Citizenship Education in Chile. Curricular Orientations and Teachers Beliefs in a Context of Political Crisis and Social Mobilization


Over the last decade in the context of collapsing trust in major public and private institutions, Chilean society has engaged in massive social mobilizations culminating in 2019 with widespread rioting in rebellion against the neoliberal model. This socio-political crisis raises the general question which this article addresses: How does such a fluid political, highly mobilized, and polarized social context influence school citizenship education? Focusing on features of curriculum and teacher-held beliefs regarding democratic principles and forms of political participation, a mixed-methods approach produces evidence which makes visible a consistent pattern of influence. First, we find evidence of an orientation in the curriculum towards critical active citizenship with a parallel silencing of key democratic processes and skills, like voting and deliberation. Second, we reveal a complex and ambivalent set of beliefs among teachers which combine both community and contentious - even illegal - forms of political participation, on the one hand, and formal political participation through voting as key, on the other.

The Curriculum Journal, 33(2) 314–330.