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Mass schooling for socialist transformation in Cuba and Venezuela

Griffiths, Tom and Williams, Joanne (2009) Mass schooling for socialist transformation in Cuba and Venezuela. Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, 7 (2). pp. 30-50. ISSN 1740-2743

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Abstract

In contemporary contexts of Education for All and emphases on national educational performance, mass education globally continues to be strongly informed by human capital thinking, and by notions of developing future world citizens and workers for the international economy. In this paper, our central focus is on the ongoing educational project of Cuba, and more recent educational reforms in Venezuela as part of its Bolivarian Revolution, to explicitly direct mass schooling to a socialist transformation of society. Drawing on formal policy documents, international reports, and secondary research, we consider the two countries achievements on universal access and equity in schooling, as orthodox measures of a system's performance, and their policies and strategies for preparing 'new socialist citizens' who will directly contribute to and/or consolidate the social and economic transformation of society. Our major focus here is on whether and how mass schooling can prepare citizens to contribute to the construction of authentic alternatives to capitalism. We acknowledge some major tensions and contradictions in such a project, but argue that with the benefit of learning from the experience of previous socialist experiments, there are heightened opportunities for Cuba and Venezuela to make significant gains in this area, and hence to advance theorising about such a model of mass education for contemporary times.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: ResPubID18946. mass schooling, national education, Bolivarian Revolution, social transformation, socialism, socialist, social change, universal access, equity, Cuba, Cuban, Venezuela, Venezuelan
Subjects: Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Education
FOR Classification > 1605 Policy and Administration
FOR Classification > 1608 Sociology
SEO Classification > 9399 Other Education and Training
Depositing User: VUIR
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2011 02:16
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2011 02:16
URI: http://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/4313
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