santiago, August 1969, p.11, p.7.

30 M. Leyton, La experiencia Chilena, Reforma Educcacional 1965-70, CPEIP,

Santiago, November 1970, Vol.2, p.162.

31 Ministerio de Educacion, Cuadernos de la Superintendencia, op. cit., No.10,


32 See S. Molina, El proceso de Cambio en Chile, Siglo XXI, Ed. Universitaria,

Santiago, 1972.

33 I. Nunez, Reformas educacionales ocurridas en Latinoamerica..., op. cit.

34 Some aspects were enforced by law, like the suppression of the 'Bachillerato'
as the national test regulating access to the University system, the creation
of a national centre for the re-training of teachers and educational research,
and the seting up of a new organism for the expansion and modernization of
pre-school education. See I. Nunez, ibid.

35 N. McGinn, E. Schiefelbein, D. Warwick, 'Educational Planning as political

process: two case studies from Latin America, Comparative Education
Review, Vol.23, No.2, June 1979, pp. 223, 226, 229.

36 Ibid., p.238.

37 Interview consented to by Mario Leyton with the author, Santiago, January

1981. The same version was also communicated to the author by J. Farrell,
who joined the teams of the Superintendencia de Educacion in 1969, as a
planning expert of the USAID (Interview, Rotterdam, May 1983).

38 E. Schiefelbein, Diagnostico del Sistema Educacional Chileno en 1970, Depto.

de Economia, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, 1976, p.37.

The mission of the USAID in Chile at some point during the CD period was
second in size only to that in Vietnam. (Interview with J. Farrell, ibid.). The

USAID was, of course, one of the arms of the counterinsurgency strategy of

the US during the 1960s. On this see, D.S. Blaufarb, The Counterinsurgency
era: U.S. doctrine and performance. 1950 to the present, Free Press, New
York, 1977. On the Ford Foundation and its educational-political roles in
countries of the Third World, see R.F. Arnove, 'The Ford Foundation and
"Competence Building" overseas: assumptions, approaches and outcomes', in
Studies in Comparative International Development, 12, 1977.

39 When US agencies did try to intervene in ways which had to do with

'control" and not with the 'silent' forms of the dimension of 'power', there
was an almost universal national reaction against it. A case in point is
Camelot. Camelot was a vast project of social, political, ideological and
military espionage set up by the Pentagon against Chile which was due to
start with a series of surveys in 1965. Denounced by Chilean academics
(close to the Left and the CD) who were offered jobs in it, the case assumed
scandalous proportions and heightened the extensive anti-imperialist mood of
the period. A special investigation was set up by the Chamber of Deputies
which concluded by denouncing the Camelot project as an instrument of
intervention by the US Defense Department against the dignity and
sovereignty of the country. Cf. G. Selser, Espionaje en America Latina,
Ediciones Iguazu, Buenos Aires, 1966.

40 See I. Nunez, Reformas educacionales ocurridas..., op. cit.; E. Schiefelbein,

Diagnostico del sistema... (1970), op. cit.

41 N. McGinn et al., op. cit., p.230.

42 Socialist and Communist teachers did not accept this apparent

unconnectedness of the Reform with the CD's own political project and the
US strategic interests, but their critique of the changes, as we shall see in
Chapter 7, did not consider their specific pedagogic features. The changes
were condemned on political grounds but not on educational ones, i.e. not in
the terms most relevant for the field.

43 Ministerio de Educacion, Una nueva educacion y una nueva cultura..., op.

cit., p.3.

44 Minister Gomez said once that after inaugurating a humble school in a rural
district of central Chile in 1965, an old peasant woman approached him
declaring that she had had nothing to contribute to the construction of the
school. What she did have was a tree in her backyard and she wanted the
children to rest in its shade when the days were hot. J. Gomez Millas,
Intervention at Seminar, Development of Education in Chile, 1970-73,
Corporacion de Investigaciones para el Desarrollo, CINDE, Santiago, 1
October 1980.

45 Ministerio de Educacion, Una nueva Educacion y una nueva cultura..., op.

cit., p.15, p.16.

46 According to M. Leyton, 'the national opinion had not reached a consensus

on its institutional status and compulsory nature'. Cf. his La Experiencia
Chilena..., op. cit., p.131.

47 See S. Molina, op. cit., p.85 and f f.

48 Cf. M. Leyton, La experiencia Chilena..., op. cit., p. 278.


49 E. Schi, 2fc:11)ein, Diagnostico del Sistema Educacional Chileno en 1964.

op. cit., Th°1,2 Lhagnostico del Sistema Educacional en 19.'0, op. Cit.,
Table 19.
50 F. Schielfelbein, Diagnostico ... 1964, op. cit., p.7, p.58.

51 Ibid., Table 7.
52 Decree 27,952, Article 3, in Ministerio de Educacion, La Superintendencia...,
op. cit., p.30.
53 The official discourse defined the time of completion of Primary education
as one of personal choice between the different types of Secondary
education. The element of choice gave particular importance, according to
the Reformers, to the 'Orientation activities' given by the curriculum. It
seems difficult to imagine a more open example of ideological negation of
the effects of social class upon the crucial transition from Primary to
Secondary school.
54 Ministerio de Educacion, La Superintendencia..., op. cit., p.8.
55 Ibid., p.23.
56 Radio broadcast speech by Vice-Minister of Education P. Rojas, 12 December
1965, cited in E. Schielfelbein, Diagnostico ... 1970, op. cit., p.14, n.14.
57 E. Schiefelbein, Diagnostico ... 1970, op. cit., p.1.5 and f f.
58 Ministerio de Educacion, Decree 27,952, in La Superintendencia ..., op. cit.,
59 M. Leyton, A. Carkovic, 'La Reforma de la ensenanza media y sus
proyecciones, Revista de Educacion, No.4, March 1968, p.8.
60 Ministerio de Educacion, La Superintendencia ..., op. cit., p.10.
61 E. Schiefelbein, Diagnostico 1970, op. cit., p.17; M. Leyton, A. Carkovic,
op. cit.
62 I. Nunez, Reformas ocurridas ..., op. cit., p.377.
63 M. Leyton, La experiencia Chilena ..., op. cit., p.176.
64 B. Bernstein, Class, Codes and Control, Vol.3, op. cit.
65 E. Schiefelbein, Diagnostico ... 1970, op. cit., p.75.
66 Ministerio de Educacion, Decree 1,201, 18 December 1967, in La
Superintendencia ..., op. cit., p.91.
Decree 1,358 further specified, for the Primary level, that the number of
hours for each area of transmission could be increased or diminished by 15
percent. The decision corresponded to the schools. See La Superintendencia
..., op. cit., p.74.

67 Cf. Revista dc- alucacion, No.12, 2nci Aui.,ust 1969; and also
Cuadernos Sukerintendencia 10, June 1967, op. cit.

68 Cf. Decree 1,355, in La Superintendencia ..., op. cit., p.74, Revista de

Educacion, No.12, op. cit.

69 Revista de Educacion, No.12, op. cit., p.77.

70 For official definitions on the 'Plan of Studies' for the Primary and
Secondary levels, see Decrees 1,358 and 11,201 in La Superintendencia
op. cit.

71 See E. Schiefelbein, Diagnostico ... 1970, op. cit., Table 47 and p.78.

72 R. Tyler, op. cit., p.50.

The 'Programmes of Study' or syllabuses for each subject were produced by
teams of teachers and other specialists working in subject committees. The
committees reported to round tables or plenary sessions in which lecturers
from Universities and Normal Schools together with experts from the Ministry
of Education considered the results. Another committee edited the agreed
new programmes and presented them for approval to the National Council of
Education. Some of the programmes were further tested in pilot schemes for
a year (see Diagram 4.2, p. 144). Cf. M. Leyton, La experiencia Chilena
op. cit., pp. 165-66; Ministerio de Educacion, Cuadernos de la
Superintendencia 10, op. cit.

It is worth emphasising in this context the representative character of the

National Council of Education, the final institutional instance which
approved the new contents to be transmitted and their form. The National
Council of Education was headed by the Minister of Education and included:
(1) the Vice-Minister of Education, the Superintendent of Education and the
Directors of each of the sub-divisions of the State Schooling System
(Director of Primary and Normal Education, Director of Secondary Education,
Director of Technical-Professional Education); (2) the Rectors of each one of
the Universities of the country (state and private); (3) the Head of the
Faculty of Philosophy and Education of the University of Chile, the Director
of the principal Normal School, and the Director of the Pedagogical Institute
of the State Technical University (i.e. the heads of the three main centres
for the formation of teachers); (4) representatives from each of the four
unions of teachers; (5) a representative of the private education sector;
(6) two representatives - one state, one private - of Associations of Parents;
(7) representatives from the private productive sector (Agricultural,
Industrial and Mining): (8) a representative from the workers'unions; (9) a
representative from the State Corporation for Production (CORFO).
73 B. Bloom et a., op. cit.

74 M. Leyton, A. Carkovic, op. cit., p. 14.

75 Ibid., p. 15.

76 Cf. Law 16, 526 (6 August 1966), for the suppression of the Bachillerato.
The links l)et..ven the chi:n7es the curriculum of the Secondary level and
the changes in the entry examination of the University system are quite
direct. Two of the key people responsible for the Reform at the school level
had previously intervened in the substitution of the Bachillerato for an
'Academic Aptitude Test': J. Gomez Millas, as Rector of the University of
Chile, and M. Leyton as Curriculum specialist.

77 M. Leyton, A. Carkovic, op. cit.

78 Ministerio de Educacion, La Superintendencia ..., op. cit., p.30.
79 Cf. E. Livacic, 'La Ensenanza Media, Encrucijada del Problema Educational
Chileno', in Ministerio de Educacion, La Superintendencia op. cit., p.51
and f f.; M. Leyton, La experiencia chilena ..., op. cit., Vol.3.
80 .See 'Alternativa "C"', in Revista de Educacion No.1, Santiago, October 1967,
81 The curriculum defined by 'Alterativa "B"' was approved by the National
Council of Education in its session Number 27 on 31 October 1967. We have
not had access to the acts of that session, and so we do not know how the
different sectors represented therein voted on the issue. We do not know
either how differences within the CD's group of decision-makers may have
been manifested.
82 See 'Alternativa "B"', in Revista de Educacion No.1, op. cit., p.63.
83 See Decree 11,201 in La Superintendencia ..., op. cit.
84 Decree 11,201, ibid., p.88.
85 Ibid., p.89.
86 M. Leyton, A. Carkovic, op. cit., p.11.
87 B. Bernstein, Class, Codes and Control, Vol.3, op. cit., p.85.
88 M. Leyton, A. Carkovic, op. cit., p.13.
89 Ibid.
90 Revista de Educacion No.12, op. cit., p.14.
91 Cf. Decree 6,859, in Ministerio de Educacion, La Superintendencia ..., op.
cit., p.124 and f f.
E. Schiefelbein's account on the Local Departments reads: "In order to
stimulate professional exchanges between teachers and to benefit from the
better training of some teachers in each locality, the realisation of Local
Tests was established. The teachers of each subject would meet and set up
objective tests aimed at measuring higher level abilities (to order, classify,
infer, deduce, evaluation, etc.) and not mere recalling." E. Schielfelbein,
Diagnostico ... 1970, op. cit., p.82.
92 Revista de Educacion, No.9, August 1968, p.68.

93 enfoque nuc.:rvo paid los programas de estudio, in de

Educacion, No.5, April 1968, p.2.

94 B. Bernstein, Class, Codes and Control, Vol.3, op. cit., p.85.

95 Ministerio de Educacion, Una nueva educacion op. cit., p.25.

96 M. Leyton, La experiencia Chilena ...., op. cit., p.232.

97 M. Leyton, 'El nuevo reglamento de evaluacion y promocion de la Ensenanza

Media', in Revista de Educacion, No.10, September 1968, p.2.

98 Superintendencia de Educacion, Indicaciones generates para la aplicacion del

decreto 27,954 de 7 de Diciembre de 1965 sobre promocion en Iro y 2do.
anos de Educacion General Basica, in La Superintendencia ..., op. cit.

99 Ministerio de Educacion, Superintendencia de Educacion, Oficina de

Planificacion, Sinopsis del Programa de Educacion 1965-1970, Santiago, 1966,
p.62. Quoted in J. Bermudez, op. cit., p.82.

100 Cr. Decree 27,954, Ministerio de Educacion, La Superintendencia ..., op. cit.,
p.39 and f f.

101 Cf. Decree 11,207, Ministerio de Educacion, La Superintendencia ..., op. cit.,
p.56 and f f.

102 Cf. Decree 7;056, Ministerio de Educacion, La Superintendencia ..., op. cit.,

103 E. Schielfelbein, Diagnostico ... 1970, op. cit.

104 M. Leyton, 'El nuevo reglamento Revista de Educacion, No.10, op. cit.

105 The areas of subjects determined by the decree for the Scientific-Humanist
modality were:

(1) Scientific-Humanist Area: Language, Maths, Social and Historical Sciencs,

Natural Sciences, Foreign Languages.

(2) Technical-Artistic Area: Plastic Arts, Special Techniques, Musical

Education, Physical Education.

For the Technical-Profesional Modality one area was constituted by the

subjects of the General Plan of Studies, i.e., the same as those noted in (1).
The other area was formed by the subjects of the Differential Plan of
Studies of each of the specialities of the modality, i.e., Agricultural,
Industrial, Commercial and Services.

106 See E. Schiefelbein, Diagnostico ... 1970, op. cit.


107 The Centre for [c--qrainino- . Experimentation and Pedagogical ;--Zesearch

established by Law 16,617 (27 January 1967) and its fundamental functions
included the organization of the re--training of teachers, the transference of
the results of educational research into the ES and the design of curriculum
materials for the use of the system. Cf. M. Leyton, La Experiencia Chilena
..., op. cit., Vol.2.

108 Law 16,617 stipulated wage increases of up to 20% for attendance on

re-training and professional improvement schemes. See M. Leyton, La
experiencia Chilena ..., op. cit., p.229.

109 M. Leyton, La experiencia Chilena ..., op. cit., p.217.

110 Ibid., pp.167-168.

111 Ibid., p.169.

112 M. Leyton, La experiencia Chilena ..., op. cit., p.215; E. Schiefelbein,

Diagnostico ... 1970, op. cit., p.78.

113 E. Schiefelbein, M.C. Grossi, Analisis de la matricula escolar en Chile, CIDE,

10/78, Santiago, 1978.

114 Cf. I. Nunez, Las organizaciones del magisterio Chileno y el Estado de

Compromiso, 1936-1973, PIIE, Santiago, 1982.

In 1968 there was a prolonged strike by teachers which did much to

antagonize the unions and the Government, but the issue was salary demands
rather than the Reform. The CD's educational leadership, with the exception
of Vice-Minister P. Rojas, who confronted the teachers' unions in 1968, had
a good working relationshp with the latter. (Testimony to the author of M.
Leyton, Santiago, January 1981). This version seems confirmed by the
accusation levelled by the Socialist teachers against the leadership of the
teaching unions at the time of 'compromise' and 'sell out' to the
Government. See 'Conclusiones de la Conferencia de Profesores Socialistas,
1967', in W. Suarez et al., Aportes socialistas para la construccion de la
nueva educacion Chilena, Editorial Universitaria, Santiago, 1971.

