The System of Educational Evaluation in Chile and the International Circulation of Scientific Knowledge, Justifications, and Instruments

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 15:30
Oral Presentation
Claudio RAMOS ZINCKE, Department of Sociology, Universidad Alberto Hurtado, Chile
Alejandra FALABELLA, Department of Education, Universidad Alberto Hurtado, Chile
From the early twentieth century, a device for the evaluation of the educational system, based on knowledge of the social sciences, began to be configured in Chile. Increasingly, it contributed to adapt the action of the educational actors to dynamics of meritocratic selectivity and competition, and, since the 1980s, to shape an increasingly consolidated market coordination of education. The result is that, comparatively, Chile is one of the first countries in Latin America to install a comprehensive system of national evaluation of the education system.

In the elaboration and implementation of the evaluative device, the processes of international circulation of scientific social knowledge played a key role. Here, I analyze three moments: (1) The training of Chilean academics in the Teachers College, Columbia University, which occurs since the beginning of the twentieth century. I focus on Erika Grassau, who later, during the 1960s, was fundamental in creating the PAA (equivalent to SAT). (2) Already between 1968-1971, Chile joined the international evaluations of school education pioneered by the IEA. In this process, Erika Grassau constituted the main link with that organization. Later, the sociologist Cristián Cox, situated in the State, established new connections to institutionalize the international tests (PISA, TIMSS, and others) in the country. (3) After the neoliberal transformations in education implemented under Pinochet's dictatorship, democratic governments tried to regulate them through state intervention, in which accreditation processes occupied a central place. One of the carriers of ideas and justifications was the sociologist José Joaquín Brunner, with multiple international connections, who displayed an outstanding participation both in the State and in the public and academic spheres.

The analysis seeks to identify the international and institutional networks associated with the process of circulation of knowledge, materials, tools, and justifications as well as to analyze the processes of translation and national anchoring.