From July 4 to 7, 2023, the IX Seminar on Rural Education “Education in rural territories: emerging stories” and the V Ibero-American Colloquium on Rural Education were held in Costa Rica, where researchers dedicated to the study of issues related to education met.
Lorenzo Palma, Science in Chile.- Researchers from Chile, Argentina, Colombia and Mexico met in Costa Rica with the purpose of exchanging experiences and knowledge, with education as the central theme. During their visit, they had the opportunity to explore the School of San Francisco, Mélida and the Trocha.
This academic event took place in Heredia, Los Chiles and San Ramón, Costa Rica. Its main objective is to serve as a space for meeting, reflection and exchange of experiences regarding education in rural territories.
The Rural Education Division (DER) and the Master’s Degree in Central American Rural Education (MERC) of the Center for Research and Teaching in Education (CIDE) of the National University (UNA) of Costa Rica, together with the Rural Research Thematic Network (RIER) were the organizers of the IX Seminar on Rural Education and V Ibero-American Colloquium on Rural Education “Education in rural territories: emerging stories”.
On behalf of the Universidad Austral de Chile, academics from the Institute of Educational Sciences, Dr. Marcelo Arancibia and Dr. Gerardo Muñoz participated, presenting an analysis of the life stories of rural teachers from southern Chile. Similarly, Dr. Arancibia participated in the opening table of the event that addressed the question: “Rural education or education in rural territories?”
Dr. Arancibia’s presentation revealed the progress of the Fondecyt Regular project No. 1221524 “Trajectories of rural teachers. Contributions to better understand the rural school”, whose purpose is to investigate the processes of construction of professional trajectories of rural teachers, through the individual and collective creation of biographical narratives to understand how they live from the role of teacher to Teacher Professional Development (DPD) in rural contexts.
“The preliminary results of the study make it possible to identify key actors in their training and decision-making process to study pedagogy and then work in rural contexts, with the biographical “proximity” to these environments being the main cause of this decision-making. Likewise, the constant allusion to the “difficulty” of working in rural contexts stands out, which contrasts with the “certain freedom” that one has to do and propose activities”, he presented at the IX Rural Education Seminar.
At the IX Seminar on Rural Education, the preliminary results of a study were presented that made it possible to identify key actors in the training and decision-making process of those who choose to study pedagogy and then work in rural contexts. It was found that the main cause of this choice is the biographical “closeness” to these environments. In addition, the constant mention of the “difficulty” of working in rural contexts was highlighted, although this contrasts with the feeling of “certain freedom” experienced when carrying out and proposing activities in these contexts.
In the case of Dr. Gerardo Muñoz, Responsible Investigator of FONDECYT 11191041 “Family and intercultural education in the Mapuche context: towards an educational articulation in a decolonial perspective” and Co-Investigator of FONDECYT 1221524, he delved into the description of the educational and sociocultural context of the rural territories of southern Chile, the historical meaning, value and challenges of teachers in Mapuche territory.
For Dr. Muñoz, this experience meant an approach to rural teaching work today in territories that, as in Chile, see rural education, rural territories and the social processes that develop there, such as immigration and the indigenous presence, as constantly changing challenges.
“It is interesting how the DER raises the instances of initial and continuous teacher training for rural contexts, where an effort is evident to promote that teachers who have decided to work in rural contexts can remain there and that this decision does not limit their possibilities of continuing their academic development. I highlight that both the Master’s Degree in Rural Education and the Indigenous Teacher Training Program are not carried out at the University, but that it moves towards rural contexts and indigenous communities, which sets a precedent regarding the link with these contexts”, expressed the academic.
“Today, more than ever, it is urgent to raise the perspective of the rural teacher as a professional who builds knowledge from and with their territories, who is capable of transforming with their students, but who lives stressed by a school curriculum that often implies subordinating their pedagogical ideas to the execution of decontextualized classroom activities, in particular that does not consider multi-grade classrooms or the isolation in which their professional practice is carried out”, concluded Dr. Arancibia in his presentation.