Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)



First Advisor

J. William Harris

First Committee Member

G. A. Werner

Second Committee Member

Wilson Wilmarth


The purpose of this thesis is to give an outline of the marked progress of education in Mexico since 1857, the date of the final separation of church and state.

Having taught tor several years in Americanization schools, the writer has experienced close contact with all classes of Mexicans. Consequently, this study has been entered into for the purpose of bringing about a better understanding of the peculiar needs of the people and of the problems confronting the Mexican nation as a whole.

It is the sincere hope of the writer that this work will absorb the interest or those people who are not familiar with the educational. problems of Mexico, and that it will shed a faint beam of light upon the evolutionary efforts of a most backward, but a heavily oppressed nation striving laboriously to emerge from the insidious coils of religion and politics which have attempted to strangle all material program in education during the past centuries.

Throughout the scores of volumes of reading material written in both Spanish and English upon the subject of Mexican educational development, three dominant themes have been observed, namely: (1) the many years of terrible oppression by the Spanish conquerors, the church, and upper classes, (2) the exploitation of the people by the foreign empire builders, (3) and the lack of national consciousness, and the great task of educating the people into a national consciousness after centuries of oppression.

The history of education in Mexico is a subject so broad, and the years covered so extensive and critical that only a few definite comments be made on the different aspects of educational progress and retardation since 1857; but nevertheless in spite of the struggle for enlightenment, there has been a successful achievement in education.





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