Chile: Comparative Education and Social Change

Study educational policies and pedagogies in Chile and Argentina, exploring the relationship between education and society

offered by SIT Study Abroad

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Please visit our website for more information. Discover the political, social, and economic factors shaping educational systems and social change in Chile and Argentina. This program introduces students to the complex relationship between society and education and the multifaceted forces that affect educational policies and ideologies in two South American countries. SIT faculty, researchers from Universidad Alberto Hurtado, members of governmental and human rights organizations, and local experts lead students in lectures and seminars while also guiding them in field studies. Program components The program consists of three main phases: Five-week homestay in Santiago during which students have lectures and intensive language instruction Three-week period studying educational systems in Temuco, Chile, and Buenos Aires, Argentina Four-week period when students complete an Independent Study Project Each phase of the semester exposes students to different perspectives on education and social change through interactions with a broad range of stakeholders – from students and teachers to policymakers and social activists. Santiago (program base) During the first five weeks of the program, students live with host families in Santiago. During this period, students attend lectures, seminars, and field studies by SIT professors and researchers from Universidad Alberto Hurtado, Universidad Arcis, Centro de Estudios Nacionales de Desarrollo Alternativo, and Instituto de Desarrollo Económico. Topics of study include: education and equity, human rights and indigenous education, popular education and labor unions, social change and social movements, and the impact of globalization on education and schooling. Intensive instruction in Spanish While in Santiago, students are immersed in Spanish language study through intensive language classes and interactions with host families. Students acclimate to Chilean culture and are introduced to the current social and political issues surrounding education and social change in Chile. Research and comparative study During the second phase of the program, students participate in educational excursions throughout Chile and also travel to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Students live with indigenous families in Temuco to learn about bilingual intercultural education and the conflicting relationships between the Chilean state and the Mapuche community. Students analyze this experience in light of their excursion to Buenos Aires where they examine Argentina’s educational policies firsthand. During each excursion, students visit classrooms, meet with teachers and students, and learn from community and civil society leaders. Independent study Students dedicate the final part of the semester to an Independent Study Project (ISP). Students have the opportunity to critically analyze a topic or situation related to the educational and social dynamics in Chilean, Mapuche, or Argentine communities. Students may choose to incorporate a guided practicum experience into the project as well. Students receive guidance from the academic director during the ISP period. Sample topic areas for the ISP include: Identity issues and intercultural education in rural Mapuche schools Education and cultural identity through children’s arts expressions Structural aspects of education English language practicum in a primary urban or rural school  The Penguin revolution and its effects School reentry in Buenos Aires Ethnicity in childcare in marginalized areas of Santiago and Buenos Aires  Gender roles in schools National identity in students Human rights Popular education and social change


  • Education
  • Spanish
  • Culture
  • Latin American Studies
  • Development Studies


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