|Author(s)||Maria Villanueva, Carmen Gonzalo|
|Editor||Future Citizens in Europe Ed. Alistair Ross|
The consolidation of nation states and the reshaping of frontiers along the XIX and XX centuries left, within the political borders, cultural and linguistic minorities. The cultural homogenisation of these states was reinforced by compulsory schooling, an instrument to promote the spreading of a common language and national feelings; the basic concepts and values of the common culture were also been conveyed by the establishment of a centralised teacher training system. The school has erased differences between citizens, but also has been hiding problems and complaints of the minorities. Pedagogical literature contains many examples of how, in different countries, minority languages were forbidden in the classrooms and the wide range of punishments for those who dared to spoke a different language. Nevertheless, many of these languages have been in use, at a more or less extent, until today; unfortunately others have suffered a process of marginalisation, being pushed to a domestic circle, or have even disappeared at the cost of the loss of very old cultural heritages.