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Examining Mexico and US Values Education in a Global Context

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Discussion about values education has begun to dominate the educational policy agenda in a number of countries over the last ten years. Of particular relevance are questions on what to teach, how and why. This discussion seems to be more prominent among those countries undergoing vigorous political, economic and social change. In the last few years, under the ever-increasing influence of the US and the so-called global economy, Mexico has intensified its active search for democracy and invigorated its march toward modernization. Both of these intentions have proven to have important influences on the values the Mexican state and educational policy makers see as necessary to be transmitted via education. Simultaneously, internal as well as external forces are continuously challenging Mexican identity, which has evolved relatively consonant with the aims of a centralized and hierarchical state and in line with the principles of the 1910 Revolution. The implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994, which promised to remove most barriers to trade and investment among the United States, Canada, and Mexico, has had the effect of intensifying, this time more openly, US influence in all areas of Mexico's economic and social life, including education. At the same time, the number of individuals of Mexican origin living in the US continues to constitute an important portion of the school-going population, and these numbers are only likely to increase in the coming years. It is essential for future policy, at this moment in Mexican and US history, to take a closer look at the system of values education that characterize both countries, analyze how these similarities and differences may be reflected on emerging trends in values education, and how these may affect the fabric of these societies.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Associate Professor, Department of Teacher Education, Michigan State University, USA

Publication date: August 1, 2003

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