This book was written for the project “Development and Education in Latin America and the Caribbean, sponsored by UNESCO. In it, the author attempts to examine the concept of education in relation to the concept of “model” or style of development during seven periods of the historical process in Latin America, from the pre-Hispanic era until the early years of the twentieth century. This framework is overly ambitious for the space and time it covers, and for the huge diversity of problems with which it deals. Weinberg had to resort to an abundant, mainly historical, bibliography. These sources influenced and restricted the treatment given to various aspects of the educational process in Latin America. Although Weinberg has used recently published studies on the history of education, the lack of some fundamental research, particularly on Mexico, is very noticeable. The author begins the book with a discussion of the various models of development. He assumes the implications of a development model for the structure of power. Weinberg believes that the “model” gives meaning to the educational process. That is why he is trying to understand its meaning and goals. The results of these efforts are obvious. We have here a history of education in Latin America that clearly sees the political and socioeconomic conditions that affect it.
One of the positive features of this book is that the reader can find many common characteristics in the regional historical processes of Latin America; at the same time, however, there is a lack of consistent reflection about the role played by educational institutions in integrating the regions of the countries. The study is well structured, but there is an excess of adjectives that makes the prose somewhat tiresome.
Notwithstanding the book’s shortcomings, I highly recommend it, not only for historians but for officials in charge of educational planning.