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Connecticut College

Publication Date

Fall 12-1-2014

Program Name

Chile: Cultural Identity, Social Justice, and Community Development


With the arrival of the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet in Chile (lasting from 1973-1990) came the implementation of a neoliberal economic model based on tenants such as privatization, deregulation, growth of a free market economy, and a passive government to uphold the private sector. This economic model manifested itself through structural reforms that distinctly changed the function of all institutions, including the educational system. Due to a series of changes in laws and ideology, a new educational sector (referred to as “particular subvencionado”) arose, and has only strengthened and augmented since the end of the dictatorship. In this sector, individuals, societies, foundations, or corporations privately administer schools yet still receive government subsidies for each student who attends. This investigation seeks to examine this system of education, primarily understanding the origins and development that led to the current existence of these schools. This research then serves to analyze the various ways in which the Chilean government has supported and encouraged the rise of these schools, and to discover the distinct realities that exist for the actors involved in this system. Ultimately, because of the drastic contrast between experiences of teachers, principals, and owners of these schools, this investigation seeks to answer who serves to benefit from this system and what is the relationship between education and profit. Through the use of a series of interviews with professors, principals, and owners of this type of school, the analysis of numerous books, articles, and legal documents, and the study of various conceptual frameworks, this investigation concludes that through the prioritization of neoliberal policies, the Chilean government has intentionally created the market-based educational system that exists today to serve the owners of these schools, placing ownership and profit above education. In Chile, education has transformed into a market-based good rather than a right. In order to restore education as a fundamental basic right, it is necessary to remove all potential of profit from schools and return education to the hands of the government, as a purely public good.


Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Civic and Community Engagement | Community-Based Learning | Community-Based Research | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods | International and Area Studies | Latin American Studies | Sociology of Culture


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