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Title: Intercultural Bilingual Education in Ecuador as a site
Authors: Manresa Axisa, Maria Antonia
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Newcaslte Univeristy
Abstract: The aim of this research is to study the process of Intercultural Bilingual Education (IBE) in Ecuador as a means of formulating, representing and incorporating ‘indigenous’ knowledge into formal schooling. The study is based on an ethnographic case study of a Kichwa Amazonian territory. I frame schooling within the historical struggle for recognition as generating an intrinsic tension between the need to demonstrate ‘sameness’ and simultaneously ‘difference’. I contrast between two theoretical trends conceptualizing intercultural education as a means of positioning epistemological pluralism. Through textual analysis of education policy and government discourse, I demonstrate a utilitarian notion over cultural difference and suggest a serious undermining of the active participation of diverse political actors in policy decision-making. Locally I identify the demand for recognition of difference in schooling, is express as ‘una educacion propia’ (our own education). I argue, this reflects the political objective of constructing an ‘intercultural utopia’ (Rappaport, 2005) as means of a decolonizing education. From my analysis of classroom observations I suggest little evidence of teaching practice that aims to reveal epistemological plurality. I interpret teachers generate equivalence between ‘official’ and ‘local’ knowledge, creating a disjuncture between what they enunciate and what corresponds to the school subject. I conclude that classroom practice does not aim to put into dialogue different forms of knowledge whether this is to contest or expand official knowledge. I propose however that identifying intercultural education practice limited to an epistemological concern, could in effect inhibit the actual enactment of difference, I suggest takes place in the classroom. By shifting the focus of analysis away from an epistemological concern, to consider ontological divergence, I propose difference passes unnoticed whilst existing as continued possibilities of ‘worlding’ (Latour, 1994; Blaser, 2009) within the classroom.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Modern Languages

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