19 de Enero de 2018
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Colección: Trends for a common future
Autor: Noel F. McGinn
Título: Toward International Cooperation in Education for the Integration of the Americas

Uniformization as a Consequence of Aid

The long-term effect of cooperation as aid has been a reduction of differences, in structures and policies, beliefs and customs, between participating countries.12 This process of uniformization in education has a long history, linked directly with colonialism in the 18th and 19th centuries  (von Laue, 1987), more recently with the emergence of supranational organizations (McGinn, 1994). Over time, all the education systems of the world have come to look much like one another, in terms of curriculum content, pedagogical process, and management and governance. (Ramirez, 1997; Ramirez & Boli, 1987).

Perhaps many observers celebrate this trend toward uniformization of education in the Americas. Their basic premise is that we all understand “development” in the same way, and that there is a single, best path for achieving the end state we seek in common. Almost all those who support this perspective also argue as if the single, best approach has been identified or can be identified by the analytical methods now available to the development assistance agencies. Differences between countries are in terms of degrees of development, and can be understood as different positions on a single development continuum. From this perspective uniformization is an expression of development: as the “less developed” countries become more like the developed countries they are more developed. Differences in starting positions can be overcome by correct application of resources and human capital.13

Critics of uniformization express two major concerns:
  • Some complain that the processes that result in uniformization constitute a violation of the sovereignty of national states. They point to the charters of the United Nations and the Organization of American States, which seem to forbid the concept of conditionality.14
  • A second complaint is that reduction of variety in educational contents, structures, policies and processes reduces the capacity of the Americas, as a region, to respond to the challenges and opportunities being generated by the phenomena of globalization. We cannot anticipate what kind of education will be required in the future; making all our systems the same now reduces the chances of discovering those new forms of education that will be most effective in the future. We will return to this argument at the end of this paper.

[INDEX] [Presentation] [Introduction] [The Evolution of International Cooperation in Education in the Americas] [Cooperation After Nationalism] [International Cooperation as Supranationalism] [Cooperation for International Development] [Resistance to Aid] [Cooperation as Collaboration within Latin America] [Cooperation as Structural Adjustment] [The Current Situation of Education in the Americas] [Current Status of Education] [Summary] [Current Forms of International Cooperation] [Aid as a Form of International Cooperation] [Varieties of Aid] [Uniformization as a Consequence of Aid] [Aid or Assistance from Bilateral and Multilateral Organizations] [Cooperation by Transnational Corporations] [Aid and Assistance from NGOs] [Aid by Philanthropic Foundations] [Aid Mediated through Educational Institutions] [International Cooperation in the Form of Collaboration] [Examples of Collaboration in Higher Education] [Obstacles to International Collaboration in Higher Education] [Examples of Collaboration Between Non-governmental Organizations] [Other Instances of Collaboration] [Summary] [Globalization and International Cooperation] [The New Industrial Paradigm] [Implications of the New Industrial Paradigm for Education] [The New Development Model] [An Outline of a New Paradigm for Education] [Alternative Approaches to International Cooperation in Education] [An Example of Regional Collaboration to Develop a New Paradigm] [Notes] [References]