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Exploring Participation: A Study of Venezuelan Bolivarian Schools

Rhodes, Matthew D (2008) Exploring Participation: A Study of Venezuelan Bolivarian Schools. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This thesis examines different ways the process of participation is manifested in Venezuelan Bolivarian primary schools. I argue that the notion of participation in development is contested and has been oversimplified by both advocates and detractors. Using the Venezuelan study as an example, I show that in the same project of participatory development both problematic and positive elements of participation will exist. Problematic elements of participation address inadequate understandings of 'community', question the process of consensus building, and highlight the role of proximity to power centers. Promising developments in the Venezuelan case include incorporation of social programs into the schools, new educational quality indicators, and the establishment of a relationship between school curriculum and local development efforts. As these problematic and promising elements simultaneously occur, I suggest that a different approach to evaluating participation in a development context is necessary. This approach, theorized by social geographers, suggests that analysis of how the space of participation emerges would be more beneficial for assessing the merits of participation. From this perspective, continued study of participatory processes might move beyond the current oversimplification.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Rhodes, Matthew Dmar23@pitt.eduMAR23
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairGunzenhauser, Michaelmgunzen@pitt.eduMGUNZEN
Committee MemberAcedo,
Committee MemberMyers, Johnmyersjp@pitt.eduMYERSJP
Date: 29 January 2008
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 5 December 2007
Approval Date: 29 January 2008
Submission Date: 4 January 2008
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: MA - Master of Arts
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: endogenous; missions; Venezuela
Other ID:, etd-01042008-122904
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:30
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:35


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