Indigenous education in Mexico is characterized today as a highly centralized educational system. A national curriculum is compulsory for elementary education (general and indigenous) throughout the country. Although official educational and language policy supposedly promotes intercultural language maintenance education, Hispanicization (castellanización) prevails in most indigenous schools, i.e., submersion or fast transitional programs. The conference with a focus on the "T'arhexperakua – growing together" grassroots project of two P'urhepecha schools in the Michoacán highlands in central Mexico where teachers developed their own curriculum based on mother tongue education. They teach all subject matters and skills including literacy and mathematics in P'urhepecha. Spanish is taught with a specific L2 program. A documentary will be exhibited (Spanish & P'urhepecha with English subtitles) that covers more than ten years of collaborative action research. It shows how the specific curriculum and teaching practice facilitates the transfer of decontextualized and cognitively demanding skills from L1 to L2 and acquire significantly higher literacy skills in both languages than students in submersion programs.
SPEAKER: Rainer Enrique Hamel, Department of Anthropology, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Unidad Iztapalapa, México, D.F.
Program Director: Indigenous Community and Intercultural Bilingual Education / Coordinator of the Project Language Policy in Latin America (Linguistics and Philology Association of Latin America)
TIME AND PLACE: Fri. Oct. 19th 12pm-2pm, Furcolo Hall Rm. #101, College of Education
A LIGHT LUNCH WILL BE PROVIDED