115 Relationship between independent variables used for analysis of divisions

within the teachin2 body and the assessment of the CD's educ3tional period

Value DF Significance level

Type of school x 2 = 13.03 10 not significant

(Primary: 1 - popular, 2 - middle,
3 - upper class
Secondary: 4 - popular, 5 - middle,
6 - upper class)
Years of experience x 2 = 1.80 4 not significant
(none to 7; 8 to 15; 16 and more)
Father's education x2 = 3.02 4 not significant
(none-Primary; Secondary; Tertiary)
Sex x2 = 3.33 2 not significant

State/Private system x2 = 4.93 2 not significant

Levels ES x 2 = 1.92 4 not significant
(Primary, Secondary Academic,
Secondary Vocational)

116 Relationships between independent variables used for analysis of divisions

within the teaching body and 'no response' to the question on their
assessment of the CD's period
Value DF Significance level
Type of school x2 = 17.15 5 0.01
Years of experience X
2 = 11.23 2 0.01
Father's education x2 = 2.17 2 not significant
Sex X
2 = 2.84 1 not significant
State/Private system x2 = 0.12 1 not significant
Levels ES x2 = 8.26 2 0.05

117 RelationshiDs between 'years of experience' and teachers' views on pedagogy

and evaluation

Value DI; Significance level

Teachers' selection of
pedagogic principle x1 - 3.35 4 not significant

Teachers' selection of
criteria of evaluation x 2 = 0.52 4 not significant

118 Relationships between independent variables used for analysis of divisions

within the teaching body and the teachers' views on control
Type of school x2 = 15.26 10 not significant
Father's education x 2 = 5.13 4 not significant
Sex x = 2.32 2 not significant

State/Private system x 2 = 1.33 2 not significant

Levels ES x2 = 7.37 4 not significant

Chapter 5

Code Meanings: Classification and Framing Values of the changes initiated by the

CD Government in Education

"Do you ask what it's made of - earth,

fire, water, etc? Or do you ask,
'What is its pattern?"

(G. Bateson, Steps to an Ecology of Mind,

Paladin, 1973, p.424)


In this chapter we are going to change our perspective in order to evaluate

changes initiated by the C.D. Reform in the grammar of cultural reproduction
regulated by the educational system. To do this we are going to apply Bernstein's
analysis which we presented earlier in the thesis. There are advantages and dis-
advantages to this application of Bernstein's analysis to the material presented in
the previous chapter. In the first case that material will now have to be re-
orfdered so that it can be translated into Bernstein's conceptual language. In order
to define the rules of his grammar it is necessary to determine the values of
classification and framing in terms of their respective relative strength and this
not only for the contexts within education (organisational and transmission
features), but also for the context of education (its external relation to class hier-
archies and to the field of production). Bernstein himself has never carried out
such a global and detailed analysis. Although his language allows for considerable
variation in the relative strength of classification and framing values, in his
analysis there tends to be an integrity of these values at different levels, or the
opposition of values (strengths of classification framing) is discrete to different
practices, sites, agents. This facilitates exposition and interpretation. In our
analysis it is more than likely that the picture will not be so tidy.

As we argued in Chapter 1, the crux of the cultural reproduction of a social

order lies not in the internalization of specific roles or contents but in the tacit
acquisition of classification and framing principles which derive from a given
patterning of power and control relations in society. Thus acquisition accrues from
the whole of the processes of day-to-day experiencing of the boundaries and prac-
tices of a socially constituted order. Up to this point we have attempted to
describe the multiple modifications which a group in control of the state implanted
upon the processes of cultural, reproduction through formal education as a whole,
i.e., upon the macro-institutional position of those processes, the internal struc-
tural characteristics of the ES and, not least, upon the contexts and transmissions
within the schools. The questions we need now to address, in order to get at the
deep level meaning of the above modifications for the cultural reproduction of an
order, are what relevant boundaries, simultaneously constituting order and the
experiencing of order intrinsic to the process of socialization, were altered, in
what direction, and to what extent. In other words we want to discover the code
meanings of the modifications which affected the structural positioning and the

message syste n of education, i.e., the deep, ,, enerative syntax regii!ating -)ro-

duction of the speciality of the educational system's different categories of

agencies and agents, and the regulative and instructional dimensions of its
practices of transmission.

Codes can be seen as looking backwards to power and control relations

which position categories of agents and regulate their practices, social, material,
symbolic, through the principles of classification and framing they establish, and
looking forward to the existence of a system of limits as internalized grammars
which, through the patterning of knowledge and sensitivities, regulate the level of
realisation: practices and texts within the school. The specification of educational
pedagogic codes is simultaneously a reading on power relations and on conscious-
ness. Power speaks through the insulations which it establishes between cate-
gories. ' In a social order where class relations is the dominant cultural principle,
power and control relations are regulated by class relations and the breaks or
delocations (discontinuities) constituting the framework of practice within the
educational system can carry class reproducing functions.

Code analysis: a model

To gain access to the deep level meaning of the policies described in the
preceding chapter, we need to conceptualize them in terms of classification and
framing relations operating at the different levels we have identified as relevant
for specifying the results of the political interventions upon the reproduction of
pedagogic culture. We shall specify the codes underling the reproduction of culture
through school during the period according to the following formula:

(+ -) C (+ -) F ie

(+ -) C

( + -) C

A/here 0 refers to the orientation to meanings privileged by :ormai educatTion,

i.e. elaborated
C refers to the principle of classification
F refers to the principle of framing
I refers to the internal value of the framing (e.g. within the classroom or
equivalent context)
E. refers to the external value of the framing (e.g. between school and
(+ -) refers to the values of C and F with respect to strength

With respect to the '0' at the top of the formula, we can immediately say
that because of the indirect relation of the meanings of formal education to a
specific material base, or their relatively context-independent nature, the basic
orientation to meanings, independently of historical variations, is elaborated. This
dimension as a whole does not present variation and it is unproblematic in the
context of our study.3

The different levels in which classification and framing values need to be

determined, correspond to the different fundamental contexts we have so far dis-
tinguished in an educational system. Ascending from the most 'macro' determina-
tions, at the bottom of the formula, towards the actual transmissions of the school,
the contexts are:

(1) Context of External Relations of Education, or the relationships between

education and the field of production and class hierarchies.

(2) Context of System Reproduction Relations, or the relationships between

levels and modalities, between categories of schools, between agents,
and between discourses, within the educational system.

(3) Context of School Reproduction Relations, or the relationships between

agents and between discourses within the school.

In an important sense the defining features of the first level are con-
tinuously present in the fundamental classification and framing values defining the

constitutive relationships of levcis 2 and 3. i_E,very Dedagogical relation, according

to the model, is defined by classification and framing values identifiable in the
organization of its "here and now" key features and the classification and framing
values of the three-layered structure of which it constitutes a part. The former
are embedded in the latter.

In the exposition we shall follow the order of the above mentioned three
levels of contexts. We shall first refer to the classificatory features positioning
the educational system as a whole with respect to class hierarchies and the Field
of Production. We shall then give the changes or otherwise initiated by the reform
in the Context of System Reproduction, where we are going to distinguish
Changes in classificatory features, or category relations, from changes in framing
features, or social relations. Category relations entail differences, or boundaries,
between categories of agents, agencies or discourses, in which no interaction or
communicative practices occur. Conversely, social relations in this context refer to
the interactional level of practice between agents and between agents and dis-
courses. Thirdly, we shall refer to the Context of School Reproduction, where,
again, we shall distinguish between classificatory and framing features. The set of
classificatory or category relations at this level we shall group under the notion of
the Positional Structure of school, whereas the set of framing relationscorresponds
to the Context of Transmission. Two further distinctions are required within the
Context of Transmission. We shall distinguish between the framing values of social
relations and the framing values of discursive rules. With respect to these,
Bernstein argues the need to distinguish between two constituents of pedagogic
discourse: an instructional discourse concerned with the transmission rules of
specific competences and a regulative discourse concerned with the transmission of
rules of order, relation and identity. Instructional discourse is embedded and at
root dominated by regulative discourse. These discourses, as argued in our initial
chapter, at one level can be separated but at another level they interpenetrate and
are inseparable.

We shall schematize the foregoing distinctions to facilitate our exposition.

Diagram 5.1 orders the main categories and levels of the model onto which
we shall map the classification and framing values of the key features of the CD's
educational reform. (We shall carry out a similar analysis in Chapter 7, where we
discuss the changes attempted by the Popular Unity Government.)
? 13

Diagram 5.1 - Model for the Analysis of Educational Codes

External Relations of Education Context of System Reproduction

(1) ES - production (1) Changes in classificatory features

Systemic and classificatory (category relations)

(2) ES - class (2) Changes in framing features

Access of acquirers (Social relations)

Context of School Reproduction

(1) Positional structure

(Changes in classificatory features.
Category relations)

(2) Context of Transmission

(Changes in framing features.
Social relations and discursive rules

Only after we have determined the specific values (strength) of the classi-
ficatory features for different features can we give any value for the general
classificatory principle. In the same way only after we have determined the
specific values of framing for different features can we give any value for the
general framing principle. In turn only when we have the general values, i.e. for
the different levels, for both classification and framing can we determine the deep
grammar of the code of the educational system and thus the fundamental
organisational regulation on its process of cultural reproduction.

1 External reidtions of education

The power principles which position any institutionalized educational system

establish the most generic of the classifications determining the codes it transmits.
These principles regulate two crucial "between" relations of education: the rela-
tions with class and the relations with production. In order to assess the funda-
mental power principles which the GD's Reform created we have to look into its
interventions upon these two relationships and evaluate whether the modifications
established correspond to a change in the distribution of power, and therefore of
code, or correspond to changes within a given distribution of power and, therefore,
of code modality. The analytic principle here is that, in order for there to be a
change of code, there has to be a change in the strength of the basic classification
education-production, which in class societies, it is argued, is causally linked to
the classification between the mental and manual work categories.

"A change of code involves a change in the strength of a basic

classification. We consider that there are two basic classifications
which may or may not be interrelated; in the sense that changing the
value of one does not necessarily lead to changing the value of the
other. We consider that the basic classificatory principle is created by
the distribution of power constituting, reproducing and legitimising the
social division of labour of material production. A change in this
classificatory principle from strong to weak involves not a change in,
but a change of class relations. However, we must add immediately
that, whilst not diminishing the significance of that change, it would
not, in itself, necessarily produce a change of institutionalised elab-
orated codes and therefore a change in the principle of cultural repro-
duction. In order ... for there to be a change in institutionalised elab-
orated codes and thus principles of cultural reproduction then the
classificatory relation between the category education and the category
production must be fundamentally weakened. For this is the necessary
condition for weakening the second basic classification; that between
mental and manual work.. In class societies the strength of these two
classifications are causally related."5

The CD's project as a whole did not challenge either of the above mentioned
two basic classifications. With respect to production the measures taken by the
State did not constitute an attempt to redefine the classificatory features of the
"Education-Production" relation but were aimed instead to strengthen the systemic
relations between the two. With respect to class, despite the efforts at materially
equalizing educational opportunities and ensuring equal possibilities of survival
within the system for the different classes through the radical expansion of the
system and the weakening of some of its internal classifications, the social
distribution of the symbolic resources of institutionalized education continued to be

patterned accordiilg to the clas.> r)rinc,ples ruling the Chilean social division of
labour as a whole.

1.1 Education and Production

The most unequivocal evidence on the relation between the CD's policies and
the classification Education-Production lies not in the extensive discourse on the
need for stronger links between the two fields in order to gear education to
development, but in the State's practical and quite substantial enhancement of
specialized, strongly production-dependent educational modalities outside the
schooling system. During the period, the National Institute for Professional Training
(Institute Nacional de Capacitacion Profesional - INACAP) passed from being a
marginal initiative into a massive production-oriented educational agency which by
1970 had enrolled 22,978 students, or the equivalent of a fifth of Technical-
Professional Secondary Education.6 Additionally, the Government created in
November 1967 (Decree 9,163) the National Apprenticeship System, a scheme
whereby youths between the ages of 14 and 18 would get the equivalent of general
basic education and acquire some specific skill in the course of approximately
three years of on-job training in industries of the private sector.7 In contrast to
INACAP, which was State funded and regulated, this scheme rested jointly between
the State and private industry and did not go beyond the planning stage and its
legal sanctioning. What we need to underline here, however, is not the type of
results achieved by one or the other initiative, but their common grounding: both
were educational initiatives ultimately ruled by the Field of Production and its
principles, despite the State mediation, and they were not, even formally, under
the sole control of the Ministry of Education. They constituted relevant instances
of integration of education and production during the CD's period and they bear
witness to the developmental orientations of the general project, but they did not
mean a weakening of the key classification with which we are concerned, as these
were initiatives which left the schooling system wholly untouched.

The CD reform represented modifications within the terms of the classific-

ation. Its policies did not, nor did they purport to, alter the traditional (and in
class terms, fundamental) divide between the processes of production and those of
cultural reproduction via schooling. However, the CD's period did see a powerful
attempt to strengthen the systemic relations between education and production.

The systemic relans between education and production refer to Lhc:: r- (:)!e of
. : (a) the
education in the approximate reproduction of the work force and inc_lude

relationships between the distribution of the categories of agents education creates

and the distribution of the categories of agents required by production; (b) the
relationships between the categories created by the mode of education and the
relationships between the categories required by production; (c) finally, it refers to
the realization of the categories created by education (skills and dispositions) and
the expected realizations of the categories of production.

The critical measures affecting the distribution of the categories of

acquirers with respect to production were those aimed at transforming the
relationships between the Technical and the .Academic modalities of Intermediate
Education in order to tilt the numerical balance between the two against the tradi-
tional dominance of the academic modality, and hence, produce the middle level
skilled agents which the planners thought were required for economic development.
Evidence of the results of the efforts at channeling the expansion of the secondary
level towards the more directly production-relevant modality is presented in Tables
5.1 and 5.2.

Technical Education's growth during the 1964-1970 period more than doubled,
in percentage terms that of its Scientific-Humanist counterpart, its expansion
indicating that by 1970 a third of the total enrolments of Secondary Education
belonged to the vocational track. A decade before, the Technical Education intake
corresponded to only a fifth of the intake at this level of education.

When the CD period's growth figures for the two modalities of secondary
education are compared to the corresponding figures during the immediately
preceding Government (1958-1964), the magnitude of the achieved expansion, as
well as its direction, stand out more clearly. The growth of the Scientific-Humanist
enrolments in 1964-1970 nearly doubles that of the 1958-1964 period, whereas the
growth of the Technical-Professional modality during the CD's term almost trebled
the percentage growth of the enrolments during the Alessandri Government. As the
data in Table 5.2 indicate, there is also a difference between the two periods in
terms of the balance established between the growth of the two modalities of
secondary education. The percentage growth of Technical Education in 1964-1970
is 2.02 times that of the Academic modality, whereas for the period 1958-1964 it is
1.28 times. It seems difficult then not to see the CD's period as one in which the
Table 5.1

Enrolments - Secondary education by modality (Scientific-Humanist and Technical-Professional)

State and private education, 1964-1970

Secondary Annual Scientific- % Annual Techical % Annua

Education % of Humanist B/A % of Professional D/A % of
(A) * growth (B) '(C) growth (D) (E) gro ■

1964 137,000 107,200 75.2 34,100 24.8

1965 144,600 .5.0 107,200 74.1 3.5 37,400 25.9 9.7

1966 157,300 8.8 116,500 74.1 8.7 40,800 25.9 9.1

1967 177,300 12.7 127,400 71.9 9.4 49,900 28.1 22.3

1968 221,600 25.0 153,100 69.1 20.2 68,500 30.9 37.3

1969 264,800 19.5 178,900 67.6 16.8 85,900 32.4 25.4

1970 302,100 14.1 202,400 67.0 13.1 99,700 33.0 16.1


R. Echeverria, R. Hevia, G. Lopez, Estadisticas de Matricula y Poblcion, 1958-1979 PIEE.,

Santiago, 1981, Tables VII and VIII.

