Educational inclusion and equity in Latin America: An analysis of the challenges

Abstract

This article draws on its authors’ experiences of engaging with the narratives of communities in Latin America implicated in the promotion of inclusion and equity in education. It illustrates how the voices of students, teachers, and families can throw light on the challenges involved. In particular, the article shows how their conditions, difficulties, achievements, fears, and hopes can provide a better understanding of their complex realities and help to shape theories of change. Incorporating the views of different stakeholders, the article focuses on the process of enabling people to become critically conscious about their realities, at the same time developing theoretical tools to become more inclusive in their thinking. It argues that inclusive education is a radical political project that needs to be closer to the feelings and knowledge of oppressed people. This means that we must construct new narratives that encourage people to make their own challenges; this, in turn, can contribute to change at the system level. The article proposes a framework that can be used to review the situation in other countries and offers recommendations as to how to introduce it.

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Correspondence to Ignacio Calderón-Almendros.

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The authors would like to thank the many young people, families, and practitioners who contributed to the ideas developed in this article. Research for this article was supported by the Organization of American States (USA), Organización Internacional de Teletones, UNESCO, EUROsocial, Fundación ONCE, Ministerio de Educación Nacional (Colombia), Ministerio de Educación y Cultura (Uruguay), Ministerio de Educación Pública (México), Municipalidad de Guayaquil (Ecuador), Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades (RTI2018-099218-A-I00, Spain).

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Calderón-Almendros, I., Ainscow, M., Bersanelli, S. et al. Educational inclusion and equity in Latin America: An analysis of the challenges. Prospects (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11125-020-09501-1

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Keywords

  • Equity
  • Inclusive education
  • Collaborative inquiry
  • System change