Decolonization a challenge for education


Чанго Андранго Диана Валерия

14 января 2023



Ключевые слова

Latin America
cultural diversity

Аннотация статьи

Since the end of the 15th century, Latin America has experienced one of the most brutal processes of colonization and subalternization ever experienced by human beings on the face of the earth. In a matter of 50 years, the conquistadors not only imposed their own vision of the world, but also destructured and annihilated civilizations whose material and spiritual wealth has yet to be fully weighed. This systematic destruction, a set of societies emptied of themselves, of cultures trampled, of institutions undermined, of lands confiscated, of religions murdered, of artistic magnificences of artistic magnificence annihilated, of extraordinary possibilities suppressed.

Текст статьи

In Latin America, the subjugation of our cultures took place as a historical movement and, with it, the subjugation to a single and unquestionable civilizational framework based on the to a single and unquestionable civilizational framework based on the pretended values of universality, objectivity, and rationality of universality. This historical subordination occurred in all fields of human existence, and education was one of the social spaces in which colonial domination had the greatest impact. To this end, the colonizers not only destroyed all vestiges of autochthonous knowledge all vestiges of indigenous knowledge, but also all educational and cultural institutions, imposing an alienating education based on passive memorization and empty repetition.

From that moment on a Eurocentric, modern and enlightened education was imposed, crossed by four distinctive dimensions that to this day leave an indelible mark on the ways in which we think and do education. These dimensions are as follows: anthropocentrism, epistemocentrism, logocentrism and phallocentrism. The conjunction of these four dimensions gives foundation to the matrix of neocolonial domination that is currently expressed through a series of processes that we euphemistically known as "globalization", and which are nothing more than the discursive expression of a new stage in the expansion of the capitalist system that spreads which disseminates everywhere an ideology and a way of seeing the world that permeates all spheres of societal life, and in which education constitutes the mechanism of ideological reproduction par the mechanism of ideological reproduction par excellence.

The four dimensions of neocolonial domination

There are four dimensions that contribute to configure the matrix of neocolonial domination that has been permanently updated since the 15th century, imposing ways of thinking, feeling, being and being. We accept and adopt these, without further questioning, due to the capacity and the subtle mechanisms with which the processes of subalternization are naturalized in the ill-named subalternization in the so-called "third world". Knowledge and discussion of these dimensions seeks to contribute to the process educational decolonization, which presupposes a liberating education – in the freethinking sense of the word – that is liberating education – in the Freirean sense – but transcends it insofar as it deconstructs the historical, social and social deconstructs the historical, social, economic, cultural and epistemological presuppositions on which modern culture is based.

The first dimension that we wish to highlight is that of anthropocentrism, which refers to the sociocultural turn that took place during the Euro-Western Renaissance in the 15th century, when man - white, Catholic - was positioned as the principle and measure of all things. This event leads to the institution of man as the center of the human cosmos, creating a prototype of man (the European) as the ideal to imitate, while at the same time generating a racist and ethnocentric discourse that declares its contempt for cultures and human beings who do not respond to the canons predetermined by the new civilizational framework with the misnamed "discovery of America", Europe introduces a unique historical movement to which the other cultures of the world are subjected, and in which capitalism, in its mercantilist stage, begins to acquire a global physiognomy, a process that establishes itself as a pattern of domination in which coloniality and modernity are constitutive axes of this pattern.

In education, the anthropocentric vision marked by coloniality and modernity has left indelible traces, because by establishing a culture and a prototype of human beings as the ideal to be followed, it has generated the denial and, most of the time, the rejection of otherness. This, in Latin America, is worse because of the rejection by the "white" and "mestizo" populations towards the descendants of indigenous and afro-descendant peoples. The problem to eradicate, in patriarchal training processes that generate in the school the roles that are predefined within society therefore it is necessary to question anthropocentrism, since it constitutes one of the intellectual veins from which a new process of neocolonial domination is interwoven, which implies an alienating education for students alienating education that reproduces a series of stereotypes that must be that must be banished from education in order to give way to a liberating education, in the broadest sense of the word.

The second dimension to which we will refer is that of epistemocentrism this refers to the process by which Euro-Western culture and knowledge is converted as unique and true. As such it is inextricably linked to the anthropocentric dimension here, the dominant culture establishes the demarcation criteria that institute epistemological superiority institute the epistemological superiority of the knowledge it produces, while at the same time creating a series of ideological and symbolic mechanisms - disguised as scientificity - with which it decrees that the knowledge produced by non-Western cultures lacks validity objectivity and universality.