* The figures in this column differ from the totals given korthe Intermediate Level in Table.4--, p.-- as they not include
Normal Education.
Table 5.2
Comparison of growth of the Scientific-Humanist and Technical-Professional modalities (Secondary education),

Governmental periods 1958-1964 and 1964-1970

Scientific-Humanist Technical-Professional

Total percentage growth Total percentage growth

Period (a) (b) b/a

1958-1964 53.3 68.7 1.28

1964-1970 95.4 192.4 2.02


R. Echeverria, R. Hevia, G. Lopez, Estadisticas de Matricula y Poblcion, 1958-1979,PIEE,

Santiago, 1981, Table VII.

I.2S times. It seems diflicult then sot to see the CD's period as one ;;-1 ,v11;(711 the
group us government explicitly and effectively sought to strengthen the links
between educa ion and production.

The above mentioned results are unequivocal indicators of the "develop-

mental" side of the CD's Reform. But; as we have recurrently pointed out, a strong
"communitarian" and equality-seeking motif was as important in the shaping of. the
Reform's measures. If we look at the measures which altered the classifications
existent prior to the Reform between the Academic and Technical modalities, the
strengthening of the systemic relations of education with production, implied by
the numerical redefinition in the balance between the two modalities, appears
under a new light. The measures included: (1) the establishing of legal equivalence
between the certificates of the Academic and the Technical modality with respect
to access to university education; (2) curricular modifications which delayed
specialization in the Technical modality and, further, explicitly defined the former
as "open" (i.e. weak); (3) the establishing of the possibility for students to pass
from one modality to the other before the second year; (4) a rhetoric of control
which, under the guise of the common aim of the two modalities, emphasised the
"needs of the adoles-cent" or "integral formation of the person", not specialization.

In other words the attempt to reduce the specialisation of teaching in the

academic and technical modalities, at least in the early years, may have had its
origin in the CD's goal of achieving greater social integration, whereas the massive
expansion ofTechnical education clearly relates to the goal of economic develop-
ment. If this argument is correct then at one level there is no contradiction;
different goals are to be achieved through different means. However, at another
level the academic modality is still dominant as the integrating device and it is at
this level that the contradictions and ambiguity may be said to exist.

The Reform intervened upon the education-production relation in ways which

replicate the complex social and ideological position of the Christian Democrat
movement. On the one hand, the state under the CD's control sought, and achieved,
a massive expansion of acquirers destined to be the skilled middle level cadres
required for economic development, so strengthening the systemic relations of
education with production. At the same time, though, the transmissions which it
privileged in Technical education, when compared with those of the past, empha-
sised their identity with those of the Academic modality, both were rooted in a

concept of self•realisation within co;nimintaria.n and persona' st vanes rather than

in a concept of instrumentalities. ,\ contradiction which returns us, once rilore, to
the generative ambiguity and complexity of the CDs class and field positioning. A
social group, on the one hand, rooted in the Field of Symbolic Control and there-
fore weakly linked to production and its demands, but on the other hand, a group
in control of the state and, therefore, in the context of the "compromise state",
with the key responsibility for development. The weight of this double determina-
tion angled the classification and systemic relations of education with production
in the specific ways that we have made explicit.

1.2 Education and class


Class interpenetrates education as well as the features of any other field or

sub-field in a class society. In referring to the "between" relation of education
with class we are examining the class patterning of the distribution of cultural
capital represented by the school transmissions as a whole.9 In doing this we are
abstracting the question of distribution from the question of the hierarchical or
class features inscribed on what is distributed. With this distinction in mind, the
most easily recognisable and paramount feature of the period is the radical expan-
sion of access to the cultural capital of society as a whole, as represented by the
improved schooling rates of the population.10 This expansion included the schooling
of practically the whole of the 6-14 years old group, a leap from 17.8 to 33.5 per
cent in the schooling of the 15-19 age group and another leap, at the tertiary level
of the educational system, from 5.3 to 9.2 per cent of the 20-24 years old group.
These increased rates of schooling presupposed a 36 per cent growth in the enrol-
ments of an otherwise prolonged Elementary level, and 111.0 and 135.9 per cent
increases in the enrolments of the Intermediate and University levels, respectively
(see Tables 4.2 and 4.3). Perhaps the single most telling fact about the expansion
of the educational effort of the State in the period is that, by 1970, practically a
third (29.9 per cent) of the total population of the country was directly linked to
the Educational System's different levels and functions. "

The changes in acc:ess to an increasctri 'naffs n cultural capit31 'xere

patterned by the class-based principles of the distribution of power (material and
symbolic) of Chilean society.


Whilst it seems on the whole valid to state that the CD's period ended the
problem of access to formal education (very few children, even in the rural areas,
were unable to enter school), retention and progress within it were determined, as
traditionally, by the different material and symbolic starting points characteristic
of each main occupational group, or, more generally, of each class location. As one
of the key planners of the changes has written ex-post:

"The efforts carried out in the last years have ensured that by 1970,
almost the totality of the population had access to schooling but
through diverse mechanisms a rapid selection is produced where family
backgrounds predominate over the school effects, that is, over the
strictly pedagogical elements. The patterns of income distribution, on
the other hand, are similar to those which exist with respect to

E. Schiefelbein and 3. Farrel have estimated the different survival rates of a

cohort of students along grades 1 to 12 of the schooling system, as related to the
different occupational and educational positions of the students' fathers. Their
conclusions are based on longitudinal data produced by a study carried out in 1970
of a random sample of 10 students from each of 353 eight-grades classes (state and
private), throughout the country, and a follow-up study of those members of the
sample who, four years later, completed Secondary education.13 Figure 5.1 graphs
the estimates. The differences in the chances of survival of children coming from
distinct material and cultural conditions, as given by their fathers' occupational
and educational differences, portray in all its directness the class regulation of the
distribution of the cultural resources provided by formal education. Looking first at
the occupational hierarchy: 100.0 per cent of the children of the groups at the top
of the hierarchy complete Primary education while only 18 per cent of the children
of rural workers and equivalent occupations reach that grade. —77.0 per cent of the
children of the highest occupational groups complete Secondary education whilst,
again, only 4 per cent of the children of the rural working groups manage to do so.
The survival rates of the children of the urban working class almost exactly
parallel the average survival rates for the entire cohort (see dotted lines in Figure
5.1). With respect to the educational hierarchy, differences are even more marked,

Figure 5.1

Estimated survival rates of a cohort of students, trades 1-12

(Percenta.4es reported are all of the original grade 1 cohort)

Percent surviving Father's occupation

80 77%
70 Managerial and professional
50 49%
40 Other white collar middle class
30 (office workers, sales peronnel)
20 21%
10 Urban industrial working class
Rural and mining working class

8 12
School grade

Father's education

100 100% Higher

30 32% Secondary
10 12% Primary
3% Illiterate

1 12
School grade


E. Schiefelbein and J. Farrel, Selectivity and Survival in the Schools of Chile,

Comparative Education Review, Vol. 22, 2, June 1978, Figure 2.

* The authors took the view that, given the level of development of Chilean
society, it could not provide a full 12 years' education to all its children, and
assumed as given that only about 50 per cent of an entering grade 1 cohort would
complete an 8-year Primary education and only about a fifth of the original cohort
would manage to complete the Secondary level. These two assumptions are what is
conveyed by the dotted lines in the graphs.

specifically underlining the effect upon performance at school of differ enc(:s

symbolic resources before school. Ore hundred per ceiiit of the children of fathers
with higher education complete Secondary schooling. Of the children of illiterate
fathers, only 10.0 per cent complete Primary and 3.0 per cent Secondary education.
The chances of survival of students with fathers who reached Primary or Secondary
education also differ markedly. Only 12.0 per cent in the first case are able to
make it to the 12th grade whereas 32.0 per cent of those with fathers with
Secondary education complete their Secondary schooling.

There is no doubt then about the survival of key classifications which

hierarchically define the distribution of the cultural resources of the school, so
radically expanded by the CD's Administration between 1964 and 1970. These gross
estimates need to be complemented by a more delicate analysis of variations within
a given class-based distribution of education during the period. We will then obtain
a clearer understanding of the CD's intervention upon the class distribution of the
provision of education.

The following table is based on Census data which cannot be considered

exact with respect to the effects of the modifications in the enrolments of the
educational system described in Chapter 4, as the bulk of the effects of the CD
period's educational expansion could not possibly have shown in data on the econ-
omically active population of 1970. Accordingly, the figures must be taken as
underestimates of the magnitudes of the educational effects of the period upon the
different occupational groups. Despite this unavoidable limitation, the data may be
considered for the purposes of obtaining an approximation to the general direction
and the rank order of the changes occurred in the levels of formal education of
the different classes between 1960 and 1970.

Table 5.3 clearly reveals the class ranking of the years of formal schooling,
the move upwards of the whole distribution during the decade in question, and
shows significant variations in the amount of progress made by the different
occupational categories. The greatest increase corresponds to the category "profes-
sional and semi-professional", which is in rapport with the extraordinary expansion
of the University system. Remaining within the non-manual set of categories, we
can see that the white collar employees and the self-employed also experienced a
comparatively important advance. In the manual categories, the increase in the
schooling years of the industrial working class groups is lower than that of the
Table 5.3

Average years of schooling for seven occupational groups

Economically active population, 10 years and more, 1960-1970

1960 1970 1960-1970

Categories Average Average Average in
schooling _years schooling years schooling yc.,ars

(1) Employers and directive staff 8.9 9.1 0.2

(industry, commerce and services)

(2) Professionals and semi-professionals 10.8 11.8 1.0

(all sectors)

(3) Employers, extractive sector 7.1 7.0 -0.1

(rural and mining sectors)

(4) Self-employed in commerce, white collar 8.1 8.7 0.6

employees in industry, commerce and services

(5) Workers in industrial sector 4.9 5.2 0.3

(6) Workers in private sector 3.8 4.6 0.8

(7) Workers in extractive sector 2.5 3.1 0.6


C. Filgueira, Expansion Educacional y Estratificacion Social en America Latina (1960-1970), Unesco, Cepal, PNtir),
Proyecto DEALC, Doc. 4, 1978, Tables 33 and 36.

Y:orkers in the scrvice rs.:?cto!. (i.e. the cat.,.. f.:;ory which includes rho. underemployed
of the informal economy), and is lower also than that of the rural working groups
(the main component of category 7 in the table).

When we look at the whole of the distribution we must exclude category 3,

as this includes two diverse groups. Small land and mine owners with little or no
formal education, who are probably directly involved in production, and large land-
owners and mining owners, with secondary or university education. The category
therefore presents unsolvable problems for interpretation.11~ The main discontinuity
in the distribution is that between categories 4 and 5, that is, on the manual/non-
manual break, which has widened. Within the non-manual set of categories the
growth in the educational level of the professional groups has meant an increase in
the internal differentiation of this set, with the richest groups in cultural capital
distancing themselves from all the others (compare the differences between
category 2 and categories 1 and 4, in 1960 and 1970).

Within the manual set of categories the between-groups-situation indicates

movement in an oppgsite direction: the educational advances of the workers in the
service sector and those of the rural poor have been greater than the advances of
the working class. Accordingly, although the urban/rural divide continues to be sig-
nificant, there is a distinctive move towards the homogenization of this set and an
increase in the cultural capital of all groups.

On the whole, the CD's intervention upon the pre-existent, strongly class-
differentiated distribution of the cultural resources provided by education did not
alter substantially any of the constitutive boundaries of that hierarchized distribu-
tion. The manual/non-manual classification and the urban/rural divide, or the divide
within the dominant strata between the professional groups and those directly
owning or controlling the means of production, were all, on the whole, reproduced.

The dynamics of the period constitute a paradigmatic case of concurrence

struggles, that is, a particular form of class struggle where the different classes
appear as if moving in the same direction, under the same generally accepted rules
and competing for the same type of advantages. The competition for cultural
capital has produced, in this case, through the sum total of individual actions and
reactions, and independently of any collective or individual control, an upwards
translation of the whole structure constituted by the stakes of the struggle, with-

out the initial order of .., differences between the groups having been altered in
the process. Each group has advanced and obtained new levels of education and
therefore has changed in its intrinsic or cardinal properties but, as other groups
were contesting for the same profits and acting and reacting similarly, they have
also advanced and, to different degrees, changed with respect to the volumes of
their cultural capital, as defined by education. All the while, the nature of the
initial ranking has not been altered and those who started at the top have
remained at the top whereas, for example, the rural workers continue to be at the
bottom. The relational properties of each group and the structure as a whole have
remained. "Ce que la lutte de concurrence eternise, ce n'est pas des conditions
differentes, mais la difference des conditions."*15 (*underlined in the original).

Bourdieu points out, in characterizing "concurrence" processes, that they are

reproductive of an order only to the extent that "the members of the dominated
classes join in the struggle en order disperse", i.e., not as a collective actor who
challenges the established classifications.16 From this viewpoint, the CD's govern-
ment embarked upon the road towards the egalitarian horizon inscribed in its
ideology not via a challenging of the key classifications but through laying down
the foundations for an opening of those classifications to meritocratic, i.e., indi-
vidually based, processes of social and cultural mobility. As with all such pro-
cesses, in not effectively challenging the different class-based initial handicaps of
"competitors", the CD ensured, despite its explicit orientations and efforts, their
reproduction, although at a new level. In other words, it contributed to produce
the structural translation typical of concurrence processes.

What the CD's period ultimately means in terms of the class hierarchization
of the distribution of education is not changes in the classificatory principles of
that hierarchy, but a move upwards of the whole hierarchy and a probable parti-
cular angling of the processes of the concurrence struggle characteristic of a
reproduction situation. The weight of the state, in all plausibility, worked in favour
of specific groups which constituted the social basis of the CD's movement and
Government: the professional and urban white collar "empleados", at one end; the
"marginals" of the cities and the peasants, at the other end of the hierarchy. How-
ever, the above mentioned relative chronological inadequacy of the available data
leaves this last point as an hypothesis.

Differences in material and symbolic resources before school of individuLls

and co■
rimunities still determined the class patterning of the distribution of cultura!
capital produced by the educational system and, in this sense, there is centinulLy
between the CD's period and the preceding history of the Education-Class relation.
The basic strong Cs. of class subsisted unabated. Yet, at the same time, if it is
true that "in matters of culture absolute dispossession excludes awareness of being
dispossessed",17 the notable expansion of cultural capital associated with the .
period of the CD government most certainly contributed to create or increase that
awareness and, in this sense, its results cannot be dismissed as epiphenomenal. We
need to examine the inner structure of the symbolic resources which were

Context of system reproduction

Here we are going to focus upon the relations between and within levels of
the educational system in order to see whether the classifications and framing
relations have changed.

2.1 Changes in classificatory features

If the classificatory relations have weakened we would expect to see

reduced differentiation within and between levels. Our findings are as follows.

Between levels

(1) Before the Reform, Primary education lasted six years and Secondary
education was also six years. The Reform altered this, prolonging the Primary
period of education by two years and reducing Secondary education to four. These
movements represent an important change in emphasis which reduced the gap
between the products of each level. In purely quantitative terms, the difference in
the mass of cultural capital transmitted by each level was reduced by a third.

(2) Further, the Reform weakened the classification between the Primary and
the Secondary levels: the "final" exams at the end of Primary schooling were
replaced by less strong and decisive forms of assessment. The minimum standards
for the promotion fro Primary Sn,condary level were lo'..vercl (for description of
measures see pages 176 to 17S).

(3) Normal education (i.e. Primary teachers' training) was upgraded in terms
of its position within the educational system, from the Secondary to the Tertiary

In comparison with the preceding educational order the post-Reform

represents a weakening of classification (-C) between levels, creating a relatively
more homogeneous and permeable system. At the same time, the basic structure
and classificatory principles of the previous order were not altered.

