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Reconstructing National Identities: Intercultural Bilingual Education in Latin America

Reconstructing National Identities: Intercultural...

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Event Details

Thursday October 6, 2011 - Friday, October 7, 2011

Teachers College, Columbia University

525 W. 120 Street, New York, NY


Open to the Public



Throughout Latin America, projects to develop intercultural bilingual education began to emerge in the 1970s. Supported by diverse national and international institutions, countries undertook this agenda of educational change to recognize and respond to the diverse ethnicities and languages of their populations and to address the long-standing marginalization of indigenous communities. Please join us for this two-day conference to analyze the development, implementation and transformation of intercultural bilingual education across Latin America. Through presentations, panels and discussion, participants will trace the trajectory of concepts and policies shaping intercultural bilingual education, paying special attention to the ways in which these were adapted and appropriated at local, national and transnational levels.

In order to consider the educational and political dimensions of design, implementation and reform related to intercultural bilingual education in diverse settings across the region, panels with renowned academics and practitioners in the field have been formed around the following three themes:



·       Intercultural bilingual education and social movements across Latin America;

·       Social and political actors and the institutionalization of intercultural bilingual education;

·       The role and impact of international cooperation on knowledge creation and the development of the academic field of intercultural bilingual education.



The conference will also host a professional development workshop for educators and researchers on “The Development of Educator Expertise in Bilingual and Intercultural Education in Latin America and the United States,” designed and facilitated by Aida Walqui (Teacher Professional Development Program, WestEd) and Viviana Galdames (Teacher Education Program, Universidad Alberto Hurtado, Santiago de Chile). Participants will explore comparative experiences in bilingual intercultural teacher professional development in Latin America and the United States, as well as experience and discuss practices for implementation. For registration for this workshop, please visit:



The conference is free and open to the public, but registration through this site is required.


For more information about the conference, please visit:


Conference Supporters:

Program of Comparative and International Education, Teachers College

Department of International and Transcultural Studies, Teachers College

The Institute for Latin American Studies at Columbia University

The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at New York University

The Latin American Faculty Working Group, Teachers College

The Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Community Affairs, Teachers College 

Columbia Global Centers, Columbia University

Have questions about Reconstructing National Identities: Intercultural Bilingual Education in Latin America? Contact the organizer
  News and Updates
2011-09-19 12:54:32



Conference Program


THURSDAY OCT 6th, 2011


Opening Dialogue: The Emergence of Policy and Research in Intercultural and Bilingual Education

5 -7pm, Grace Dodge Hall 179, Teachers College


5:00            Welcome Comments

Regina Cortina, Teachers College Columbia University           


5:15             Widening Gaps between Policy and Practice in Intercultural Education in Latin America

Luis Enrique López, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit


6:00            David and Goliath: National Language/Literacy Policies and the Global Economy

Shirley Brice Heath, Stanford University


6:45            Questions and discussion




Welcome Reception for all Conference Participants

7-8pm, Grace Dodge Hall 177, Teachers College



FRIDAY OCT 7th, 2011


Registration 8:30-9:00 am - Grace Dodge Hall 179, Teachers College




PANEL 1: International Cooperation, Knowledge Creation and the Development of the Academic Field of Intercultural and Bilingual Education 

9:00-11:00 am, Grace Dodge Hall 179, Teachers College


Understanding the impact of bilateral and multilateral aid is of increasing significance due to the growing commitment of financial and technical assistance provided to indigenous and marginalized communities in Latin America.  For intercultural bilingual education, international cooperation has had a notable impact on the professionalization of intercultural education and the establishment of higher education programs.  This component of the conference will focus on the decades of European and North American cooperation in education across Latin America. Speakers and discussants will review and assess the results of this technical assistance and the nature and experiences of the interaction between donors and local governments and communities.


9:00            Civil Society, the German Cooperation and the Education of Indigenous Communities in Peru

Regina Cortina, Teachers College Columbia University           


9:20              “Until I Became a Professional, I was not consciously Indigenous”: One Young Woman’s Trajectory in Intercultural Bilingual Education

Nancy Hornberger, University of Pennsylvania


9:40            Development Aid, State Shifts, and Intercultural Bilingual Education Trajectories

Bret Gustafson, Washington University in St. Louis


10:00             Comments from Session Chair: Sylvia Schmelkes, Universidad Iberoamericana


10:15            Questions and discussion



PANEL 2: Intercultural and Bilingual Education and Social Movements across Latin America

11:00am -1:00 pm, Grace Dodge Hall 179, Teachers College


This session of the conference will discuss the political evolution of intercultural bilingual education, considering the cooperation and tensions between diverse actors and movements, including indigenous movements, teachers unions and political parties.  


11:00            Is the Cultural Project of the Indigenous Movement in Crisis? Some Ethnographic Remarks on the Tensions of Intercultural Bilingual Education in Ecuador

Carmen Martinez, Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales, Ecuador


11:20            Identity Strategies of Quechua Students in the Universidad Mayor de San Simón, in the Context of Decolonization of  Bolivia.

Monica Navarro, Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium


11:40            Identity in Intercultural Multilingual Peru: An Analysis of Political Discourse and School Practice

Laura Valdiviezo, University of Massachusetts, Amherst


12:00            Comments from Session Chair: Bret Gustafson, Washington University in St. Louis


12:15            Questions and Discussion


Lunch break, 1:15-2:30pm


PANEL 3: Social and Political Actors and the Institutionalization of Intercultural Bilingual Education

2:30-4:30pm, Grace Dodge Hall 179, Teachers College


From discourse to policy and implementation, the processes and institutions of intercultural bilingual education have differed across the region.  This session of the conference will consider case studies of the institutionalization of intercultural bilingual education.  It will analyze the interactions of social and political actors, considering in particular the role of the state to ensure quality education. 


2:30            Indigenous Teachers from Mexico: Challenges for their Professionalization

Sylvia Schmelkes, Universidad Iberoamericana


2:50            Exploring the Links between Academia and Indigenous Movements in Latin America

Luis Enrique Lopez, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit


3 :10            Comments from Session Chair: Pamela Calla, New York University


3:15            Questions and Discussion 





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