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Diálogos sobre educación. Temas actuales en investigación educativa

versão On-line ISSN 2007-2171

Diálogos sobre educ. Temas actuales en investig. educ. vol.10 no.19 Zapopan Jul./Dez. 2019 



Teresa González-Luna Corvera

Education and non-discrimination are fundamental rights for everyone. The construction of the right to education has a long history in Mexico, beginning in the nineteenth century, while the recognition of non-discrimination as a right and a social problem of public interest has been more recent, and started in the early twentieth century.

In different social spaces, and particularly in the realm of education, prejudice that functions as a cultural and symbolic motor is generated and reproduced systemically, and then translated into recurrent discriminatory practices that widen and deepen social inequality gaps. Thus, we must face the twofold challenge of taking action to make structural inequality visible and reduce it: on the one hand, alleviating the inequality originated in income distribution, and on the other, eliminating the inequality of treatment, or discrimination, whose basis is sociocultural and is expressed in prejudice, stereotypes and stigmas from which classification schemes and visions that deny the equal value and dignity of all people are derived.

The restriction or denial of the right to education (access) and education itself (permanence and pertinence) to people and social groups for reasons of their attributes and identities (ethnic origin, gender, age, disability, religious belief, physical appearance, gender identity, migratory status, among others), puts into question the capabilities of institutions and the scope of public policies and educational programs to eradicate discrimination and manage structural inequality. It is an obligation of the Mexican State to take action to rectify and stop the reproduction of unequal treatment, which means that it must foster educational policies based on human rights and create programs that guarantee the full exercise of the right to education for all people in conditions of equality. This implies that the policies must be accompanied by a basic understanding of each one of the individual and social rights, especially the right to education without discrimination of any kind, and a consideration of the social context and the particular circumstances in which unequal treatment takes place.

There is a close and virtuous relationship - although at times a tense and problematic one - among human rights, which becomes evident when combining the right to education and the right not to be discriminated against. Education is a complex and controversial field of action in which different political and educational goals, institutions and programs, concepts, meanings, and actors, as well as modalities and practices, converge. From the beginning and given its nature, multiple expectations and collective projects are placed on it, as well as demands and requirements are made on the State.

This issue of Diálogos sobre educación brings together sixteen texts that, from different analytic perspectives, contribute to the debate around its main theme, “Education, rights and non-discrimination”, by discussing concrete situations and issues in which the exercise of the right to education plays an important role.

Two of the texts address directly the problem of discrimination in education. In “Exclusion among peers: its implications for the students’ education”, Lidia Isabel Castellanos Pierra and Federico Zayas Pérez identify forms of exclusion in the interactions of students in middle education that affect their educational processes. Laura Victoria Martínez underscores social categories and their meanings in her ethnographic discussion of the “Paradoxes in the educational discourse about discrimination: a disciplinary background?” where, based on the principle of equality and non-discrimination and the paradigm of diversity, she analyzes interpersonal treatment and the emotions verbalized by children in an elementary school in the City of Buenos Aires.

All the articles make references to one or several of the actors who intervene or interact in educational spaces and processes: students at different levels, teachers, researchers, administrators and authorities. In “Factors involved in building trust among students towards school authorities in upper secondary education in Mexico”, Carlos Alberto Ramírez Sánchez suggests that trust is a fundamental element to guarantee quality education and good student performance at the middle levels of education. In a different direction and related to higher education, Teresa de J. Sierra Molina, Dora Esperanza Sevilla Santo and Mario José Martín Pavón analyze how personal, social, professional and institutional aspects combine to produce “The university professor, a resilient being: a look at professors’ work in the current educational environment”.

Most of the texts refer to Mexico’s educational system. Karen Patricia Rivera Ceseña, Leticia Carrillo Chávez, Graciela Cordero Arroyo and María del Ángel Vázquez Cruz share the results of a descriptive and comparative study of the “Pre-service teacher education in the Mexican Educational Model: perspectives of teachers’ college principals”, based on the analysis of the opinions of a group of administrators about Mexico’s Public Education Ministry’s Educational Model for the years 2016 and 2017. In “The training and social practice of graduates of the “Enrique Rodríguez Cano” Rural Teachers’ College in Misantla-Perote, Veracruz, 1952-1969”, Yolanda Francisca González Molohua highlights in a case study the social and political impact of teachers who were trained in rural Teacher’s Colleges in the state of Veracruz, Mexico.

Beyond formal education, Luis David Berrones Sanz documents “A methodological experience in the training of road safety promoters in Mexico”, about a different educational environment and out-of-classroom modality that offers a problem- and experience- based education that promotes reflection and action, but has yet to prove its empirical efficiency for the training of road safety promoters.

In the interest of measuring to strengthen educational processes, prevent disadvantageous situations and/or solve problems such as low school performance or school dropout, several articles discuss the application of specific methods, models and instruments. Óscar Eligio Villanueva Gutiérrez and Leticia Isabel López López interviewed public secondary school teachers in the Mexican state of Nuevo León and applied Kahneman’s Model and the theoretical assumptions of phenomenology to address “The teacher’s selective attention in the curricular planning, learning and evaluation processes”. Andrés Rico Páez, Nora Diana Gaytán Ramírez and Daniel Sánchez Guzmán report on the application of a prediction instrument to develop predictive strategies and identify in a timely fashion students who are vulnerable to failing subjects or courses in “Construction and implementation of a model to predict the academic performance of university students using the Naïve Bayes algorithm. In “Self-direction, thinking skills and academic performance in Teachers’ College students”, Marco Antonio Escamilla Pérez and Yolanda Heredia Escorza combine three instruments to explain the relationship between the development of cognitive skills, self-direction and academic performance of aspiring teachers.

Other texts discuss the need to generate socially useful knowledge and promote scientific inquiry linked to society. In “The relationship between positioning and problematization in the written production of post-graduate students”, María Andrea Vázquez Ahumada underscores one of the fundamental moments in research work: the problematization, which allows researchers to establish a dialog with different disciplinary perspectives and previous knowledge in the field of study. From another viewpoint, María del Rosario Pineda López, Lázaro R. Sánchez Velásquez, Enrique Alarcón Gutiérrez and Edgar Eduardo Ruiz Cervantes address “The training of creative scientists with a regional perspective in public universities: a challenge”. Based on their own experience, they propose building interdisciplinary and systemic platforms, as well as fostering collective creativity and intelligence, to help universities integrate regional issues and engage in interlinked scientific work in the service of society.

Many are the challenges to making the right to education effective for all people in conditions of equality. Among others, Óscar Zaragoza Vega and Martha Patricia Gutiérrez Pérez address “The effect of teacher certification on changes in pedagogical practice: a documentary analysis”, where they highlight concepts associated with the innovation and transformation of educational practices, the impact of teacher training and certification on the quality of learning, and the incorporation of new elements such as information and communication technologies into the teachers’ practice. Eduardo Raúl Díaz Gómez, Luis Espinosa Garza, Heberto Xavier Peterson Rodríguez and Ingrid Kuri Alonso present “An approach to the assessment of transformational leadership competencies among undergraduate students”, underscoring the importance of the training of leaders, which may contribute to reducing gender gaps and evaluating the development of a specific training program.

Finally, María Gutiérrez Zúñiga provides us with a historical account of the current international phenomenon of deadly armed attacks carried out by students in schools and identifies some common elements in “The making known of the motives of students who have used weapons in school. Elements to reflect on extreme school violence”, and this issue of Diálogos sobre educación ends with a review written by Francisco Hernández Ortiz on “Inclusive education: contributions and challenges in the middle and higher education in San Luis Potosí”.

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