The Nation-State and the Origins of Secondary Education in Argentina: The Case of the Colegio Nacional (National School)

Felicitas Acosta


This article focuses on the origins of secondary education in Argentina. In
particular, it explores the possible relations between the modelling of educational
institutions intended for the formation of political elites and the fabrication of the
nation-state. In Argentina, the creation of free, compulsory elementary education
was preceded by the development of secondary education through the setting up of
the colegio nacional. These schools were formed during the political unification of
the national territory after domestic post-independence wars. Note the name given
to these institutions: national schools. How did the nation and the state appear in
the organization of national schools? The article explores this question analyzing
school curricula and rectors’ reports during the configuration of the colegio nacional
between 1863 and 1890.
Key words: curricula; configuration; national; territory; secondary schools.

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