Rosa Navarro Haydon: Founder of Puerto Rican School Science Education 1926-1966

Wilson Javier Gonzalez-Espada's picture
Prof. Rosa Navarro Hayden. Photo courtesy of Iveliz M. Cruz Irizarry, UPR Universiyt Archive.

Many historians agree that one of the most difficult periods in the history of Puerto Rico occurred between late 1920s and early 1940s. During this time, the Island faced natural disasters, lie hurricanes San Felipe (1928) and San Ciprián (1932), and economic disasters like the collapse of the world economy, the infamous Big Depression [1].

In terms of education, however, the situation in Puerto Rico has slowly improving. An aggressive program of school constructions resulted in an increase in the number of children who attended school from 9% in 1900 to almost 50% by 1940. A controversial component of the U.S. education policy that applied to Puerto Rico was the use of English as the teaching language, a decision humorously satirized in Don Abelardo Díaz Alfaro’s short story “Peyo Mercé teaches English” [2].

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