Forging Education Opportunities From Below: Community Based Schooling and Education Reform in Argentina

Principal Investigator: Kai Heidemann | University College Maastricht | Drexel University

Principal Investigator(s):

Rebecca Clothey | School of Education | Drexel University


In this two-year project, Drs. Kai Heidemann (Maastricht University, Netherlands) and Rebecca Clothey (Drexel University, Philadelphia USA) are exploring the emergence, expansion and outcomes of community-based or 'co-operative' schooling initiatives in Argentina. These are fully-fledged formalized schools (primary + secondary) which are both built and managed by the efforts of grassroots civil society actors. While there is no single model for this kind of school in Argentina, they are often referred to as escuelas de gestion sociale ('socially managed schools') because the primary locus of decision-making lies with parents and/or teachers. These schools have existed in various forms within Argentina for decades, but they experienced notable growth in recent years following large-scale economic crisis and education reforms which occurred in the early 2000s. Merging the sociology of education and education policy analysis with the field of social movement studies, Drs. Heidemann and Clothey are working to understand 1) how and why a blend of socio-cultural and politico-economic factors have fueled the rise of cooperative schooling and 2) if cooperative schooling has had any broader level impacts on the Argentine educational system. The first phase of on-site fieldwork was recently completed in August 2014.,

Grant Type:

Small Grant

Grant Amount:




Research Area:

Education and Social Opportunity

Topic / Subject:

Comparative Education, School Reform, Social Class/Income Level, Stratification, Policy

Methods / Approach:

Other - Qualitative, Grounded Theory, Discourse analysis, Ethnographic research, Case Studies, Interviews

Disciplinary Perspective:

Sociology, Education