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One of the main chapters of Argentine education project in the period of the consolidation of the state was the opening of teachers’ training schools. Between 1884 and 1920 the Argentine state created 80 schools for teachers to receive a formal education in teaching (the so-called normal schools). These schools were opened in different parts of the country and aimed to provide graduate teachers for the quickly expanding number of primary schools. After providing a description of the material characteristics of this process, this paper analyses the intellectuals’ debates that surrounded the creation of this system and the impact of the discussions. The paper argues that even if the Argentine state managed in a short period of time to provide enough teachers for the school system it was in a context of acute criticisms that had a long lasting influence on the public representation of state education.  

Flavia Fiorucci
is a researcher with CONICET and a member of the intellectual history group at the University of Quilmes (Argentina). She is the author of Intelectuales y peronismo, 1945-1955, as well as numerous articles on intellectual and cultural history in Argentina.