It constitutes a real and effective form of physical and symbolic violence with which Euro-Western culture imposes itself, annuls, invisibilizes and destroys the cultural visions of indigenous groups in America, Asia, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean groups in America, Asia, Africa and Oceania. Its power and efficacy lie in its ability to make the subjugated peoples to make the subjugated peoples believe that their cultural productions have no value, other than as magical-religious as magical-religious manifestations affirmed in myths and beliefs far from any canon of scientificity.

In this sense, epistemocentrism represents the moment of greatest rupture with the world and nature -in the holistic sense in which ancient cultures conceived it-, creating a form of approach to reality that we know as science and a type of knowledge that denies and rejects all non-Western forms of understanding and interpretation of reality.

The third dimension we want to talk about is called logocentrism, a dimension widely known and discussed in the field of philosophy that refers to the fundamental place given to reason, to logos, by European culture and later by American and Japanese culture. As part of the inheritance of modernity and Cartesian rationalism, logos was legitimized as a fundamental element of reason logos was legitimized as the nodal element in the process of knowledge construction and in this way logos was legitimized as the nodal element in the process of knowledge construction of knowledge and in this way the belief was established that all knowledge was based on logical reasoning and the logical reasoning and the mathematical and exact interpretation of the physical world.

In education, the impact of this logocentric conception has been significant, as with anthropocentrism, and has served to legitimize knowledge and a conception of the world, nature and the human being built from a reference point of reference of the world, of nature and of the human being constructed from a biased and historical epistemological referent. The fourth dimension is phallocentrism, which refers to the sociocultural construction that leads to an asymmetry of power between the sexes. This dimension explains the historical role that patriarchal society confers on women, where the masculine and the feminine are conceived in a differentiated manner, some occupying roles of power and recognition, and others occupying roles of power and recognition occupying, some of them, roles of power and recognition, for example: roles of submission and servitude.

Decolonizing education becomes a priority task in our societies, which implies questioning and imploding the four dimensions on which the matrix of neocolonial domination is based. We have to question the teaching of history, science, geography, mathematics, literature, literature, and the geography, mathematics, literature, language, as well as the very organization of education, school, school administration, curriculum, the place of teachers and students, among others. It is a matter of reconstructing an imaginary and an identity from another civilizational horizon. The decolonization of education presupposes a political activity that recognizes that a class struggle is forged there, a struggle of ideologies in which an official curriculum constructed by specialists is imposed, who select knowledge and values from the dominant culture, from this perspective, decolonizing education also implies decolonizing pedagogy, decolonizing the curriculum, decolonizing the school, decolonizing culture, decolonizing the mind.

It means to break epistemologically with the linearity of learning, to shatter the idea that we all learn the same, at the same time, in the same way that we all learn the same at the same pace, with the same capacities and in this way challenging the mercantilist vision that turns students into competitors in a race for success; a success towards success; a success determined by the idea of the consumption of diplomas and unlimited goods.

Decolonizing education becomes a tool of cultural resistance that helps members of the community that helps community members and students to understand the world around them and the kind of the world around them and the type of economic and social relations imposed by the misnamed globalization.

Today's education faces a challenge of great magnitude, to lose validity and meaning due to its inability to rethink and redraw itself due to its inability to rethink and redraw itself, or to rethink itself, but from other social, cultural and epistemological coordinates social, cultural and epistemological coordinates. No longer from the place of the repeater of a curriculum created from a mercantile logic and an autocratic teaching strategy that expels bores and that expels bores and limits student creativity but rather from an integrative holistic, multidisciplinary, multidisciplinary perspective, capable of allowing other knowledge to enter the school premises, to be conquered by ways of approaching reality and the understanding of the physical world, different from those of science different from what traditional science has accustomed us to.

Decolonizing education implies making a 180-degree turn to break with the schemes inherited from Euro-Western thought that modernity and enlightenment imposed as unobjectionable truths imposed as unobjectionable truths. Its challenge is to accept diversity in order to change the ways in which the ways in which it is taught, what is taught, but also to transform the mentality of those who teach, who teaches, who directs teaching, who plans teaching.

It is a possibility to think of another education just as we speak of another possible world possible, we can also think that another education is possible. This supposes the existence of the four dimensions that nourish and articulate the matrix of neo-colonial domination for the domination in order to make them evident, to deconstruct them, to implode them, so that a truly human education can emerge.

Список литературы

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Чанго А. Д. Decolonization a challenge for education // Актуальные исследования. 2023. №2 (132). Ч.II.С. 59-62. URL:

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