Within levels

(1) At the Primary level, the length of the educational life in rural schools
was made more similar to that in urban schools because of the building programmes
for schools in rural areas, the accelerated plan for the , training of teachers, the
setting up of "non-graded complete schools" (see page 156), and because of welfare
programmes aimed at helping the rural children to stay at school.

(2) At the Secondary level, the certificates of the academic "liceos" and of
the technical schools were now legally equivalent; a critical modification for both
employment and access to University.

(3) Women were now legally able to attend industrial and agricultural
technical schools.

We shall conceptualise these movements as a weakening of classifications

typical of this period, against a background of historically highly structured, and

an internally strongly classified, schooling system as (--C
4.-z-) where the horizontal line
represents an embedding of weak classification in a basic strong classification. If
we regard above the line as representing the "figure" and below the line
representing the "ground", then the expression (--4-
_c) indicates a visible change in
the figure without a change in the ground. There has been an ambiguous
modification of the internal structuring which, while facilitating processes of
educational mobility and cultural homogenization, conserves the fundamental

boundaries .whic..-1) had his-L,rica!ly defined I:le educiatien;iil system. We need 1

- :,) lock
at the code values of education's social relations and messages before addresslrig,
the significance of a weakening of a classification embedded in a strong

2.2 Changes in framing features

We are concerned here with identifying the framing values of modifications

of the Reform which impinged upon social relations or communications at the
system's, not school level.

The only measure of the Reform at this level was the increase in the control
by the central administrative structure of the Ministry of Education over the
evaluation process in the Secondary level. The setting up of "Local Departments" in
charge of producing common instruments of assessments for the schools of each
area corresponds to a strengthening of the framing (+F) of evaluation. We shall
need to return to this point as, at the school level, the Reform weakened the
framing of evaluatiop.

3 Context of school reproduction

We shall focus now on the final and critical context, the school and its
practices. The challenging of a given set of classificatory principles can only arise
from social relations within a given principle of classification, i.e. from the
practices constituting a given communicative context. According to our understand-
ing of what the CD expressed in terms of power and control principles, i.e. in
terms of its class and field basis, the deep level meaning of its Reform is to be
found in the modifications of the framing of communication of the school, and
therefore in the establishing of new principles of pedagogic competences and sen-
sitivities; or, more generally, in new principles of punctuation or patterning of

We shall attempt in this section to determine the principles of the "texture"

of the pedagogic relations which the Reform officially established.

'ke shall reduce the multidimensionality of the communicative context' of

pedagogic practice to a set of relevant categories, which although by no means
exhaustive of the multiple dimensions and levels which could be analytically.
distinguished, we consider will give an account of their crucial features.

We shall examine first features of the classifications set up by the State

which position the interchanges within the classrooms. Secondly, we shall look into
the features of the communicative context based upon the interactions of teachers
and pupils; the control or framing relations of transmission, acquisition, evaluation.

3.1 Positional structure of the school

(changes in classificatory features; category relations)-

The positional structure of the school refers to the social division of labour
which regulates the relations between teachers, between pupils, between teachers
and pupils and which regulates the relations between subjects, i.e. the ordering of
the pedagogic discourse. We regard the principle of the social division of labour to
be given by the strength of its classification. Where the classification is strong
then all categories, whether these be categories of teachers, acquirers, discourse,
contexts, agencies, are specialized, bounded and strongly insulated. Where the
classificatory strength is reduced then conversely there is less specialization of a
category and therefore there is a movement towards bringing together that which
previously was kept apart. We shall now examine the extent to which the CD main-
tained or modified the classificatory principle regulating (1) acquirers, (2) teachers,
(3) school/community, and (4) curriculum.

(1) Acquirers
Acquirers continued to be divided on the basis of age, which provides the
principle of their temporal progression and so the almost universally strong classi-
fication of age was maintained. Although schools were gender specific both before
and after the CD period, there was some attempt to increase the number of mixed
gender schools and so reduce the pedagogic classification of gender. There has
been then some weakening of the strength of the classification of acquirers which
we indicate as -C.

(2) Teachers
We should note that there is a progressive strengthening of the classificatory
principle of teachers with increased age of acquirers, following the changes initi-
ated by the CD. However, integrated curriculum up to the fourth year of Primary
education reduced the strength of specialized subject teaching and so weakened
the classification of teachers. If we take the schooling cycle as a whole, we can
see that the Reform established a progression from weak classification (-C) in the
early years followed by a grouping of subjects into areas in the latter years of the
Primary level (-C). At the Secondary level the strong classification (+C) emerges as
explicit and we now have the specialized subject teachers as the. basic unit of the
social division of labour of the code.

(3) Curriculum
We can consider a curriculum as a category and ask the extent of its
specialization to a sub-group of age, ability, or gender group, or to an agency
(type of school). A common curriculum operated up to the end of the Primary
stage. Here there was no differentiation of curriculum with respect to region,
ability or gender. However, specialization was introduced at the Secondary level
where a branch was created in the last two grades of the liceos (see Diagram 4.5
on page 169) separating the scientific curriculum from the humanist. At the same
time curriculum policies aimed at weakening the pre-existent classification between
the academic and the technical modalities of the Secondary level (see supra,

We have an interesting situation. There is a reduction in the strength of the

classification at the Secondary level but a strengthening of the classification in
the liceos where arts and sciences are now distinguished and specialised. This is a
clear code result of the CD's parallel grand motifs of development and social
integration.* We shall return to this issue later.

* The introduction of increased specialization in the final two years of the liceos
is linked with development needs. Alternatively, the manifold measures aimed at
reducing differences between the academic and the technical branches of the
Secondary system were explicitly connected with the aim of the official discourse
of the Reform for a more integrated society (see Chapter 4, p. 168).

(4) School/community
We are here concerned wif -i \=,-hat counts as legitimate communication wil)in

the pedagogic relation between the teacher and pupil in the classroom. A crucial

regulator of such communication is the rules regulating what outside of the school
can be legitimately realised within it. An important boundary here is given by the
extent to which everyday local or community practice/knowledge can affect school
practice/knowledge. We can consider the strength of the classification between the
categories of school practice and community practice. The stronger this classi-
fication then the more community practice is excluded from school practice and
thus community practice has less power and privilege. The CD aimed at weakening
this classification. Its official discourse called for the need for "vitalizacion" (to
make vital or experiential) the school's practice by integrating into its practice
elements of the community's practice. Four innovations were made which impinged
upon the school/community relation.

(1) Directions were given to schools to plan their annual activities according
to regional or community variations (see supra, p.159).

(2) Schools were encouraged to plan the temporal organization of their

curriculum on a yearly (and not weekly) basis so as to allow them to introduce
variations in the organization of their schedules according to regional or local
contexts and practices, without, at the same time, disrupting the central definition
of what had to be transmitted each year.

(3) The inclusion in the curriculum of "orientation activities" (see supra,

p.169) explicitly aimed at integrating student-relevant issues into the educational

(4) The reduction of the total daily amount .of time to be spent at school by

We can see there has been a major attempt to make the school more
responsive to its local context and so the classificatory strength between the cate-
gory school knowledge/practices and community knowledge/practices has been
weakened (-C).


In general we can note a reduction in the strength of the classification with

respect to acquirers (girls), school and community relations and between the aca-
demic and vocational curriculum. Integration of the curriculum up to the fourth
year is another example of a weakening of classification. These movements appear
to work in the direction of achieving a reduction in differentiation and so may be
perhaps interpreted as serving the principle of social integration. At the same
time, the increase in the strength of the classification with the age of the acquirer
was maintainedwith respect to both teachers and curriculum. More significantly, a
new classification was established within the academic modality of secondary educ-
ation, between Science and the Arts. Specialization is now relatively much
stronger. The relation between such specialization and the CD's goals of develop-
ment is very clear.

3.2 Context of transmission: changes in framing features

(social relations and discursive rules)

We shall now be concerned with the communicative context of the basic

pedagogic relations between teacher and pupil at the level of classroom practices.
Framing is essentially concerned with the principles of selection, transmission and
evaluation which regulate the process of acquisition of pedagogic discourse. Peda-
gogic discourse is always an embedded discourse and consists of the interpenetra-
tion of two differently specialized discourses. One we have called Instructional
Discourse (ID)and the other Regulative Discourse (RD). The former refers to
specialized pedagogic competences to be acquired (e.g. subjects), whereas the
latter refers to principles of order, relation and identity which the acquirer is
expected to realise and to be committed.

We shall be concerned here with the framing of ID and later of RD. Any ID
is based upon some explicit or implicit theory of instruction or learning. This
theory not only affects the "how" of transmission; it affects what is transmitted
and so the contents of the ID itself. Further the theory affects the criteria to be
acquired and so the very principles of evaluation. Finally any theory of instruction
also entails a concept of the acquirer and so defines a particular pedagogic sub-

ject. The choice of a theory of instruction is then not solely a choice of an H- fici-
ent procedure or device to optimize learning, it also selects what is to be lear;)ed
and the social relations of learning. It establishes principles of progression of peda-
gogic practices and criteria to be obtained. In a fundamental sense, the choice of a
theory of instruction is, itself, a crucial feature of regulative discourse because
every - such theory carries assumptions, implicit or explicit, of order, relation and

We shall first examine the CD's choice of a theory of instruction as it

regulates the framing of the relations between transmitters and acquirers. Briefly,
framing refers to the regulation on what is selected within the classificatory
principle, its sequencing, pacing, criterial/evaluative rules and the hierarchical
principles of their realisation. As with classification we can distinguish between
relative strengths of framing at the level of the teacher/pupil interaction. Where
framing is strong then the options made available to the acquirer from which
he/she can select are restricted whereas in the case of weak framing the range of
options made available by the teacher is very much expanded. As a consequence a
space is made available to the acquirer within which the acquirer can regulate
his/her pedagogic practice. The restriction or expansion of the space made avail-
able to the acquirer depends upon the rules regulating the transmission. We shall
follow Bernstein's analysis of the basic distinguishing features of any pedagogic
transmission. According to Bernstein the latter is regulated by rules ordering the
realisations of the discourse, i.e. sequencing, pacing, criteria! and evaluation

1 Sequencing rules
Sequencing rules regulate the principles of the progression of the trans-
mission. The progression depends upon the concept or principles of the temporal
development of the acquirer and the principles of the temporal unfolding of the
discourse (subject). Where framing is strong there is likely to be a temporal separa-
tion between abstract knowledge, or understanding of general principles, and con-
crete knowledge, or understanding of the particular, such that the former is
acquired, if at all, late in the educational life. Here the development of the
acquirer will be subordinate to the sequencing rules of the development of the dis-
course. Where framing is weak there will be attempts to integrate the particular
and the general early in the acquirer's educational life and the rules of the pro-.

gression of the discourse will be now more suberciinte to special theories of child
development which emphasise the child as active in his/her learning.

2 Pacing rules
Pacing refers to the expected rate of acquisition. Where pacing is strong
then a relatively short period is made available for the acquisition of criteria
and/or the range of criteria to be evaluated is extensive. Where pacing is weak
then a longer period is available for acquisition and/or the range of criteria is

3 Criterial/evaluative rules
Any change in the strength of framing or (1) and/or (2) necessarily affects
criteria, either cognitive or dispositional and the procedures of their evaluation.

4 Hierarchical rules
Where framing is strong the teacher regulates_ the principles of order, rela-
tion and identity through social relations of explicit super- and sub-ordination.
Where framing is weak then super- and sub-ordination is more implicit and a
greater space is accorded for a participatory relation between teacher and pupil.

We shall argue that the CD's twin aims of development and social integration
regulated their choice of the principles of Instructional Discourse and their choice
of Regulative Discourse in which the instruction was embedded. We shall provide
evidence that the CD chose a theory of instruction which reduced the strength of
framing in all the rules of transmission (sequential, pacing, criterial/evaluative,

We have so far discussed framing with reference only to the pedagogic con-
text of the classroom and we have stated that the reduction in the strength of
framing increases the range of options available to the acquirer and so extends the
limits of legitimate pedagogic communications. It is important to examine whether
the above holds for the relations between teachers and the state, i.e. whether
framing values between the state and teachers were weakened.

The Reform and the vie..1<ening of frami:1,7

Sequencing rules

(a) Principles of the progression of the discourse

We can distinguish two forms of sequencing: one can be characterised as

following a surface to deep sequence in the transmission of knowledge. Here the
"ultimate mystery of the subject (i.e. its theoretical principle or the rules for
generating new knowledge) is revealed very late in the educational life".19 The
alternative sequence is from deep to surface (or embedded) and presupposes the
communication of principles or theory from the beginning of the educational
career. Here a temporal divide between the learning of facts and specifics, and the
learning of principles is reduced. In this case access to the deep structure of
knowledge, "access to the realizing of new realities or access to the experiential
knowledge that new realities are possible"20 comes early in the educational career.

In terms of the above, the Reform entailed a move away from a situation
where the transmission of facts and specifics was separated in time from the
transmission of principles and abstract generalizations, so that the latter could
only be acquired at the higher levels of the secondary system or the University, to
a situation where, relatively speaking, the principles of the temporal progression of
the syllabus of every subject emphasized the integration of facts and principles
right from the initial stages of schooling. Here we have a weakening of framing.
The Reform's principles pointed towards the integration of the general and the
particular in the early stages in education.

Such integration was present in the organization of the new mathematics

taught at the Primary level as well as in the whole of the integrated curriculum of
the first four years; it was repeatedly underlined as the ruling orientation of the
organization of the Natural Sciences syllabus at the Secondary level (where science
was viewed as a system of research); finally, it was also one of the articulating
criteria behind the organization of the Social Sciences at the Secondary level. (See
Chapter 4, Section 3.3.)

Such modification of the sequencing rules blurs the relation between the
concrete and the abstract and potentially democratises both access to theory and

to its acquisition in the early staff.s. of education. However, this ,vas seen by the
CD only in its consequences for producing more flexible workers under conditions
of rapid technolozical change. Thus the integration of the concrete and abstract
was not explicitly linked with the aim of integrating manual and mental categories,
that is with the changing of a fundamental classification, but was related only to
the CD's policy of development. The CD viewed this modification of the sequencing
rules as a means of modifying only Instructional Discourse as a prior condition to
producing more flexible "human resources" for economic development.

(b) Principles of the development of the child as acquirer

We have seen that the CD took their theory of instruction from Tyler, Bloom
and, especially for our purposes here, from Piaget. Whereas Tyler and Bloom
emphasised procedures over contents, ways of knowing over rote learning, forms
and methods more than encyclopaedic knowledge, and so transformed the principles
of the development of the discourse, Piaget transformed the concept of the
development of the child and the place of the child in regulating his/her own
learning. Piaget replaced the imposition of sequence on the part of the socialiser
to the generation of' sequence by the child. Here the child becomes the author of
his/her sequence and thus of his/her own learning. There is a nice fit between
Tyler, Bloom and Piaget and the initial stage of primary education. However, the
major influence on the second stage of primary education and upon secondary
education is confined to theories of the development of discourse, i.e. Tyler and

In general, sequencing rules both of the discourse and of the acquirer

created weaker framing than in the past.


Pacing refers to the officially defined rate of expected acquisition of

criteria and therefore refes to the rhythm established by the state over trans-
mission. The Reform's first important modification of this feature was the decree-
ing of automatic promotion between the first and the second year of Primary
education. This meant that it was possible, even for children who had not yet
learned how to read in the first year of their schooling, to pass to the second

year. The pressure for inculcating basic literic ■

,' skills in a year as lifted from
teachers. This is equivalent to a weakening of pacing. The pressure for acquiring
these skills was lifted, especially, from the children of the popular classes, who
used to repeat the first year in substantial numbers. From the second year of
schooling onwards, however, the pacing is explicit and strong. In formula terms we
have (-F) at the start of schooling and then (+F).

