In memory of Juan Carlos Tedesco

09 May 2017

It is with deep regret that we announce the passing of Juan Carlos Tedesco, on 8 May 2017. He was a beloved colleague and friend, and will be greatly missed by the entire IIEP-UNESCO community.

Former Minister for Education in Argentina, (2007–2009), Tedesco was the first head of office at IIEP-UNESCO Buenos Aires, from 1998 to 2005. He tirelessly worked to consolidate IIEP Buenos Aires as a regional office. His vision was to have it not only provide international support in educational planning and management for Latin American countries, but also to disseminate Latin American educational experiences to the rest of the world.  

A committed educationalist and specialist in the field of educational policies, Tedesco devoted his entire life to the study of education in Argentina, Latin America and worldwide. Known for his innovative and critical spirit, he defended public education and he was convinced that quality education for all was the indispensable condition for a just, democratic and equal society.  

Tedesco joined UNESCO in 1976 as head researcher on education and employment for the project “Development and Education in Latin America and the Caribbean” (UNESCO/CEPAL/UNDP). From 1982 to 1986, he was the Director of UNESCO’s Regional Centre for Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (CRESALC) in Caracas, Venezuela. Until 1992, he was the Director of UNESCO’s Regional Office for Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (OREALC) in Santiago, Chile. From 1992 to 1998, he was the Director of the International Bureau of Education (IBE) in Geneva, Switzerland. 

Devoted to the design and planning of educational policy, he was also appointed Secretary of Education of Argentina, Minister of Education of Argentina and Executive Director of the Unit of Strategic Planning and Evaluation of the Argentine Educational System. 

Throughout his career, Tedesco made important contributions to research on the relationship between education and society, a subject to which he dedicated more than 15 publications. Some of his well-known books and articles include: Educación, sociedad en Argentina 1800-1945 (Buenos Aires, 1972); El Proyecto Educativo Autoritario: Argentina 1976-82 (Buenos Aires, 1983); ‘The paradigms of socio-educational research in Latin America’; Comparative education review, 1987; "The role of the State in education" Prospects, 1989; La Juventud Universitaria en América Latina (Caracas, 1986.); El Desafío Educativo: Calidad y Democracia (Buenos Aires. 1987). El rol de la educación en el desarrollo de América Latina (Santillana, 1995); and Education, Competitiveness and Citizenship in Modern Society (Geneve, 1997). 

His profound input to the education sector resulted in him receiving the Argentinian Konex Award in 2016.  

Juan Carlos Tedesco was a friend, mentor and colleague. His passing is an incredible loss not only to IIEP but to the entire community and all institutions that had the pleasure of working with him.