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La Educación
Número: (122) III
Año: 1995


The systematic reproduction and promotion of select symbols of prestige, ethnic images, and values through education and content of the schools’ textbooks construct and permit the official version of the national reality. In a centralized national educational system like Guatemala’s, an analysis of the presentation of ethnic images in the curriculum can reveal crucial information about the power struggles among the ethnic groups of the nation. This article presents the results of an analysis of the textual and graphic contents of social studies books used in public elementary schools in Guatemala. The research, based on a focus of ethnic images, presents the preferred national knowledge of the national identity and the history of social relations. The official curriculum is characterized by its romanticism and omission of information about the Mayans.