The second major modification of the rules of pacing is entailed in a major

change in the rules of promotion from the Primary to the Secondary stage. Before
the Reform, unless the pupil obtained an average of 4 on the scale 1-7, the pupil
was not promoted to the Secondary level. After the Reform the average was
reduced to 3.5. Although this reduction may seem very small it is a reduction in an
average of the scores of a number of subjects. Perhaps of more relevance, the
reduction is important in signalling a relaxation of the procedures of promotion,
which in turn might relax the pacing values of teachers. We can see that these
changes in the strength of the framing of pacing have fundamental implications for
the framing of evaluation and so for promotion.

Criterial/evaluative rules

It is difficult to distinguish between criteria specific to ID and criteria

specific to RD. This is because, as we have argued before, ID is embedded in RD.
The rules of order, relation and identity of RD are not confined to the moralising
of the acquirer but penetrate the order, relation and identity of instructional dis-
course itself, creating its classificatory principle and creating the specific selec-
tion, sequencing, pacing and hierarchical rules of its transmission. Despite
common-sense views of the school, it is therefore naive to attempt any empirical
separation of criteria which distinguish between its moralising and specific instruc-
tional practice. The hidden ideology of instructional discourse is its basis in regula-
tive discourse; what is always foregrounded in the case of instructional discourse is
the objectivity of the principles of its transmission.

In the discussion to follow we shall make a distinction between the criteria

to be acquired and the procedures of public evaluation.


We shall make a fundamental distinction between rules which severely

restrict the attributes of the acquirer (cognitive, dispositibnal and interactional)
which can become candidates for criteria and so evaluation, and rules which extend
the range of attributes which can become candidates for criteria. In the firs'. case
the teacher reduces the space- which is available to the pupil to regulate his/her
own practice, whereas in the second case, the teacher enlarges the space available
to the pupil to regulate his/her own practice; but here more of the cognitive, dis-
positional and interactional features of the acquirer can become candidates for
criteria. We shall state that the first rule generates strong framing of criteria
whereas the second rule generates weak framing of criteria.

Before the Reform the cognitive, dispositional and interactional criteria

were as follows.

Cognitive: the emphasis was upon the memorising of discrete units of inform-
ation able to be realised in a written, quantifiable form in answer to highly
specific questions at fixed intervals under conditions of isolation from pedagogic
resources and other pupils (+F). The basic principle would seem to be "things must
be kept apart".

Dispositional: the emphasis was upon passive attributes, i.e. attentiveness,

industriousness, conscientiousness, carefulness, neatness and deference (+F).

Interactional: the pedagogic relation of acquisition placed the emphasis upon

an act which is isolated, privatised, competitive and subordinated (+F).

All the above indicate very strong framing of criteria.

After the Reform the cognitive, dispositional and interactional criteria

underwent a major change. The emphasis on each criterion was now the converse
of the criterion before the Reform.

Cognitive: the emphasis now is upon ways of knowing (rather than upon
discrete units of information), realised through project methods which assist

acquisition of ilterrelated, rather than ipec- ific, ski ils. The underlying ordering
principle now seems "things must be put together" (-F).

Dispositional: the emphasis now is Upon active attributes: creativeness,

openness to discovery, cooperativeness, sensitivity to others, etc. (-F).

Interactional: the pedagogic relation of acquisition now places the emphasis

upon cooperation and sharing with others in a self-regulatory group where the
teacher is viewed as a facilitator rather than as a dominator (-F).

All the above indicate a pronounced weakening of the framing of criteria

across the three focii. Such fundamental weakening was designed to affect all
educational levels.

Evaluation rules

The major official changes initiated by the Reform were contradictory.

These entailed, on the one hand, a shift from assessment specialized to specific
occasions, that is periodic written or oral examinations, to continuous assessment,
and, on the other hand, a marked increase in the use of multiple-choice tests for
the assessment of specific subjects.

The principle of continuous assessment involves the absence of:

(1) a specialized time and setting for evaluation;
(2) a specialized discourse of examination (written papers, special question
format in a limited time)
and the separation of the process of learning from its evaluation.

The principle of continuous assessment involves the presence of:

(1) some regulation by the student of his/her progress through some control
over the distribution of his/her time, effort and interests with respect to a range
of texts;
(2) some extension of the social conditions for the production of a given
text, i.e. individually produced, group produced, etc.;
(3) some extension of the range of texts legitimately available for
assessment, and

(4) the possibi!ity of integration of the process of learning and ;ssessment

for there can be continuous feedback between teacher and student.

The logic of continuous assessment reveals the fundamental grammar of weak

framing. The transmitter/teacher makes available more space to the acquirer in
which he/she can regulate his/her practices. We can also see that relaxing this
framing places the acquirer in a position of continuous surveillance by the

The principle of "objective testing" points in an opposite direction. It

requires a specialized time and setting, and a specialized discourse of assessment
(the specific "multiple option" format). More generally, tests presuppose a highly
specific definition by the teacher of the knowledge or competences to be assessed
and leaves no space for the student to manifest his/her individuality. Moreover, the.
social conditions for the production of a given text are quite specific and
restricted. We have here all the features of a very strong framing.

We have so far discussed changes in the mode of assessment of specific

subjects. We must also consider the procedures of assessment regulating the pro-
gression of the acquirer within the school and between levels (Primary and

The Reform initiated automatic promotion between the first and second year
of Primary schooling and reduced the average marks required for promotion to
Secondary school. These changes in the strength of framing, on the one hand, work
towards greater social integration because they reduce the previous discrimination
against the working class, and, on the other hand, the changes create a larger
secondary school population and so increase the size of the pool of potential
specialised labour. Here we have yet another example of the inextricable inter-
penetration of instructional and regulative discourse. Evaluation procedures speci-
fic to instructional discourse give also a procedure of regulative discourse for the
formation of greater social integration.

Whilst we have seen that criterial and evaluation rules, with respect to the
acquirer, have undergone contradictory changes in their framing, there is a further
area where the strength of framing was increased. The strength of the framing of
the secondary teacher by the state with respect to criteria and evaluation

increased. The CD introduced an agency (the Local Department) where the teacHers
were socialised into the new criteria, the new procedures of evaluation and into
the construction of multiple choice questions. This change in the state framing of
the secondary teacher signals the state's concern with the appropriate acquisition
of the new cognitive skills so necessary to its development programme.

Hierarchical rules

Hierarchical rules refer to the principles of order, relation and identity

which regulate pedagogic practice. We have argued that specific instructional
discourse is inextricably embedded in regulative discourse. Indeed there is no
specific instructional discourse without first rules of order, rules of relation, rules
of identity: that is without prior regulative discourse. Further we have argued that
the selection of the theory of instruction of ID has as much to do with moral
assumptions and expectations as it has to do with expectations of efficient
learning. The hierarchical rules regulating the relations between teachers and
students legitimise the principles of order, relation and identity of both regulative
discourse and instructional discourse. As we shall see, the hierarchical rules can
generate more than one modality of control through which the same distribution of
power is reproduced.

In our discussion of the framing of the hierarchical rules we shall not

separate the rules regulating the relations between the State and the teachers
from the rules regulating the relations between the teachers and students. We shall
indicate the foci of the weak framing of teachers, discourse, students, and the new
areas of practice made possible by the weakened framing of hierarchical rules.

The relations of control over pedagogic practice can be conceptualized in

terms of three fundamental categories and their interrelationships: the State's
control (through its Ministry of Education) (1) over key features of the transmission
of the educational system, (2) over teachers and (3) over acquirers. In general, in
Chile, this elementary triad presents a clear-cut situation of strong control by the
State over every critical aspect of the pedagogic communicative context, with the
teachers having control over some specific features of the transmission process
(noticeably pedagogic practice and to some extent evaluation), and the students
having no significant control over any important aspect of the transmission. It is

unarguably a stronTlv fraincd syste.n ,,what is made available deoends, .dtnost

wholly, on the Ministry of Education's authority. However, the relations of control
privileged by the CD's regime represent some weakening of this framing. Thus, in
relation to the educational system which the CD inherited, there was some shifting
of the site of control from the State to the context of transmission, and, within it,
from the transmitters to the acquirers. The paradox which has to be confronted is
that, notwithstanding this weakening, the central controls over the contexts of
pedagogic communication were not diminished during the CD period in either their
strength or their effectivity. From this viewpoint the distinguishing feature of the
period lies in the simultaneous maintenance of the traditionally strong state control
over transmissions and the introduction of innovations which unmistakably corres-
pond to a weakening in framing of some of its key dimensions. These apparently
contradictory principles created a strong definition by the state of the basic fram
ing of transmission which sets the outer limits of what can be legitimately
communicated and so defines the paradigmatic axis of transmission. There is,
however, a weakening by the State of the framing within transmission, that is a
weakening of the framing within the local pedagogic context of teacher/student
which defines the syntagmatic axis of transmission. The totality of the measures of
the Reform impinged, in one way or another, upon the weakening of this framing.
The principles behind this weakening may be traced both to the new theory of
instruction as well as to the ideological foundations of the CD itself. Summarising
(because these points have been made before) the Reform's key for the reorienta-
tion of its instructional discourse lay in the new criteria defined as "intellectual
operations of higher level" which characteristically involved processes more
complex than simple recall, such as analysis, synthesis, evaluation etc. In curricular
terms this meant a more towards integration of contents between and within units
of transmissions and between concrete practices and principles. In terms of control,
the crucial features of the new orientations presupposed an active acquirer and
this, in its turn, required contexts of transmissions where didactics and teacher-
centred modalities of control had to give way, within limits, to varied forms of
student-based control. More generally, the new orientations required social rela-
tions which made available some room for autonomy, self-expression and role dis-
cretion. The concept of an active enquirer implies communicative contexts ruled by
weak framing of modalities of control. Here relationships of super- and sub-ordina-
tion are more ambigucius and implicit rather than explicit; hierarchies and the con-
straints inherent in them are euphemized or, to varying extents, blurred and hidden
by the appearance of an open communication system; acquirers seem to have con-
siderdbie control over their activities; the boundaries defining legitimate pedagogic
messages are now relatively weaker and more permeable.

Teachers could not carry out the Reform if they also were not given the
necessary spaces for their creativity and capacities in order to link the general
directions of the State-defined programmes of study with the particular character-
istics of the setting in which they worked. Neither could students develop accord-
ing to the transcendental concept of person inherent in the CO's particular strand
of humanism, if they were subject to imperative forms of control. At the same
time, the much sought-after aim of community-like bonds within the contexts of
transmissions could only be created and reinforced where teachers and students
were more able to set up social relations founded upon participation than upon sub-
ordination. Imposition, imperatives and the inculcation of instruction had to give
way to greater reciprocity in the pedagogic relations. At least this was the

Instructional and regulative practice within education intertwine here with

the ideological principles of the political group in control of the state. The marks
of weakening of the framing of hierarchy, either by the state over the teacher or
by the teacher over the pupil, are visible everywhere. Thus, official instructional
discourse features:

(1) The introduction of the state-defined syllabus of each subject includes

alternatives among which the teachers could choose, together with an emphasis on
the flexibility and instrumental character of each Programme of Study.

(2) Emphasis on the need to encourage the self-expression of students and to

achieve the much praised "vitalizacion" of transmissions (see supra, pp. 162ff.)
enshrined in the definition of the active student's role.

(3) The definition of the teacher's role as a facilitator or guide rather than
instructor, which shows clearly the change in the basis of hierarchical relations
between teachers and pupils.

(4) A move away from an official definition of transmission as a single text,

historically defined by the state and solely by the state, to a multidimensional

context ',,,..herein transmitters aT.- ri :-.ic(Juirers .v ere to be more autt: . :_y-now.;

generate their social relations and the form of their practice.

Furthermore, when we look at the value orientations of the CD which inform

official regulative practices we find the values of solidarity, fraternity, coopera-
tion, participation and community, which together point to less asymmetry within
pedagogic relations and so to a weak framing of hierarchical rules.

In closing this section on hierarchical rules, we should bear in mind the final
paradox which typifies modalities of control dominated by weak framing. The
loosening of the explicit grip of the social is relaced by more implicit public sur-
veillance and control over wider classes of action, communication and attributes of
the self. This weakening of framing does not mean the disappearance or decaying
of the boundaries of control in social relations but their transformation from
specific and explicit to implicit and diffuse. A subtle and sophisticated modality
where the individual is freer and the social more intrusive.

At the risk of repeating ourselves yet again, the weak framing of the hier-
archical rules point to the CD's twin goals of new competences for a new
industrialization and a new morality for a new society.


What is the deep level meaning of the modality of cultural reproduction

established by the Reform? According to our perspective the relevant question in
terms of code meanings of the Reform is which boundaries were modified and in
what direction, and which remained unaltered? The underlying rules which the
foreging analysis aimed to identify rest not upon a single relation or set of
relations at one level or context but on the system of relations which our model
has emphasised.

We argued in Chapter 4 that, with respect to transmissions, the Reform had

not been restricted to the level of a new 'Official Pedagogic Discourse' which
existed only in the letter of decrees and the words of officials but, on the
contrary, that the practices and discourse on practices of theteachers had been
altered IT!: Oe CI) no!icies. Thus, the evidence we !zathered that what
was re-contextualized by the party of the 'Revolution in Liberty' in the field of
education became the 'ruler of consciousness' which, on the whole, the ES
transmitted. However, what is transmitted is not necessarily what is acquired. Our
analysis has referred to the dominant pedagogic discourse transmitted by the ES.
Only research which managed to compare cohorts of students exposed to the
Pedagogic Discourse of the Reform 'with older or younger cohorts could provide
insights on the dimension of acquisition.

The following summarizing scheme should help us to draw the comparisons

required for concluding our analysis of the code modality established by the CD

The Reform affected: the access of acquirers to the ES; categories,

organisational and curricular, of the Educational System; the internal
characteristics of the latter's transmissions.

