- Transforming pre-service teacher education in Bolivia: from indigenous denial to decolonisation?
- Compare - A Journal of Comparative and International Education
- Volume | Issue number
- 42 | 5
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
In line with a broader Latin American turn to the left, since 2006 Bolivia’s ‘politics of change’ of president Evo Morales includes a new ‘decolonising’ education reform called Avelino Sinani Elizardo Perez (ASEP). With the aim to break down deep historical processes of indigenous denial and exclusion in education, this ‘revolutionary reform’ envisions a radical restructuring of Bolivian society and a revaluation of indigenous epistemological, cultural and linguistic heritage through education. Inspired by Latin America debates on coloniality theory and theories of alternative knowledges, and geared towards broader socio-political processes of social justice, Bolivia’s envisaged education transformation is built around four pillars, being: (1) decolonization, (2) intra- and inter-culturalism together with plurilingualism, (3) productive education and (4) communitarian education. The transformation of pre-service teacher education in Bolivia’s Normales is seen as a crucial step in these processes of socio-educational change. This paper particularly focuses on the ways in which the new ASEP Reforms’ first two pillars of decolonisation and inter-/intracultural education apply to pre-service teacher education and how these discourses for change stand in contrast to various implementation challenges in the teacher education sector, including: a lack of conceptual clarity and information sharing with educators, long and complex processes of a negotiated teacher education curriculum and a general shortage of both teacher trainers’ and future teachers’ indigenous language skills. While Bolivia’s new decolonising education reform is contested by various educational actors, the paper also highlights how the changed socio-political make-up helps to fuel future teachers’ indigenous self-identification, cultural recognition and pluri-linguistic potentials.
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