Eventos Académicos, 39 ISCHE. Educación y emancipación

Tamaño de fuente: 
The impact of UNESCO's "L’éducation dans le monde" on education systems under colonialism regimes in the 60’s: the case of Portugal
Luís Grosso Correia

Última modificación: 2017-07-16


The publication of extensive studies by UNESCO on the organization of different national education systems (1955), on primary (1960) and secondary education (1963), and their structural configuration in the colonial spaces of some of these countries, represents a qualitative change for the understanding and analysis of the phenomenon of education worldwide. On the one hand, they have enabled researchers to understand the structure of the educational system of the colonizing countries (see Correia and Madeira, 2017) and, on the other hand, to map the suitability of such systems transferred to the contexts of the colonial spaces (see Nóvoa, 1995).

Studies on the educational policies of Western countries in their colonies registered a significant change in the post-World War II period. Even though the publications that analyzed colonial education from an international perspective are scarce (cf. Educational Yearbook, 1931; Loram, 1931) in the so-called golden period of colonialism (1910-1940), or the issue was mostly addressed in nationally-centered studies published, for instance, in the context of colonial exhibitions (Marseilles, 1922, Antwerp, 1931, or Paris, 1931), the aforementioned UNESCO publications are contemporaneous with the beginning of the political emancipation of former colonies and the emergence of new national states.

These new states started to take their place at international education conferences organized by the International Bureau of Education (IBE), among others, and to shape the international agenda of education, by raising new issues and debates, including the struggle against the colonizing countries in the 1960s, as was the case of Portugal.

This paper intends to analyze the methodological framework (see Bereday, 1964) and the meaning that these UNESCO publications had in the international arena, marked by the beginning of the decolonization process. It further aims to assess their impact on the promotion of both the first studies on comparative colonial education policies in Portugal (see Azevedo, 1958 and 1963), as well on the deep social and ethnic gap concerning the access to education under the perspective of leaders of independence movements (see Cabral, 1960). These factors and the outbreak of colonial wars in African soil (Angola, Mozambique and Portuguese Guinea) drive to a gradual weakening of Portugal’s position, as a colonizing country, in international educational organizations throughout the 1960s (see IBE, 1963 and 1964).