(a) Distribution of cultural capital: equality of opportunity

The CD Reform intended and was successful in that 'more children embarked
on longer educational journeys'. Classifications of the three levels distinguished
in our analysis were weakened in order to produce this result. The material
barriers (i.e. classifications) which blocked the schooling of children from the
popular classes, and particularly of working class rural groups, were erased. At the
same time, classification and framing features, both at the system and the school
level, were weakened in order to promote processes of educational mobility and
increase in the schooling years of the population in general. Thus, between levels
classifications were weakened and moved upwards; pacing was weakened in thefirst
and the eighth year. The general weakening of classification involved in these
changes was embedded, at every particular juncture, in a strong classification. In
formula terms we have <-->. The Reform weakened classificatory principles within
more general classifications. It widened the access gates of the ES and it also
made individual ascension through its ladders easier. However, the institutional
boundaries and the principles constituting those ladders and their different exits
were not modified. In terms of distribution of education the Reform focused on
establishing conditions for equality of opportunity and not equality of results. The


Summary of classification and framing values cf the changes established by the CD

in education


1 - ES - Production
Strengthening of systemic relations (-C)
Maintenance of classificatory relation ES-Production (+C)

2 - ES - Class
Radical expansion of access of acquirers (-C)
Upwards translation of whole distribution of cultural capital with maintenance
of inter-class differences (+C)


1 - Changes in classificatory features

Weakening of manifold classifications between levels and within levels reducing
differentiation and furthering processes of educational mobility and cultural
homogenization (-C)
Maintenance of pre-existent institutional divisions (+C)

2 - Changes in framing features

Strengthening of the framing of evaluation by the central authority of the ES
at the Secondary level (via the Local Departments) (+F)


1 - Positional structure of the school: changes in classificatory features

Acquirers: weakening of the gender classification (-C)
Teachers: weakening of their classification by subjects in the Primary level
(-C) and maintenance of their/strong classification in the Secondary level (+C)
Curriculum: weakening of classification between the curriculum of the
academic and the technical modalities of the Secondary level (-C); and
increased specialisation of last two years of academic modality of the
Secondary level (+C)
School/Community: weakening of the classification between the categories
school knowledge/practices and community knowledge/practices (-C)

2 - Context of transmission: changes in framing features

Sequencing: weakening of the progression of the discourse throughout the ES
and of the acquirers in the Primary level (-F)
Pacing: decrease of pacing in the initial year and in the 8th year, Primary
level (-F)
Criterial/evaluative rules: weakening of framing of cognitive, dispositional and
interactional criteria to be acquired (-F); and weakening of framing of
evaluation (continuous evaluation) (-F), together with increase in the use of
objective or multiple option testing (+F)
Hierarchical rules: weakening of the framing 'within' the context of
transmission (-F); strengthening by the state of outer limits of the 'what' and
'how' of transmissions (paradigmatic axle) (+F)

Reform centred upon intra-ES variables and not family or community-linked ones.
Questions of class and educability were not raised during the period. 23

(b) Category relations: the homogenization/specialization dilemma

According to our analytical perspective the strength of the insulation

between categories is a crucial regulator of their identity and 'voice'. Different
degrees of insulation between categories create different principles of relations
between categories.24 In the preceding analysis we have distinguished between the
classifications constituting institutionalized education as a specialized agency of
cultural reproduction (external relations of education) and the classifications within
an ES, constituting its different specialized agencies, agents and messages. With
respect to the first dimension a most basic fact is that the CD Reform did not
attempt to alter the basic classification of education as a specialized agency, that
is, its insulation from production and its agents and practices. As argued before in
the Chapter, this boundary is crucial. In as much as it was not affected, the whole
of the modifications of the period have to be seen as constituting not a change of
code, but a change of modality within a code. The Reform did attempt to weaken
the classification between school knowledge/practice/categories and community
knowledge/practice/categories. This, however, did not amount to a significant
variation in the relations between the inside and the outside of the school, as it
was the latter and thee central authority of the ES, and not the community, who
controlled the power relations. With respect to the second dimension (boundaries
between categories within the ES), the Reform weakened some classifications. At
one level the variations introduced aimed to produce 'less differentiated
educational careers'. The difference in the number of schooling years between the
Primary and Secondary level was reduced; within the Secondary level several
measures reduced the strength of the divide between the academic and the
technical modality. At another level, all instances of <-C> were embedded in
strong classifications. The most important to underline here, because of the clarity
of its ideological implications, is the retention by the reformers of two types of
Secondary education. In this case what was altered was clearly of secondary
importance when compared to what was retained. As described in Chapter 4, the
Reform sought a compromise solution between its goals of social integration and its
attempt to strengthen the links of education with what was perceived as the
requisites of economic development. The academic/technical divide was maintained
while every effort was made to reduce it, symbolically and 'de jure'. The CD's

educational leadership's decision in favour of 'option B' in the reform of Secondary

education in 1967 (see Chapter 4, p.166) constitutes the most revealing of all of
the Reform's options in terms of the power and ideological ambiguities expressed
by the CD.

(c) Social relations and discursive rules: change in modality of pedagogic

code based on weak framing principles

The fundamental meaning of the Reform with respect to the inner core of
cultural reproduction, that is, with respect to the communicative practices between
transmitters and acquirers, was the weakening of the framing of social relations
and of the discourses of the school. Sequencing, pacing, criterial/evaluative rules
and hierarchical rules were all modified in the same direction towards a
re-definition of what counted as legitimate communications/discourse. This
presupposed a change in control by the transmitter of the distinguishing features of
the Pedagogic Discourse towards a reduction in explicit hierarchy and in the
imposition of discourse. The Reform created a new modality of Pedagogic Discourse
dominated by the weak framing of its constitutive social relations and discursive
rules. Simultaneously, the new discretion available for pupils and teachers rested
upon fairly explicit limits established by the central structures of the ES upon the
'what' and 'how' of pedagogical communications. Weak framing was thus imbedded
in strong framing.

The weakening of framing affected both the Instructional and Regulative

dimensions of the Pedagogic Discourse. The framing of ID was weakened so as to
produce the new competences required for modernity as understood by the CD, i.e.
more context-independent skills demanded by a rapidly changing productive and
social milieu. Development was seen as dependent on a labour force able to
perform 'intellectual operations of higher level than simple recall', and this in turn
rested upon a relative integration between and within the discourses constituting
the curriculum. The weakening of the framing of RD was based on the need to
promote an active relation to school knowledge among the students and also upon
the ideological principles of the CD, which consistently pointed towards the
euphemisation of hierarchy and control in social relations. The weakening of
framing was both extensive (reaching the whole of the ES) and deep (covering all
the features of communication we distinguished at the school level) especially with
reference to RD. We have shown considerable weakening of the framing of ID

essentially at the pri:m.-iry level, At the secondary level this c,t fra7ling
of ID s continued but the introduction of multiple choice testing shows the !•:,t.ate's
concern with a national measure of acquisition.

*1E** *

The search for codes of cultural reproduction is simultaneously a reading on

power relations and on consciousness. In terms of the former the CD's main foci of
change in education were social relations and discourses (framing) rather than
categories (classifications), i.e., relations-within more than relations between. The
Reform expressed the principle-of 'partial subversions' through communications, or
symbolic means, which, we argued in Chapter 3, defined the CD's habitus. In terms
of power relations the Reform can be validly seen as realising the principle (plus ca
change, plus c'est la m'erne chose'. But to stop there would be to ignore the
Reform's focus, i.e., changes in the social relations and messages of the school and
potentially in the consciousness of transmitters and acquirers.

According to Bernstein, a modality of educational transmissions based upon

weak framing criteria is likely to privilege the present rather than the past as
temporal dimension and to emphasize change rather than repetition as criteria of
practice. Further, socialization into the rule 'Things must be- put together' is more
likely than its counterpart - 'Things must be kept apart' - to render the world
problematic. A weakly framed pedagogic discourse would encourage rather than
suppress the seeking for a different order of things.25 In consistently establishing
cultural transmissions ruled by weak framing principles the CD Reform laid the
basis for the schools to reproduce knowledge and sensitivities which, relative to
the past, were geared less to an unquestioned acceptance of order than to its
change. If we accept the principle that changes in framing at some point may
challenge the principle of classification or, better, that the change of 'voice' of a
category can be triggered by changed 'messages', then the period was something
more than 'plus c'estla meme chose'.

Chapter 5 Notes

B. Bernstein, Ccides. modalities and the process of cultural ceproduction: a

model, Pedagogical Bulletin, 7, 1980, University of Lund.

Ibid., ant.

3 It is of central importance when considering the relations between the

symbolic resources of children from different class origins and those typic-
ally transmitted in school. In this context, social differences in educability,
according to the codes theory, correspond to differences in orientations to
meaning between the classes.

4 Bernstein remarks that for some purposes we can separate Instructional

Discourse from Regulative Discourse but the more the two discourses are
separated the more masked becomes the realisation of Regulative Discourse.
Alternatively, the more we embed them, the more difficult it is to pin down
the specialities of their functions. The solution is to see Pedagogic Discourse
- which is not a repertoire of texts but a grammar for the generation of
texts/practices - as a system of interdependent terms in which the
"discipline means accepting a given selection, organisation, pacing and timing
of knowledge" (B. Bernstein, Class, Codes and Control, Vol.3, Routledge and
Kegan Paul, London, 1977, p.98). It is important to make explicit that the
embeddedness of Instructional Discourse in Regulative Discourse does not
require an isomorphism between the values and operations of the two. A
fully develdped account of B. Bernstein's model on Pedagogic Discourse is in
M. Diaz, A model of pedagogic discourse with special application to the
Colombian Primary level of education, Ph.D. Thesis, University of London,
5 B. Bernstein, Codes, Modalities and ..., op. cit., p. 32.

6 E. Schiefelbein and M.C. Grossi, Analisis de la Matricula Escolar, CIDE, Doc.

10, 1978, Santiago, Table 28.

7 See K.B. Fischer, Political ideology and educational reform in Chile, 1964-
1976, UCLA, Latin American Center, Los Angeles, 1979.
B. Bernstein, Class, codes and control, op. cit., pp.185-186.

9 School does not monopolize the production of cultural capital. In fact,

"cultural capital" in general includes both the total set of "savoirs" and
"manieres d'user du savoir" invisibly transmitted by the family (Inherited
Cultural Capital), and the total set of "savoirs" and style inculcated by
institutionalised education (Acquired Cultural Capital) (P. Bourdieu, La
Distinction, Minuit, Paris, 1979). However, the school as the dominant
pedagogic agency does have the monopoly over the certification of cultural
capital and, therefore, the struggles for the definition of its transmissions
are struggles for the definition of what counts as legitimate cultural capital.

In referring to changes in cultural capital we are referring in this work to

modifications in the schooling components of cultural capital (Capital
Scolaire, in Bourdieu's work).

Further, it is necessary to distinguish between volume or amass of cultural

capital and the intrinsic characteristics of its contents and forms (inextric-
ably logical and moral in character). When referring to the CD's modifica-
tions of the "order of the insulations" between and within the structures of
schooling as well as between and within the transmissions of the school, we
are touching upon the key determinants of the intrinsic characteristics of
the cultural capital transmitted by the educational system. Mo re generally,
the all-encompassing and manifold nature of the relations inscribed in the
notion of "cultural capital" obliges us to distinguish, at least, between
questions of: (1) mass or volume of cultural capital, (2) access to cultural
capital, (3) internal differentiation (species of cultural capital: humanistic,
scientific, etc.) and, (4) acquisition . of cultural capital (or its incorporation).

10 The expansion of access to cultural capital implies a comparable growth in

the total volume of cultural capital of society. "The generalised growth of
schooling has as its effect an increase in the mass of cultural capital which,
at a given moment, exists as incorporated caital..." (P. Bourdieu, La
Distinction, op. cit., p.148).

11 Total educational system in 1970: (a) 2,492,500 students

(b) 101,871 teachers and staff


Total population of Chile in 1970 (c) 8,884,400


(a) Table 4.1

(b) and (c) E. Schiefelbein, Diagnostico deI Sistema Educacional Chileno en
1970, Depto. Economia Universidad de Chile, Santiago, 1976, Tables 19 and
34, respectively.

12 E. Schiefelbein, Diagnostico ... 1970, op. cit., p.122.

13 E. Schiefelbein and J. Farrell, Selectivity and Survival in the Schools of

Chile, Comparative Education Review, Vol. 22, No. 2.

14 The decrease in the educational level of the group "Employers, extractive

sector" may be related to the policy of Agrarian Reform of the period. What
the data may be showing is not the decrease in education of a given set of
employers but variations in the numbers of the groups with more years of
schooling as compared with the groups with less years of schooling. The
land redistribution process must have meant an increase in the numbers of
small employers with less education and some decrease in the numbers of the
traditional, and with more education, land-owning group, as its expropriated
members probably moved to other sectors of the economy.

15 P. Bourdieu, La Distinction, Minuit, Paris, 1979, p.184.

16 Ibid. ant., p.185.

17 P. Bourdieu and J.C. Passeron, Reproduction in education, society and

culture, Sage Publications, London, 1977, p.210.

18 The referred sets of relations can be schematized as follows:

Rules of social relations

Hierarchical rules
Acquirer Transmitter
Acquisition of Transmission of
the discourse the discourse

Criterial and
evaluation rules

Discursive rules
From:. M. Diaz, A model of pedagogic discourse ..., op. cit.
19 B. Bernstein, Class, codes and control, op. cit., p.97.
20 Ibid. ant., p.102..,
21 See B. Bernstein, A sociolinguistic approach to socialization: with some
reference to educability; Addendum: a note on the coding of objects and
modalities of control, both articles in Class, codes and control, Vol. 1,
Routledge and Kegan Paul, London, 1974 edition.
22 A.H. Halsey, A.F. Heath, J.M. Ridge, Origins and destinations, Clarendon
Press, Oxford, 1980, p.196.
23 As they were on the whole alien still to the liberal International Intellectual
Field from which the Reform partially drew its categories. On different
phases in the development of concepts of equality of educational opportunity
see J. Coleman, 'The concept of equality of educational opportunity' and
A.H. Halsey, 'Political ends and educational means', both articles in J.
Raynor and J. Harden (eds.), Equality and City Schools, Vol.2, Routledge and
Kegan Paul, Open University, London, 1973. See also, A.H. Halsey, Sociology
and the equality debate, Oxford Review of Education, Vol. 1, No. 1, 1975.
24 B. Bernstein, Codes, Modalities and..., op. cit.
25 B. Bernstein, Introduction to Class codes and control, Vol.3, op. cit.


The Popular Unity Government and Education:

Struggles for the definition of schooling in a process of socialist orientation

Chile confronts the need to initiate a new way of

constructing the socialist society: our revolutionary •way, the
pluralist way, anticipated by marxism's classics, but never
before realized.... Chile is today the first nation on earth
called to perform the second model of transition to socialism."

President Allende, First Address to Congress, May 1971

"A new culture cannot be decreed. It will spring from the

struggle for fraternity as opposed to individualism, for the
appreciation rather than the disdain of human labour, for
national values rather than cultural colonization, and from the
struggle of the popular masses for access to art, literature and
the communications media...."

Popular Unity, Programme of Government, December 1969

Two all-encompassing aims s,.r. nrnartz.-. the hist)t- ical ambtion of the -
led alliance which conqttered the Executive in September 1970: the suppressioH of
rapitalisrn and achievement of this .without following the path defined by the
"dictatorship of the .proletariat". Furthermore, two main contradictions define the
struggles which dominated the period. These are inseparable from the objectives of
Popular Unity. Thus, a fundamental contradiction existed between the Government's
programme and the economic and power basis upon which Chilean capitalism
worked. The second contradiction existed within the Popular Unity alliance, and
can be characterized as between instrumental and utopian policies.

Conflict dominated the period. In terms of education, the most salient

general feature is the tension between radical attempts to transform education and
the incapacity of the group in government to modify it consistently in any given
direction. This incapacity resulted both from external opposition as well as from
internal dissension. In studying the 1970-1973 period we find not the ordered
process of the translation of an all-embracing project of social transformation into
specific modifications of the institutions and transmissions of the educational
system (as in the Christian Democrat case), but struggles both about the general
project and its educational meanings. The most important educational initiatives of
the Popular Unity broke a tacit consensus about its position and role in Chilean
society. As a result the boundaries between the educational field and the political
arena grew increasingly blurred during this period. The decisive battle on the
proposed changes was fought outside the educational field and the whole of the
political system was polarized by an educational proposal. Moreover, the initiatives
were not attributable to one actor but resulted from a complex set of oppositions
between the governing political parties. More than is usually the case then, our
search for changes in the codes of cultural reproduction through schooling will
focus on politics of education rather than on educational policies, and more on
arenas than on a single actor.

We deal with the Popular Unity years in two chapters. In Chapter 6 we

attempt to give an account of the social, political and ideological
__ identities, differ-
ences and contradictions contained in the Popular Unity alliance. The key features
of the different part y& historical relationship with education are made explicit.
Throughout, the description and analysis are concerned to provide what we
consider are the main factors which generated the policies of the period. Chapter
7 provides a description of the main educational initiatives of the Popular Unity

government, in terms of their internal characteristics and their cont e xts and
results, and an analysis of the policies' relationship with the different class/field
basis of the PU political parties.
Chapter 6

Unity and diversity in the socialist alliance: class, ideology and education

Was none who would be foremost
To lead such dire attack;
But those behind cried 'Forward!'
And those before cried 'Back!'."


