Sylvia Schmelkes – Mexico

.Linked with IJED-RIED, with Education Resources Information Center ERIC, and with IJED-RIED: Call for papers.

She is of the Ministry of Public Education (Mexico), and also Chair of Centre for Educational Research and Innovation Governing Board, OECD Directorate for Education.

… Throughout the 20th century, Indian people of the Western Hemisphere have fought to gain control of their own education and to fulfill the aspiration to base their curricula for Native students upon their own languages and cultural values. However, many such schools have come and gone. Certainly there are those in Mexico who would call Schmelkes unduly optimistic; nevertheless, the quality of those who sustain this most heartfelt of Native aspirations is to create new opportunities, regardless of temporary setbacks. Northward to the U.S., a vanguard Indian school seems to have folded in California during a time of mourning for one of its luminary founders and major individual spirits. That school is D-Q University, a venerable and trend-setting college named after two American Indian mytho-historical characters, the Aztec hero, Quetzalcoatl and the Iroquois Peacemaker, whose name is generally spoken only in ceremony. The Western Association of Schools and Colleges, after warnings last year, withdrew accreditation for DQU in January. The loss of accreditation came as the second semester was slated to begin and left many students in a lurch. A new 13-member board of American Indian professionals, including five of the original board members, joined to tackle the issues last year, but these proved insurmountable. Among the numerous problems confronting the college is maintaining the necessary 51 percent American Indian enrollment to satisfy BIA funding requirements – a particular challenge in California, where many tribes don’t have federal recognition. Accusations of fiscal mismanagement, a lack of qualified administrators and diminishment of educational standards have surfaced, and apparently even the university’s land is in jeopardy as a result of loans. Largely the moves of desperation as budgets dwindled, the fiscal mismanagement issues loom large and this long-struggling and pioneering Indian educational institution appears to be in terminal trouble … (full text).


Sylvia Schmelkes – Mexico
… sorry, no personal biography found.

Listen her short spanish statement: SYLVIA SCHMELKES, LORE, LAU, 30 secondes.

Read: The need and use of evidence by policy makers, 7 pdf-pages.

Innovative Learning Environments, Francisco Benavides, OECD-CERI, 13 pdf pages.

She writes: La primera mesa de debate llamada “Escenario Nacional y Regional de la Universidad y la Interculturalidad”, consistió en la conferencia de la destacada académica mexicana Sylvia Schmelkes, actualmente parte de la Universidad Iberoamericana de México. La expositora es socióloga y tiene una Maestría en Investigación y Desarrollo de la Educación en la Universidad Iberoamericana de México. Destaca su trabajo en el Centro de Estudios Educativos, del que fue investigadora y Directora académica entre 1970 y 1994 … (full text).

ED464800 – Unequal Schools, Unequal Chances: The Challenges to Equal Opportunity in the Americas. The David Rockefeller Center Series on Latin American Studies.

La Dra. Sylvia Schmelkes, Coordinadora General de la Educación Intercultural Bilingüe de la Secretaría de Educación Pública, visitó las instalaciones del Colson, y particularmente la Unidad de Pueblos Indígenas del Noroeste, por invitación de la Dra. Catalina Denman Champion, Rectora de nuestra institución, con el objeto de conocer y vincular el trabajo que realiza El Colegio con el organismo a su cargo. (, with picture in the right column, febrero de 2004).

Mtra. Sylvia Schmelkes, OBRA PUBLICADA, 18 pdf pages.

Learning – What do we know today, Anne Sliwka, University of Trier.

Basic learning needs of young people and adults in Latin America, 11 pdf pages. Abstract: The author provides a summary of important lessons learned from adult educational activities and research in Latin America. Basic learning skills are defined as the skills needed in order to provide for ones basic needs, in turn based on the current understanding of human rights, and while literacy training is often regarded as the primary developmental tool in this respect, illiteracy is only one symptom of inequality and poverty. Schmelkes makes values the central element in her notion of competence. Download.

The Major Project of Education in Latin America and the Caribbean, 89 pdf-pages.

The initiative of issuing a Latin American Statement on Education for All emerged from a small group of Latin American educators and researchers. The document was drafted by Pablo Latapi (Mexico), Sylvia Schmelkes (Mexico) and Rosa María Torres (Ecuador)ý and it was initially circulated to a list of nearly 200 people a few days prior to the Forum. It was adopted and presented, during the last plenary session, by the official delegation of Ecuador. To date, over one thousand people have signed this Statement. Signatories come from a wide range of countries, sectors and institutions: government, political parties, universities and research centres, public and private school systems, NGOs, teachers’ unions, student associations, grassroots and indigenousýorganizations, the mass media, churches, private enterprise and international agencies. This Latin American Statement continues to circulate both within and outside the region and names continue to be added. If you are interested, you may submit your message by this mail.

Interculturality in basic education, 8 pdf-pages.

… Currently, only two countries give (as opposed to lend or sell) textbooks to their students: Japan and Mexico (Velasco, 1999, p. 18). In comparison to the role played by textbooks even in First World countries, the libros de texto gratuitos have occupied a position of far more profound influence on the education of the people. For example, in the case of Canada, public schools lend textbooks to children for the duration of the academic year and therefore, the life of a book can be estimated to be between three to five years, depending upon the book. In Mexico, the life of a textbook, taking a strictly economic perspective, is one year or annual. But from a sociological perspective, in theory that book will form part of the family library for many years (Schmelkes, 1999, p. 27). In a long-range campaign to encourage literacy and to inspire regular reading habits, the Mexican government has ensured that every Mexican child will own his/her personal collection of more than forty textbooks by the completion of primary school (Velasco, 1999, p. 25). No small feat indeed … (full long text).

Google-books for partial downloads:

  • Education, Policy, and Social Change: Experiences from Latin America, Chapter 4: Mexico: Modernization of Education and the Problems and Challenges of Basic Educvation, by Carlos Munoz Izqieero and Sylvia Schmelkes;
  • Schooling for Success: Preventing Repetition and Dropout in Latin American … , Chapter 15 by Sylvuia Schmelkes.

And she writes: … Un argumento fuerte y consensuado a nivel internacional, incluyendo a América Latina, es el que toma su inspiración del preámbulo de la Constitución de la UNESCO: “Puesto que las guerras nacen en las mentes de los hombres, es en las mentes de los hombres que deben erigirse baluartes de paz.” Así también, se considera que las situaciones violatorias de los derechos humanos se deben a situaciones deseducativas que se gestan en las mentes de aquellos hombres que mayor responsabilidad tienen de resguardarlos, pero también de los individuos y de los pueblos que los toleran, lo que manifiesta nuestra pérdida de la capacidad de asombro, de crítica, de denuncia. En síntesis, se trata de una pérdida de valores. Para recuperarlos, se indica, hay que volver a las mentes y a los corazones de los hombres para fincar principios y valores que auguren una convivencia justa y fraternal … (full text).

Hacia una mejor calidad de nuestra escuela, 94 pdf-pages.

Find her and her publications (all mainly in spanish) on amazon; on Google Video-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.


OECD/CERI International Conference: Research, Innovation and Policy, Learning in the 21st Century, 15-16 May 2008, Paris /France, Programme/Articles and Speakers;

OECD-U.S. Meeting, April 19-20, 2004 – WEBSITE with , Programme/Articles and Speakers;

Education Resources Information Center ERIC, Homepage;

the blog: Reforming Teachers Globally.

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