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Dislocating the 'Ethno': institutionalising the local in indigenous education

Brazil recognises the rights of indigenous communities to their own languages and cultures and developed official policies for indigenous education

Since the recent Brazilian Constitution of 1988, when Brazil recognized itself as a multilingual country and recognized the rights of indigenous communities to their own languages and cultures, official policies for indigenous education have been developed. However, these policies seem to confuse the institutional concept of the official indigenous school as seen in eurocentric terms, with the ongoing and timeless informal educational practices of the various indigenous communities. Recent policies for indigenous education seem to want to dislocate traditional forms of education and local knowledge to the institutional sites of the indigenous school, blurring the distinctions between the two. As the official effort to introduce the indigenous school among indigenous communities in Brazil is framed in terms of a respect for cultural difference, the blurring of the distinction between informal education and formal schooling may have a detrimental effect on indigenous cultures, and may result in exactly the same practices of assimilation to the national culture and hence the elimination rather than the respect for difference aimed at by these policies. This paper discusses this issue of indigenous schooling in Brazil with references to similar policies for indigenous schools in North America.


Professor Lynn Mario | talks | www


Date and Time:

4 May 2005 at 5:30 pm


2 hours



Centre for the Study of Global Ethics
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT
0121 414 8447

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