Understanding the Afro-Ecuadorian Educational Experience: Anti-Blackness, Schooling, and the Nation

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Peabody Journal of Education

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The present moment represents a high point in the efforts of Afro-Ecuadorians to challenge their systematic exclusion from mainstream institutions and resources. This article examines anti-blackness in and outside of schooling in Ecuador. In the first section, I show that anti-blackness is a fact in Ecuador. Since the colonial era, Black people in the region known today as Ecuador have been located at the bottom of the social hierarchy, although recently there has been formal recognition of their humanity and citizenship within the nation. In the second section, I demonstrate that schooling attempts to compel students to deny their blackness as a requirement of becoming a member of the nation. Additionally, I show that pedagogical practices limit students’ opportunities to develop the skills they need to challenge and/or transform the racial hierarchy shaping their lives. In the third section, I examine how teachers make sense of racial inequality and discrimination and show that their different understandings shape their respective teaching practices. In the conclusion, I propose that schooling practices reinforce racial difference and inequality among and between students and teachers and suggest implications for schooling in Ecuador.


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