AbstractsEducation Research & Administration


“Never again”. The demand for no repetition was the main theoretical framework of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in the aftermaths of the Second World War. But how can the next generations learn of what happened, when they have not experienced the atrocities, and when those who have, either choose not to talk about it or there are severe disagreements of how to explain it? Chile´s recent history, with the dictatorship only twenty three years behind, is an example of a society that is deeply divided in their memories of the past. This case study of Chile looks at how memory of past human rights violations becomes part of the institution of education. Institutional reform is one of several transitional justice mechanisms, and education as an institution is dependent on the countries legislation through their laws of education. Dictator Pinochet changed the constitution in 1980, with many impunity laws that still protect those in charge during the dictatorship. The culture of impunity has also influenced the culture of memory. The focus in this thesis is the teaching of history, and how teachers are the medium of what the government wants pupils to learn. Teacher education is now regulated under higher education. Higher education institutions in Chile are autonomous and one of the most privatized in the world. Today there is no overall framework or curricula for teacher education, only for primary and secondary education. These curricula focus on content, that is, what the pupils need to learn. Research shows that teaching methods are of equal importance. Therefore the question is which tools do teachers need to enable learning of contested issues? The theoretical framework used is emblematic memory, seeing memory as a continuous conscious selective process, and critical pedagogy where equality end empowerment is the aim. The Chilean education system reflects the Chilean society, and teachers in Chile today thinks that the past is a difficult issue, and they also find their pupils level of knowledge low on the area of past human rights violations. I conclude that an overall framework for teacher education will have the possibility to give pedagogical methods its needed emphasis and weight.