ERIC Number: ED346736
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Columbus's Legacy, Conquest or Invasion? A Guatemalan Example of Counterhegemonic Teacher Practice and Curriculum.
Wilhelm, Ronald W.
Evidence is presented that demonstrates the projection in some school settings of nuanced interpretations of the historical events and meanings related to 1492 and to the subsequent Spanish settlement of the Americas. In particular, the Maya language-Spanish language bilingual curriculum (Programa Nacional de Educacion Bilingue, PRONEBI) and Maya teachers in Guatemalan public elementary schools question traditional interpretations of Spanish-indigenous interactions and promote new symbols and images to Guatemala's Maya school children. An analysis of the emancipatory potential of these efforts is presented in this paper. An attempt is made to broaden the constructs of resistance and counterhegemonic practices to include the role of school and interethnic relations. This report presents and analyzes findings of research on teacher practice and textbook content in which the traditional justification for existing interethnic relationships and power domains in Guatemala are questioned. The discussion focuses on teacher practice and curriculum in two schools that participate in the Ministry of Education's PRONEBI program. Although 21 different Maya languages are spoken in Guatemala, the PRONEBI program encompasses only the 4 most widely spoken Maya languages and involves only approximately 20 percent of the Maya school population. The two schools discussed are located in the third largest Maya language region inhabited by more than 350,000 Kaqchikel speakers. Basically, a content with counterhegemonic potential replaced traditional content: that is, Spanish"invasion" of a flourishing Maya culture replaced Spanish "conquest" with its attendant images of cultural superiority; however, the learning process remained unchanged and, therefore, the emancipatory potential of the curriculum was weakened. This Guatemalan dilemma raises a problematic question that merits further study beyond the Guatemalan case: To what extent can students who learn potentially emancipatory content through nonemancipatory methodology use their knowledge for social and self-transformation? Contains 22 references. (LB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Guatemala