ERG SES H 03, Curriculum and Education
Abstract. As the United States shifts its k-12 public educational practice from regional to national curriculum standards, questions arise over whether this approach places our diverse student body into a “one size-fits all” box. Subsequently, it is important to identify the role equity and social justice play in this implementation. One way to answer some of these questions is through an analysis of similar processes in other countries. In 2001, as Peru’s political climate stabilized the public and private educational system struggled to address the diverse needs of students. In 2003, under Peru’s national education policy then President Alejandro Toledo initiated the Rural Education Project toward equity and social justice education. In the next decade, Peru instituted national curriculum standards and decentralization projects addressing regional needs. This paper is a review of the literature on Peru’s educational changes to inform the research on national curriculum implementation.
Background. As early as the 1980’s in Peru, a large push came from the World Bank for equal education in urban and rural areas. However, after a two year implementation in the 1980’s the process was suspended and deemed unsatisfactory due to the country’s political and social unrest. According to the World Bank case study, in 1993, under President Alberto Fujimori “…with Bank support, [he] developed an extensive diagnostic of Peruvian education and called for actions to improve educational quality, efficiency, and equity” (vi). Though this period saw the building and improvement of school infrastructures, teaching materials, and training, and bilingual-intercultural education, with the funds under Fujimori’s control “school infrastructure became the project’s largest component, accounting for nearly half of project funds” (vii).
As a result, in 2001 as the political climate changed the World Bank signed a series of programmatic structural adjustment loans that were designed to address social sectors of education (vii). With that, national assessment results were publicized and monitoring and supervision systems were put into place. Then, 2003 the Bank signed an additional loan agreement with Alejandro Toledo for the implementation of the Rural Educational Project. These two pivotal acts laid the groundwork for the Ministry of Education’s implementation of a national curriculum Diseňo Curricular Nationalde Educación Básica Regular (2005) and a decentralization of school governance under the Organization of the Bases of Decentralization Act (2002). With these two starting points, the educational advancements in Peru have mirrored some of the fits and starts that the United States now faces with implementation of national curriculum.
Research questions. (1) In what ways do national curriculum standards in Peru address social justice and equality in education? (2) In what ways does decentralization impact social justice and equality in education?
Theoretical Framework. The theoretical framework for this study consists of an analysis of the most recent literature published based on the key words (national curriculum, decentralization of education, social justice, equality, common core standards, diseno curricular nacional, and rural education). Moreover the framework is reliant upon publications from the Ministry of Education in Peru, Instituto de Estudios Peruanos, World Bank, UNICEF and UNESCO (journal articles, books, conference papers and pamphlets).
Methodology: Based on the above theoretical analysis a narrative inquiry will be conducted of four Peruvian Public School Administrators two in Lima and two in Rural Northern Peru. Interviews will be conducted about their knowledge of the Diseňo (2005) and Decentralization Act (2002) how they have implemented this change in the overall school's climate and curriculum lesson planning and what results they have seen in student comprehension and overall achievement.
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