PIR SEMINAR: Challenges in delivering inclusive indigenous education in mainstream schools in Colombia
SPEAKER: DR JOHN WILLOTT
The Muisca are an indigenous people whose ancestral lands are now covered by Bogotá, the capital of Colombia. The urbanization process has separated the Muisca from their land and traditional practices, which has a profound impact on their expression of culture. Our research shows that for the Muisca, their worldview and knowledge systems are inseparable from their concept of education, and for them any notion of a truly inclusive education “is not limited to ‘what is taught’ but must be accompanied by ‘where’ and ‘how is taught’”. This presents challenges to education providers designing curricula and pedagogy, even when schools and (non-indigenous) parents are broadly supportive of the idea, and highlights how context is crucial for inclusive practice. Fundamentally it questions ideas of power and agency in education - what is meant by inclusive and who gets to decide.