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Main Stages of the History of Education in Costa Rica

The history of education in Costa Rica can be seen by looking at particular periods and actions.

The Teaching House and the University of Santo Tomas

According to Estado de la Education 2 (2008), before the creation of the Teaching House of Santo Tomas, in the colonial period, the majority of educators were priests. In the last decades of the 18th century and first of the 19th century, education in Costa Rica began a process of the secularization of teaching; as an exclusively male career.

After Independence a new generation of teachers emerged, some prepared at the Teaching House of Santo Tomas and later at the university with the same name created in 1843 and closed in 1888. The Teaching House of Santo Tomas had been created in 1814. It can be characterized as neither elementary nor secondary, but as a mix of both (Rodriguez and Ruiz 1995).

The Constitution of 1869 included the provision that education be free, obligatory and financed by the nation.

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