Teachers Defy the State: 1950–1980

  • Fiona Wilson
Part of the Studies of the Americas book series (STAM)


The awkward social position and radical politics of schoolteachers has been a recurring theme in this book. Deployed to rural caseríos and outer districts, teachers were representatives of state authority and as such helped constitute the margins of the state. Housed in the school were the symbols of Patria. The teacher was an emissary sent from an outside world who could open the way to citizenship through literacy and social mobility. As state employees, they were responsible for relaying the state’s philosophy of education, together with its curricula, norms, and values. Yet teachers were also political intellectuals, frequently involved in political parties opposing elite rule. Their militancy was deepening in the late twentieth century. As radicals, they were suspected by government of subversion and of transmitting antigovernment messages. This helps explain why they became the subject of hard-line repression by the state.


Teaching Profession Rural School Political Violence Radical Politics Agrarian Reform 
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  1. 1.
    José Antonio Encinas, Nueva Escuela Peruana, Lima, Año I, No. 1, 1936.Google Scholar

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© Fiona Wilson 2013

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  • Fiona Wilson

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