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ERIC Number: EJ1082644
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Reference Count: 21
Honors in Chile: New Engagements in the Higher Education System
Skewes, Juan Carlos; Sampaio, Carlos Alberto Cioce; Conway, Frederick J.
Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council, v13 n2 p55-71 Fall-Win 2012
Honors programs are rare in Latin America, and in Chile they were unknown before 2003. At the Universidad Austral de Chile, an interdisciplinary group of scholars linked to environmental studies put forward a pilot project for implementing a new experience in higher education. Challenged by an educational environment where (i) apathy and mediocrity have taken over the classrooms, (ii) monodisciplinary training rules the university campus, and (iii) authoritarian teaching persists, this has been an experiment in new ways of approaching the classroom. Stimulated by experiences in the USA, a project proposal was written, finding support in the Chilean Secretary of Education. Three years of experience have proven that a Chilean honors program can serve as a model for programs elsewhere in Latin America. In the following pages we aim to provide a summary of what this experience has meant, using the most recent class as an example. Some background about the university and the Chilean system needs to be supplied, while most of the paper deals with the particular features of this program and its immediate future. The honors experience at the Universidad Austral de Chile (UACh) is of interest not only because of its Latin American context but also because it is focused on a particular theme, Environmental Studies and Sustainable Human Development. After three years, the program has just completed its pilot phase, and so the time is appropriate to describe its accomplishments and challenges. The Universidad Austral de Chile, located in the southern city of Valdivia, was founded in 1954. It is a state-sponsored regional university. This article briefly discusses the history of the university, provides an overview of the honors program, and discusses some of the challenges that the university faces.
Descriptors: Honors Curriculum, Higher Education, Foreign Countries, Environmental Education, Interdisciplinary Approach, Teaching Methods, Program Descriptions, Universities, Futures (of Society), Sustainable Development, Pilot Projects
National Collegiate Honors Council. 1100 Neihardt Residence Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 540 North 16th Street, Lincoln, NE 68588. Tel: 402-472-9150; Fax: 402-472-9152; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://nchchonors.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Chile