The political alliance Popular Unity was constituted to fight the presidential
election of 1970, and contained the two main political organizations of the Chilean
Left, the Communist and the Socialist parties, with the Radical Party, the MAPU
and two Social Democrat parties of less significance. ' The Communist Party and
the Socialist Party were both marxist organizations which had a long history of
substantive working class and popular support; the Radical Party, as we have
already seen, had by the end of the 1960s been displaced by the Christian
Democrats as the main representative of middle class groups and in ideological
terms was social-democrat. The MAPU represented radicalized university students
and young professionals who had left the Christian Democrats months before. The
parties agreed on a programme whose principle was the change of the power basis
of Chilean society. For this to he accomplished, three grand tasks were envisaged:
to end the power of (1) foreign capital, (2) the national monopolies, and (3) the
land-based traditional oligarchy. This three-pronged course of action, once
completed, would provide the basis for initiating the construction of socialism in
Chile. The specificity of the Popular Unity strategy. lay in the democratic,
libertarian and pluralist character of the political conditions in which such
transformations would take place.2

Behind the Popular Unity and its programme there lay a history of common
front policies between the Communist Party and the Socialist party which went
back to 1952, when both parties supported the first presidential bid of Salvador
Allende and, more distantly, to the 1930s, when both parties participated in a
Popular Front coalition led by the Radical Party and which gained the Presidency
in 1938. At the same time, however, the "wide alliance-limited objectives" and
"pacific character of the socialist transition" features of the Popular Unity's
programme, created and supported by the Communist Party, had been secularly
opposed by the Socialist Party.3 This dialectic of unity and diversity which is
observable at the macro political level between the key constituents of the Popular
Unity, also initially determined the state's educational initiatives—during the period.
In fact, it is not possible to address the discourse or the measures on education
undertaken by the state between 1970 and September 1973 without distinguishing
between the three parties of the Alliance which were relevant in the educational
field - the Socialist party, the Communist Party and the Radical Party.4

In the rest of this chapter .-,ve shad attempt to systematize these fee turi., elf

the history, social basis and ideology of the three parties, which we deem relevant

for interpreting the state educational discourse and measures of the period.

Historical elements

Communist Party

The Chilean Communist Party was founded in January 1922 when a Congress
of the Partido Obrero Socialista voted to change its name to that of Communist
Party and agreed to apply for affiliation to the Third International. The Partido
Obrero Socialista had been a party of workers set up in 1912 and which had pri-
marily agitated and organized among the nitrate and copper miners of the north-
ernmost part of Chile. Thus, the Communist Party was founded with its feet firmly
entrenched in the mines and its mind in the Soviet Union and internationalism.
These two original elements are central to its developMent.5

The first period of the Communist Party can be characterized by the effort
to "bolshevize" the organization and the sectarianism and almost total irrelevance
of its political lines to Chilean realities. Up to 1935, and following the "class
against class" stance of the Comintern, its programme included the immediate over-
throw of "bourgeois power" and the establishment of the dictatorship of soviets of
peasants and workers. It condemned any form of collaboration with groups
otherthan the working class6 However, even at the height of its ultra-
revolutionarism the Party participated in municipal and parliamentary elections. It
elected two deputies in 1921, one senator and seven deputies in 1925 and another
senator in 1926, all of them representing working class mining communities.7
Between 1927 and 1931, during the Ibanez dictatorship, the Party was consistently

A second period in the history of the Communist Party covers its participa-
tion in government together with the Socialist Party, as a subordinated ally of the
Radical Party. In 1935, and following the turn of the policy of the VII, and last
Congress of the Comintern, the Communist Party endorsed the Popular Front
policy, which demanded cooperation with the "petty bourgeoisie and the progressive
national bourgeoisie" against the fascist threat and for a democratic bourgeois
revolution. Its programme and actions began LO emdhasize national economic
modernization and the expansion of democracy over the immediacy of the conquest
of power by workers. It participatedin the Popular- Front Government (1938-1941)
maintaining the most radical posture of any coalition member but stressing specific
problem solving over ideology. It supported a new Radical Government (1942-1946),
again with the socialists, but, as before, it did not participate in the Cabinet. In
1946, it accepted posts for the first time, under a third Government led by the
Radicals. The same year, it obtained 16.5 per cent of the votes in the municipal
elections and had influence in education and the managing of the economy.8 The
growth of the Party's mass support and influence produced panic on the Right
which, together with American pressures, persuaded the Radical President
Gonzalez to betray his allies. The President expelled the Communist Party from
the Cabinet in 1947 and pushed legislative measures to make the Party illegal. In
1948, Conservatives, Liberals and Radicals voted in Congress the "Law for the
Defence of Democracy": this kept the Communist Party illegal until 1957. Its
members were expunged from the electoral rolls and the core of its organizers
were forced to go underground. Concentration camps were set up in the mining
districts of the north where hundreds of its activists were imprisoned.

A third stage in the development of the Communist Party covers the period
from the mid-1950s up to the Popular Unity Government, and is defined by the con-
tinued effort to constitute a broad alliance of the working class, the peasantry,
intellectuals and the middle class (at times the policy also included a group of the
national bourgeoisie) in order to accomplish the industrialization, economic indepen-
dence from imperialism, and democratization of Chile. During this period, the
Communist Party was concerned to conquer the government, no longer as a minor
partner of an alliance, but leading it.

Two features must be emphasized in relation to the history of the Communist

Party up to the Popular Unity years. The first is that politically the Party had
been pursuing a path of "wide alliances and limited objectives" since the 1930s.
The Party had not abandoned this line even during the decade in which it was
banned and persecuted. In sharp contrast to the Socialist party the Communists did
not shun the possibilities of alliances with sectors of the middle class after the
experience of the Popular Front and the following Radical administrations. The
second is the strictly Leninist character of its organization with its attributes of
centralism, a core structure of professional cadres and discipline. It survived the
repression between 1943 and 19.57 with its electoral basis intact. The slow
systematic character of its electoral growth (see Table 6.1) speaks of the effect-
ivity of its political work, somehow independent of the more superficial variations
of the political arena.9

Table 6.1

Percentage of the vote received by the Communist Party in Parliamentary

elections, 1937-1973

1937 1941 1945 1949 1953 1957 1961 1965 1969 1973
4.2 11.8 10.3 11.4 12.4 15.9 16.2

Source: Appendix 3

Another distinctive and important feature of the Communist Party, which

was historically a gro.und for conflict with the Socialist Party, was the un-
conditional nature of its loyalty to the Soviet Union.10

Socialist Party

The Socialist Party was founded in Santiago in April 1933, when five
fledgling socialist groups came together in the aftermath of a "Socialist Republic"
which lasted twelve days.11

Intellectuals and professionals, lawyers, doctors, teachers, small merchants,

employees and some workers, constituted the social foundations of the new party.
Its ideology unified marxist elements, an intense nationalism, latin americanism,
masonic principles and populism.12 The common denominator was a hostility to the
status quo and the belief in the need to organize the working class and the people
to fight against it. State socialization of the means of production and a "workers'
dictatorship" were claimed as goals in the first declaration of principles.13 Marxist
ideology served the nascent organization to mark its distance from the Radicals;
its nationalism and a belief in the individual were important, in ideological terms,
in the Party's differentiation from the Communists.I4

Between 1938 and 1952 the Socialist Party collaborated in government under
the political hegemony of the Centre-Left Radical Party. Throughout this second
period the Socialist party was torn apart by the conflict between social mobilila-
tion and institutionalization; between its long-range revolutionary aspirations and
its foothold in the state, with its accompanying realities of expediency and co► -
promise. The tension was never solved. In 1940 a "non-conformist" group accused
the leadership of bureaucratization and seceeded to form the "Workers Socialist
Party". In 1941 the Socialist Party decided to leave the Popular Front (the party
alliance) but to stay in the Popular Front government alliance under President
Aguirre Cerda. In 1944, the Socialists left the government but not the coalition,
which had elected J.A. Rios (the second Radical President). The same year the
Party suffered a new division. Divisions and turns of policy affected the Socialist
electoral appeal: their support dropped from 22.1 per cent in the parliamentary
elections of 1941 to 12.8 per cent in the parliamentary elections of 1945 and to
2.5 per cent in the presidential election of 1946. In 1952 the Socialist Party
suffered a new division: one fraction agreed with the Communist Party to support
Salvador Allende for the Presidency, the other faction supported the independent
(and ex-military dictator) General Ibanez.15 Participation in the Popular Front and
Radical Governments brought crisis and almost led to the dissolution of the Social-
ist party organization. Not surprisingly, in the Party's reconstruction, which took
place from the mid-1950s onwards, ideological radicalization and the adamant
rejection of any political course which implied collaboration with middle class
parties were the dominant features. The Socialist Party adopted the "Workers
Front" programme in 1955, shunning any form of alliance with middle class groups
in the struggle for sOcialism16 This "classist" position was maintained through
successive congresses up to the very constitution of the Popular Unity, in 1969.
The "Workers Front" strategy was in stark contradiction with the Communist belief
in the need to establish a wide alliance (the "National Liberation Front" line and
then the "Popular Unity" strategy) in order to advance towards socialism in the
Chilean conditions.17

Three interrelated and important features defining the Socialist Party's

personality need to be emphasised. Firstly, from its beginnings onwards, the
Socialist Party was heterogenous both in terms of its social basis and in terms of
its ideology, despite the mainly marxist character of its discourse. Whatever
dimension one chooses to examine, the party presents the uneasy articulation of
7 63

contradictory in terms of policy between mobilising the ;sasses :nd

participating in the state; in terms of social base between its middle class and its
popular and working class elements; in terms of ideology between its marxism and
its populism. Secondly, all the tensions led to a resolution of sorts in the ideo-
logical radicalization of the party after its nadir at the end of the Radical govern•
ments.19 The abstract and precise definitions of doctrine gave unity to what was
objectively heterogeneous. In opposed complementarity to the Communist Party, the
Socialist Party's avowed strategy from the mid-1950s on was one of a narrow or
strictly class definition of the forces of the revolution and a maximalist definition
of its objectives (the immediacy of insurrection and the destruction of the
bourgeois state; the immediate socialist character of the changes, etc.). Finally,
the loose character of its organization is also a constitutive feature of the
Socialist Party. There was no structure of professional cadres; internal democracy
was valued over centralism and its formal structure was criss-crossed by caciquista
relations between leaders and rank and file. Poor discipline and factionalism
characterised the development of the party, infused with a certain vitality and
ideological effervescence.20

As the data in Table 6.2 shows, the electoral basis of the Socialist Party
was less stable than that of the Communist Party, and this has to be understood in
terms of the differences not only in the class basis of the Parties' constituencies,
but also in their style of work.

Table 6.2

Percenta e of the vote obtained b the Socialist Part in arliament r elections

between 1937 and 1973

1937 1941 1945 1949 1953 1957 1961 1965 1969 1973
11.2 22.1 12.8 9.4 14.2 10.7 10.7 • 10.3 12.2 18.7

Source: Appendix 3

Radical Party

The Radical Party was founded in 1858 by anti-clerical intellectuals of

Santiago, provincial oligarchs of the south resentful of the traditional oligarchy of
the centre, and mining entrepreneurs of the north.21 It was the most ardent
opponent of the Conservatives during the last decades of the 19th century, partic-
ularly on clerical and educational issues. An 18th-century rationalism pervaded its
ideology up to the 1930s, when the themes of state interventionism, welfare pro-
grammes and industrialization replaced those of freedom of expression and creed,
human rights and the separation of the Church from the state.22

Consistently middle class and, after the 1920s, increasingly non-ideological,

the Radical Party dominated the centre of Chilean politics from the turn of the
century up to the rise of the Christian Democrats. The party was elected to
government with the support of Socialists and Communists in 1938. As mentioned
above, in 1948 the third Radical president expelled the Communists from the gov-
erning alliance, declared the Communist Party illegal and formed a cabinet with
the Right. After a spell in the opposition (1952-1958), the Radical Party collabor-
ated between 1958 and 1964 in the first government led by the Conservative and
Liberal parties in four decades. The shift is eloquent of the pattern generated by
the politics of the centre during the 1920-1950s period. A coalition of middle class
groups with the popular class in a "mobility alliance" was followed by a coalition
of the middle groups with the ruling groups to defend their newly acquired priv-
ileges.23 By the end of the 1960s, however, in the midst of its decline as the key
broker-party in Chilean politics, the Radical leadership moved to the left, adopting
a socialist programme and expelling the right-wing sectors which represented the
landowners of the south and other property-owning middle groups.24

The Radical Party was included in the Popular Unity amid the protests of
the Socialists and with the support of the Communists.

The data on Table 6.3 show that the Radical Party obtained around 20 per
cent of the votes up to the decade of the 1960s. (The percentage obtained in the
parliamentary elections of 1969 corresponds to the Radical Party before its
division - see note 24.)

Table 6.3

Percentage of the vote obtained by the Radical Party in parliamentary elections

between 1937 and 1973

1937 1941 1945 1949 1953 1957 1961 1965 1969 1973
18.7 23.0 19.9 27.7 15.6 22.1 21.4 13.3 13.0 3.7

Source: Appendix 3

2 Class and Field basis

Communist Party

The Communist Party is the most clearly working class party in Chilean
politics. Although there is no precise available evidence on the class origins of the
party's leadership by, the 1960s and 1970s, the literature agrees that it contained a
larger proportion of workers than the Socialist leadership (and any other party),
alongside professionals and intellectuals. The core of its organization was
maintained by workers.25 Initially the organization developed around a nucleus of
workers and primary teachers, without making significant inroads among profession-
als and intellectuals.26 This situation gradually changed and, by the mid-1960s, the
party counted among its militants an important group of artists and intellectuals
while its influence in the University system was increasingly important.27 However,
throughout its history, the working class element always predominated over the
intellectual in terms of basic orientations and political line.28 In 1969, the party's
Secretary General characterized the class profile of the organization as:

"66.6 per cent of our militants are workers.... 7.7 per cent are peasants,
not including the agricultural labourers. Of the rest 20 per cent include
craftsmen, shopkeepers and small industrialists, employees and, of
course, our intellectuals and professionals who have embraced the cause
of the working class. This communist family is grouped in 3.618

The Communist Party's fundamental basis of electoral support was the

organized mining and industrial working class. The party mainly represented the
group whose social conditions of existence were most clearly linked to forms of

large scale produclion, generally owned either by the state or foreign caipit:l. Its
electorate, up to the 1970s, had been traditionally concentrated in the nitrate and
copper production communes of the north, the coal producing communes of the
south, and in the industrial core of the bigger urban centres (Santiago and
Concepcion), in all, just over twenty communes, out of the 286 existent in 1970.30

The workers who predominantly voted Communist correspond to a specific

group within the popular class. Based on the most developed sectors of the
economy, mentioned above, they were better paid than any other manual group,
strongly unionized and traditionally able to exert pressure upon the state. This
working class core shaped features of both class militantism and integration in the
institutional system in general.31 Before the Popular Unity years the Communist
Party did not have any significant support from workers in the rural areas.
Although the party had a significant following among the underemployed or
"marginales" and among the working class of small industry, this was quantitatively
less important and politically less valued than the support coming from the working
class of the most modern sectors of the economy.32

In terms of Fields, the Communist Party was predominantly based in the

dominated side of the Field of Production.

Socialist Party

In contrast with the predominantly working class character and geographical

specificity of the Communist Party, the Socialist Party was socially more hetero-
geneous and national in character, since its electoral basis was spread evenly
throughout Chile's different economic regions.33

From its beginnings through to our period, the Socialist leadership and
organizational core were predominantly from the professions and the white collar
"empleado" strata. Although the upper echelons of the party hierarchy comprised
more workers than in any other political party, with the exception of the
Communist Party, they were clearly a minority group. We have traced the occupa-
tions of 45 of the 48 members of the Central Committee of the Socialist Party
elected in its XXIII Congress, in January 1971, i.e., the leadership who led the
party through the Popular Unity government experience.
"2 67"

The data of Table 6.4 does riot leave ,- nuc.h doubt about its predominantly
middle class character.

