ERIC Number: EJ1100913
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 49
Learning the Colonial Past in a Colonial Present: Students and Teachers Confront the Spanish Conquest in Post-Conflict Guatemala
Dougherty, Deirdre M.; Rubin, Beth C.
Educational Studies: Journal of the American Educational Studies Association, v52 n3 p216-236 2016
In Guatemala, three centuries after Spanish conquest and in the wake of more than three decades of internal conflict, the framers of the 1996 Accord for a Firm and Lasting Peace placed educational reform at the center of efforts to make peace with this contentious past. This article, based on a multisite qualitative study, describes how Guatemalan teachers, working within an ostensibly standardized national curriculum aimed at creating a common historical narrative, differed in their presentation of Spanish colonialism. In the social studies classrooms of two different settings, a private school serving affluent Ladino students and a public school serving low-income indigenous students, young people constructed "usable pasts" amid distinct approaches to this era. In the first, a static, fixed version of colonial history distanced these young people from their indigenous co-citizens; students described the colonial era as part of a completed and distant past. In the second classroom, the teacher framed colonialism as an enduring part of students' lives; students articulated the continued reach of the colonial era through language loss, structural inequality, and cultural devaluation. In this post-conflict setting, curricular attempts to use historical study to create a new, unified, national identity were met with local challenges embedded in distinct historical memories.
Descriptors: Foreign Policy, Language Skill Attrition, Foreign Countries, Peace, Educational Change, National Curriculum, Social Studies, Private Schools, Low Income, Social Differences, Qualitative Research, American Indians, Advantaged, Conflict, History, Course Content, Teacher Attitudes, Student Attitudes, History Instruction, Grounded Theory, Observation, Interviews, Focus Groups, Ethnography
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Guatemala; Spain