Carlos E. Olivera Lahore (1924 - )

Olivera Lahore Carlos E.

Short Biography & Significant Contribution

Carlos Olivera was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He graduated from Sorbonne University in 1948 with a Licenciature in Letters and History. Thereafter, he dedicated himself to teaching and leadership of educational institutions and to educational journalism in his home country for 20 years. In 1956, he was a founding member of the Asociación por la Libertad de Enseñanza (Buenos Aires) and in 1964, he founded the Instituto Superior de Conducción Educativa (ISCE) in Buenos Aires to train school directors, supervisors and administrators.

From 1967 to 1975, he worked for UNESCO as an expert in educational planning, where he made short missions in Ecuador and Venezuela, led a special mission to Somalia, advised on educational planning in six Central American countries and Panama; and headed the UNESCO mission for educational planning in Costa Rica (1971-1975). He also wrote several "Special Reports" for UNESCO's International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) in Paris.

Since 1975 he resides in Costa Rica, where he occupied various academic and government consultancy positions. At the National University of Costa Rica, he has been professor, dean of Philosophy and Letters (1978-80), and director of the Planning Office with the rank of Vice-rector until 1986. Concurrently, he was founding member and director of the Instituto de Cibernética Social Aplicada a la Planificación (ICSAP) in San Jose, Costa Rica. He was consultant to the National Council of Rectors and to the Ministry of Public Education in Costa Rica from 1986 to 1990, the year when he retired.

The research and publications of Professor Olivera encompass educational planning, theory and methodology of comparative education and Central Asian history and religions. His interface with the field of comparative education started with UNESCO and, more directly, through his participation in World Congresses of Comparative Education Societies (Paris 1984, Rio de Janeiro 1987, Montreal 1989). Two of his publications on the epistemological status of comparative education were an offshoot of these World Congresses (Olivera, 1988; 1990). In his view, the comparative perspective is likened to the 'heart of the educational sciences'. This is a thesis he addresses in his recent volume, Introducción a la Educación Comparada (EUNED 2009). These and his constant encouragement to Latin American comparativists to make their voices heard are among the valuable contributions of Olivera to the field of comparative education.

Educational Background

Bachelor's degree, La Salle College, Buenos Aires, Argentina (1940)

Licenciature degree, Letters and History, Universities of Lille and Paris, France; graduated from Sorbonne University (1948)

Professional Background

Teacher of Humanities at secondary school level in Buenos Aires and Cordoba, Argentina (1942-1966)

Founder and Director, Instituto Superior de Conducción Educativa (ISCE) in Buenos Aires (1964-1966)

UNESCO Expert in Educational Planning, Paris, France (1967-1975):
. Chief, UNESCO mission to Somalia (1967-1969) 
. Consultant for educational planning in Central America and Panama (1970-1971) 
. Chief, UNESCO mission for educational planning in Costa Rica (1971-1975) 

Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica, Heredia, Costa Rica (1975-1986): 
. Professor, School of Education (1975-1976) 
. Academic Director, Faculty of Philosophy and Letters (1976-1978) 
. Dean, Faculty of Philosophy and Letters (1978-1980) 
. Director, Planning Office and Vice-Rector (1980-1986)

Founding member and Director, Instituto de Cibernética Social Aplicada a la Planificación (ICSAP), San Jose, Costa Rica (1980-1985)

Affiliations (associations, organizations, institutions)

Congregación de los Hermanos de las Escuelas Cristianas, Argentina, Member (1941-1966)

Asociación por la Libertad de Enseñanza, Argentina, Founding member (1956)

Consejo Nacional de Rectores y Ministerio de Educación Pública, Costa Rica (1986 -1990)

Selected Publications

Olivera, C. & Martínez, M.J. (1968): El Planeamiento de la Institución Escolar. Madrid: Editorial Aguilar. 227 pp.

Olivera, C. (1979): The Administration of Educational Development in Latin America. Paris: UNESCO/IIEP (Research Report no. 34). 151 pp.

Olivera, C. (1979): The "Nuclearization" Programme in Costa Rica. Paris: UNESCO/IIEP (doc.IIEP/S56/8A).

Olivera, C. (1984): The Role of the School Inspectorate in Plan Implementation: A Systemic Approach (based on experiences in Costa Rica). Paris: UNESCO/IIEP.

Olivera, C. (1985): L'éducation en Amérique Latine est-elle dépendante?' Perspectives, 15(2).

Olivera, C. (1986): Introducción a la Educación comparada. San José, Costa Rica: EUNED (Editorial Universidad Estatal a Distancia). 483 pp.

Olivera, C. (1988): 'Comparative Education: Towards a Basic Theory'. Prospects, 18(2), 167-185.

Olivera, C. (1990): 'Comparative Education: What Kind of Knowledge?' In J. Schriewer & B. Holmes (Eds.), Theories and Methods in Comparative Education (2nd ed.). Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, pp.197-223. (Translations in Spanish, Italian, Chinese).

Olivera, C. (2009): Introducción a la Educación Comparada (Updated). San José, Costa Rica: EUNED (Editorial Universidad Estatal a Distancia). 356 pp.


Created: 7/31/2009

Updated: 7/31/2009

Contributed By: Maria Manzon, University of Hong Kong