Table 6.4

Occupations in the leadership of the Socialist Party (Central Committee

elected in January 1971)

Workers White collar Professionals Not known Total

5 7 33 3 48

Quoting unofficial party statistics, B. Pollack estimates that the average

composition of the party's membership was (during the 19.50s and 1960s) 70 per
cent working class and 30 per cent middle class .34 In electoral terms the party
seemed to appeal to non-entrepreneurial middle groups related more to the state
than the private sector, rural workers, working class groups linked to small or
medium sized industries and traditional forms of production than to the most
dynamic sectors (where the Communist Party ruled), and also sectors of the
underemployed. This social heterogeneity led to its definition as "less a working
class party than a popular party which links the working class with professional
and petty bourgeois sectors".35

The social specificity of the Socialist Party does not, however, lie in the
fact that it linked workers, peasants, employees and professionals, but in the less
recognized fact that the workers, underemployed and middle class sectors to which
it appeals tend all to be social categories defined by one or other form of
exclusion: either from stable employment, influence or social recognition.

A. Touraine has remarked that there is nothing more Chilean than the
Socialist party.36 This partly refers to the fact that its social basis was not
fundamentally constituted by categories easily identifiable with the main class
positions of an integrated capitalist order but by groups situated in the gaps or
disjunctions of a social structure defined by the patterns of a dependent develop-
ment. Socialists would be defined overall by the ambiguity and fragility of their

social position. The inanual group did not on the whole belon_ to the ;table work-
ing class, and the middle class groups tended either to have less influence upon the
state than Radicals and Christian Democrats, or to be socially unrecognized.
Exclusion more than exploitation would seem to be the fundamental experience
behind the socialists' ideology and political ethos.
"The (Socialist Party) corresponds to currents of opinion and social
categories which while being on the side of the proletariat are not
Clearly situated in the class struggle. I see the Socialists as belonging
to the world of the white collar worker, dragged into that enormous
system of cultural and social integration which gives its assets to the
power of the bourgeoisie but at the same time is rejected by the bour-
geoisie and put at the margins. From this stems the rebellion, the con-
sciousness of being rejected even more than exploited which finds
echoes among the sectors of the working class which do not belong to
the workers' aristocracy."37

In terms of Fields, the most unequivocal feature of the Socialist Party is the
weakness of its links with production. On the one hand, its leadership and the core
of the organization belongs to occupations typical of the field of symbolic control
(lawyers, teachers, physicians, civil servants), on the other, its working class,
peasant and "marginales" followers, although based in production in a general
sense, correspond ta. what Touraine characterizes as "categories in crisis". As
removed from the world of "white collars" as from that of stable employment and
the clear-cut class relations of an industrialized environment, with its features of
discipline, regularity and respectability.

The data in Table 6.5 show the Communist Party and the Socialist Party as
historically the most important forces in the union movement.

Radical Party

The Radical Party which joined the Popular Unity was, generally speaking,
no longer supported by tne entrepreneurial group which had traditionally con-
stituted one of its components. This group had shifted its allegiance to the Right
in 1969 (see note 24). The social basis of the Radical Party of the 1970s was
constituted homogeneously by non-entrepreneurial middle class groups associated
with the professions and state employed white collar workers. The Radicals
controlled the teachers' unions and their party was an important presence in other
white collar civil service union such as those in the health sector and among the
Table 6.5
Political Orientation of CUT Congress Delegates and Votes

Blue White
gral. collar collar
1953 1957 1959 1962 1965 1968 1972 1972 1972

Communists 21.3 39.9 44.7 ' 31.1 42.3 45.5 30.9 38.0 22.0

Socialists 15.3 25.9 28.1 28.4 33.1 21.6 26.4 32.0 19.0

Radicals 6.3 9.0 4.1 6.2 4.8 8.1 3.9 1.0 7.0

MAPU - - - - - 4.6 7.0 -

Christian Democrats 6.3 14.7 14.6 17.9 11.9 10.2 26.3 16.0 41.0

Anarchists 7.9 2.2 2.0 2.0 - 1.4 1.8 1.0

Trotskyists 0.7 1.3 1.1 0.8 1.0

Independent 6.6 - 0.5 ° - - - -

Non classifiable 25.6 8.8 5.0 12.9 7.2 9.4

and absent

G. Falabella, Labour in Chile under the Junta, 1973-1979 Working Papers No.4, July 1981, Institute of Latin American
Studies, University of London

postal 38 The leadershi;) shared many of the characteristics of the

Socialists, particularly the professional groups. However, the Radicals controlled
the Executive between 1.938 and 1952, and its connections with the state and the
institutional system, in general, were comparatively much stronger.

The predominantly "white collar" character of the Radical electorate is

portrayed by the data on delegates and votes obtained in the CUT election of 1972
(see Table 6.5). Table 6.6 indicates the occupations of the members of two Radical
"Asambleas" in the capital by the beginning of the 1960s (i.e. before the division of
the party and when it still included "merchants and industrialists"). 73.9 per cent
of the members were professionals or white collar employees; 5.8 per cent were
workers. Its declining significance was reflected by the meagre (2.4 per cent)
presence of students.

In terms of the Production - Symbolic control polarity, the Radical

Party was positioned more homogeneously in the Field of Symbolic Control than the
Socialist party.

3 Habitus and ideology: modes of relations and discourses

We shall attempt now to outline the principles of both the political discourse
(ideology) and the habitus of. each of the parties we have been characterizing. As
with our analysis of the Christian Democrats, as well as examining the principles of
the explicit discourses, that is, the formulations produced by specialists which, to
an important extent, were dependent upon the immediate constraints of particular
political conjunctures, we want to explore the tacit, generative principles of prac-
tice which each partisan culture expressed and which constitute the level of
dispositions typical of any of its members or supporters.

It is particularly important, especially with respect to the PopUlar Unity, to

characterize the parties in terms of both political positions and dispositions, it is
only through the latter that we can understand that, underlying the PU's all too
visible and ultimately fatal internal contradictions, there were not only immediate
political conditions but more wide-ranging social ones.
271 /

Table 6.6

Occupations of members of two representative "Asarnbleas"

of the Radical Party, Santiago (1960s)

Occupation Number Percentage

Professionals 630 27.5

Merchants and industrialists 131 5.7

White collar workers (employees) 1,062 46.4

Blue collar workers 132 5.8

Students 54 2.4

Pensioners and without occupation 280 12.2

Total 2,289 100.0


J.F. Petras, Politics and Social Forces in Chilean Development, University of

California Press, 1969, p.120, n.11

The Marxist 1='..irties


We need to link the preceding discussion of the social basis of the

Communist and the Socialist Parties with their characteristic modalities of action.
The generative opposition here is that the Communist Party's support was
predominantly from a strongly and homogeneously organized, production based
working class, whereas the Socialists had a far more heterogeneous social base. We
would argue that these contrasting principles of social positioning together with
the history of "identity construction" exerted by each organization among its
followers, were at the basis of opposed, generative, tacit principles of practice.
We see the political discourse of the two parties as constituted through the
following implicit, practical principles, independent of their surface variations.

(a) Realism/Idealism

Whereas the Communist Party tends always to underline the material

constraints within wh-ich the options of politics take place, the Socialist Party, on
the contrary, typically minimizes the weight of "objective conditions" in comparison
to the demands of ideology. The most unequivocal sign of this fundamental
difference lies in the Communist Party's concern with material production during
the Popular Unity's government and the Socialist Party's focus on the battle for
power. The Communists in general distinguish the material or "technical" demands
from political ones, whereas the Socialists will in general tend to subsume the
former in the latter. For one party material necessity is a key determinant of
action. For the other, social relations and ideology are absolute. Thus the
Socialist discourse emphasises will, whereas the Communist discourse stresses
"objective conditions", "concrete reality", "life itself", etc.39

(b) Things must be kept apart/things must be put together

The Communist Party perceives the political arena and its practice according
to an analytical principle of order: it distinguishes among its friends and among its
enemies, grading alliances and contradictions; it never defines action or its con-
texts in terms of absolute configurations. its temporal planning is constituted by
distinctions between the long, medium and short term. The Socialist Party, on the

contrary, defimm i)olitics in synthetic terms, in opposed compiementarity to its

divided social identity. ("Le par ti socialiste veut imposer par l'acteur une unite a
un ensemble heterogene. De l l'appel incantatoire a la rupture.")40 Thus, it sees the
political arena in terms of a simple class against class contradiction; its own
efforts as immersed in an "all or nothing" stake. Time is also somehow "unified", no
temporal planning is perceivable in the Socialist programmes but only the urgency
of the present and the imminence of the class confrontation, in, again, a single,
decisive battle.

(c) Order/Rebellion

The Communist Party's fundamental disposition is towards control; the

Socialists' is towards mobilization. The Communists' work is oriented to manage-
ment; the Socialists' to protest. More generally, the Communist Party itself
contains the principles of the new order and the new hierarchies whereas the
Socialist Party only possesses a principle of opposition and negation. Thence the
bureaucratic élan of the former and the subversive élan of the latter.

(d) Discipline/Expression

All the above mentioned fundamental principles, inseparably moral and

logical in character, also effect the personal attributes which each partisan culture
advocates. Thus, the Communists emphasize perseverance, prudence and realism,
whereas the Socialists value fervour, audacity and ideological purity.41


At the level of discourse a fundamental basis of unity is provided by the

parties' recognition of Marxism-Leninism as their only doctrinal source. At its most
general, both parties conceive reality through materialist principles. That is, they
see history as dominated by class struggle and advancing towards communism; con-
ceive capitalism as an intrinsically exploitative and alienating system to be supr-
seded by the socialization of the means of production; and view themselves as
belonging to a universal tradition which reaches back to the first proletarian
struggles in 19th century Europe. More contingently, Communists and Socialists
agree on the principle of their identity, they are the political organizations of the
"working class and the people", and on who their secular enemies are - "the
bourgeoisie and imperialism". Howevr, a gene;.- al reference to the '.-larxist trac. , 1:on
is, of course, not a guarantee against. political differences, particularly when the
re-contextualizing of the doctrine is made by actors from socially very different
positions holding different principles in relation to practice.

The Communists, since their X Congress in 1956, developed the thesis of the
"Pacific Ray" to socialism based on a wide alliance of working and middle class
groups which would be able to use the institutions of the state in their anti-
imperialist and anti-oligarchic objectives, and which would struggle in "the
perspective of socialism". Socialism was thus conceived as a later stage objective.
In December 1968 the Communist Party issued a "Manifesto to the People" in which
it defined the need for a "Popular unity for a popular Government", and stressed
the broad character of the alliance which was required, as well as its specific
historical tasks:

"Chile needs an anti-imperialist and anti-oligarchic popular government,

which has the support of the national majority, constituted by all the
parties and currents which coincide in a programme of revolutionary
transformations. In it there ought to be the workers, the peasants, the
employees, women, the young, small and medium entrepreneurs, repres-
ented not only by their parties, but also by representatives of their
mass organizations in the institutions and different levels of the state.

We pronounce ourselves, then, for a popular pluriparty government,

broad, strong, revolutionary, effective, able to guarantee democratic
stability and accelerate the social, economic and political progress of
the country, together with full liberties to the people....

Given the conditions of our country, the more broad the Government,
the more strong, revolutionary and effective it will be."42

For their part, the Socialists first formulated the "Workers Front Thesis" in
the late 1950s; this was developed and sharpened during the 1960s. This thesis, as
we have seen, rejected the need for an alliance of the working class with other
social groups; stressed the class character of the Chilean State and therefore the
intrinsic difficulties involved in using it to achieve a Socialist process; and defined
the immediately socialist character of the revolution. In its last Congress before
acceding to Government (XXIII Congress, Chillan, 1967), it declared:

"The Socialist party, as a marxist-leninist organization, declares the

seizure of power as strategic objective to be accomplished by this
generation in order to set up a Revolutionary State which will liberate

Chile from dependency and economic and cultural backwardness and

start the construction of Socialism.

Revolutionary violence is inevitable and legitimate. It necessarily

results from the repressive and armed character of the class State....
The pacific or legal forms of struggle (reivindicativas*, ideological,
electoral, etc.) do not lead themselves to power. The Socialist Party
considers them as limited instruments of action, incorporated in the
political process which leads us to the armed struggle."43

On the problem of the alliance the same Congress declared the "class
independence of the workers front" and explicitly rejected the possibility of incor-
porating the Radical Party into an alliance of the Left.44

The Communist strategy emphasized the electoral way to power, the

conquest of a national majority, the importance of institutional structures and of
defining different stages in the revolutionary process, so that at each stage, a
specific enemy was isolated and defeated. The Socialists, on the other hand, saw
elections and participation in the machinery of government as subordinated to the
armed struggle strategy and the inevitability of a final violent confrontation
between the classes. Moreover, the Socialist Party understood the process as
"uninterruptedly Socialist", thus there were no different stages in the revolution
nor was there possible differentiation of enemies and allies beyond the Socialist-
Communist alliance.

Once in Government, the differences between the two parties' conception of

the process crucially affected the former's capacity to implement its programme of
transformations and paralyzed it in its. final months. Early on, the Communist Party
defined the task of the popular camp as one of wining the "Battle of Production",
whereas the Socialist paprty's definition was one of winning the "Battle of Power".
When the Communist Party saw the need to "consolidate in order to advance", the
Socialist Party viewed the need to "advance in order to consolidate". While the
Communist Party's efforts were consistently addressed to isolate the Christian
Democrats from the opposition seeking dialogue and compromise, the Socialist
Party's efforts systematically defined Christian Democrats as an enemy,
identified with the Right, against ch h he only course of action ‘,\:. 7-v-;

* See footnote, p,73

confrontaLion- . The Cornrnw-iist Party considered the institutions of the Executt ■
le as
key instruments of the revolution which had to "work and deliver"; the Socialist
Party, as defined by its Congresses, viewed them as "intrinsically bourgeois" in
character and emphasized the greater importance of mass mobilization rather than
the gaining of institutional or technical control. Similar oppositions can be found
for every area one chooses to observe. The systematic. character of these •
oppositions unequivocally indicates different principles of practice.45

The Radical Party


As mentioned before, the Radical Party was as predominantly middle class as

the Communist Party was working class. In this sense, at the basis of its tacit
principles of power and control there was a homogeneous class and field basis. Of
all the parties we have attempted to characterize the Radical Party was the less
determined by the tension of change. Representing established employee and
professional groups, pi- obably older than those represented by the Christian
Democrats, 46 and without ambitions other than to conserve their position, the
party was pragmatically oriented to the present rather than to grand transforma-
tions and the future. Its modality was still that of "la vie douce et modere des
groups de pressions, des grands mots et des petites combines",47 which had been
characteristic of the Chilean political arena prior to the modernizing and ideo-
logizing onslaught of the Christian Democrats. As the party of public servants and
as a party in decline, its relation to practice was administrative. Accordingly,
characteristically Radical emphases point to the autonomy of the "technical" with
respect to politics, the value of the institutions, the overall importance of legal-
bureaucratic procedures, and change conceived of as a gradual process. If, as we
believe, perseverance conveys the main characteristic of the Communist relation to
practice, with its connotations of discipline and a grand goal, and audacity, -1.11P
Socialist, moderation seems to us to portray the Radical principle of relation to

It is a necessary platitude tc say that the Radical Party's explicit ideology

was social-democratic.
48 Like its equivalent European parties, and like the
Christian Democrats in Chile, its discourse corresponds to a particular articulation
of a "third way" between oppositions like individualism/collectivism,
liberty/equality, democracy/socialism, and others. In general, the ide