14 SES 12 B, Bridging the Divide between Hegemonic Discourses and the Lived Discourses of Diverse Communities: Perspectives from Spain, Taiwan, US, and Pakistan
This paper challenges the efficacy of international education policies that embed literacy within a set of global ideal practices rather than recognize it as a culturally situated construct/practice. Ethnographic data was collected in regards to a transnational development organization that supports and funds community schools for marginalized communities in Pakistan. I explore the ways local actors, (women teachers in this case) receive, translate, and contest international educational policies within local contexts. The notions of literacy contained in these international educational policies refer not only to the ability to read and write but also to the endorsement of a type of modern, urban citizen deemed vital for progress and development. In Pakistan, these particular notions of development are becoming increasingly significant as international development agencies are providing services such as education historically associated with state. The findings for my study show that local women teachers trained by the development organization find policies such as child-centered learning useful and yet in need of revision to better conform to local values of respect and collaboration. This case study reveals that literacy curricula can be effective only when local actors are part of the implementation as well as the policymaking processes.
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