Curriculum and Identities: The Mayan Contribution to the Education Reform in Guatemala

Dr. Magdalena Herdoíza-Estévez
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The study includes the analysis of the process from historical and paradigmatic perspectives, assessing the implementation of "Mayan Schools", their curriculum and pedagogical approaches, the involvement of local communities, and the innovations of teacher education programs. It also evaluates the impact of the Mayan culture and pedagogical proposal in the curriculum at the national, regional and local levels.

Some research findings are: 1. The vision of the Mayan Education recognizes the cultures of the peoples as the basis for building the national identity and education in Guatemala. Its purpose is to contribute to the construction of a plurilingual, multicultural and multiethnic nation as requisite for real democracy and lasting peace. 2. This approach represents a new paradigm for educational reforms in Guatemala, the Latin American region and beyond. This is not Mayan education for Mayan people, but Mayan culture for all the Guatemalans, through the curriculum. 3. Several factors explain this process: a) organized presence of the Mayan people in the educational scenario; b) search for national consensus building at different levels; c) political will of the Ministry of Education to promote curriculum transformations; d) professional contribution of Mayan specialists; e) successful implementation of the Mayan Bilingual and Intercultural Schools; f) joy of learning of the native children in this reencounter with their cultural identity, and g) strong support of the Mayan local communities. 4.The curriculum implemented in the Mayan schools reflects the indigenous culture and language, as a basis for the identity of the new generations; this has contributed to the development of the students' self-esteem, and has increased their academic success. 5.The Guatemalan process demonstrates the validity of national consensus building regarding social, legal and education policies, as well as the power of well-sustained proposals from organized social and ethnic movements in the field of education.

Keywords: Curriculum and Identities, Mayan Education
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English / Spanish
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Dr. Magdalena Herdoíza-Estévez

Associate Professor, School of Education, Indiana University Southeast

Born in Quito, Ecuador. Studied in Ecuador, the United States, Italy and France. Doctoral degrees in Pedagogy (University of Florence) and in Socio Economics and Development (Paris I- Panthéon Sorbonne). Major positions held: Director of Education Planning at the Ecuadorian Ministry of Education, Deputy Director of Education/Director of Pedagogical innovations at the Quito Municipality, Director of the Institute for Research in Education at the Central University of Ecuador, University Professor at the Central University of Ecuador, Hanover College, Indiana, USA, and Indiana University Southeast. Major consulting works: Principal Advisor for the Haiti National Plan of Education, International Advisor for the Curriculum Reform of El Salvador, External Evaluation (Team Chair) for the Mayan Education Project. Dozens of publications and presentations.

Ref: L05P0318