In the Name of Health and Comprehensive Education: Historicising 21st Century School Health Policies in Chile

Year: 2021

Author: Hidalgo Kawada, Felipe

Type of paper: Workshop

It is well known that Chile became recognised globally for initiating neoliberal policies and market driven economy in the dictatorial period under Augusto Pinochet (1973–1900) (Connell & Dados, 2014). In the educational arena, although the 90s is characterised by the turn towards democracy, the market logic of the 1980s in Chile did not disappear (Bellei, Orellana & Canales, 2020; Falabella, 2020). Indeed, after massive protests against market-oriented education, the introduction of more sophisticated control systems and accountability processes is observed, consolidating a ‘performative school market model’ (Falabella, 2020). In this context, the Quality of Education National Measuring System (SIMCE, in Spanish), which evaluates the abilities of students in ‘Mathematics’ and ‘Language’, was expanded to include new criteria based on providing a comprehensive education. Thus, in 2014, ‘Social and Personal Development Indicators [IDPS]’ (Decree 381, 2013), a set of compulsory assessment tools comprising eight dimensions –where some of them are directly related to health– started to be tested in all schools officially recognised by the Ministry of Education. Although school has long been a site for implementing health initiatives in Chile, these modalities represent new phase, where the application of a health policy is configuring particular relationships between health and accountability systems in Chilean education that are relevant to examine. Hence, the purpose of this article is: a) To provide a brief overview of how health has become mobilised in national metrics that increasingly make schools accountable for academic and other social and developmental outcomes and locate the Personal and Social Indicators of Educative Quality within these neoliberal governmental modalities; b) To analyse how health is produced and normalised in and through the various policies and practices linked to this Law, and c) To analyse how ideas about healthy citizenship, healthy schools and healthy student are produced and normalised and consider how the social inequalities underpinning national health outcomes and school markets would seem to be invisibilised.  The analysis of this policy, which was made taking some elements from the decolonial discourse analysis (Resende, 2018), made visible the reduction of health to algorithms and observable indicators to sort, compare and valuate children's bodies, as well as the performance of educational institutions to achieve these health goals. Finally, these findings are discussed in the context of the political, sanitary and educational crisis that Chile is facing since 2019 hitherto. ReferencesAgencia de la Calidad de la Educación (2014). Otros indicadores de calidad educativa. Santiago: Mineduc. Bellei, C., Orellana, V., & Canales, M. (2020). Elección de escuela en la clase alta chilena. Comunidad, identidad y cierre social. Archivos Analíticos de Políticas Educativas, 28(5). Connell, R. & Dados, N. (2014). Where is the world does neoliberalism come from? The market agenda in southern perspective. Theor Soc, 43, 117–138.Falabella, A. (2020). The Seduction of Hyper-Surveillance: Standards, Testing, and Accountability. Educational Administration Quarterly, 1–30. Resende, V. (2018). Decolonising critical discourse studies: for a Latin American perspective. Critical discourse studies. DOI: 10.1080/17405904.2018.1490654Salazar, G. (2012). Dolencias históricas de la memoria ciudadana. Santiago: Universitaria.