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Afro-Peruvian perspectives and critiques of intercultural education policy

Luis Martin Valdiviezo Arista, University of Massachusetts Amherst


Based on intercultural education, socio-cultural analysis, and decolonization and critical pedagogy perspectives, this dissertation explores contradictions in Peruvian intercultural education policy and examines the potential role that African and Afro-Peruvian thought may have in the reform of this policy. Despite redefinitions of the Peruvian state as multicultural/multilingual and the adoption of intercultural concepts in Peruvian education law, the official interpretation of intercultural principles has tended to undermine the social transforming potential implicit in intercultural education. First, official Peruvian education policy overlooks the historical and cultural contributions of non-European and non-Incan social groups. Second, it fails to address inequality and inequity between socio-cultural groups in the access to economic-political resources. Third, it restricts intercultural education programs to Indigenous speaking communities. This study notes how Peruvian intercultural education policy is shaped by state discourses on national identity and by the structure of official Peruvian identity, the Castilian-Inca mestizo entity, and thus ignores Peru's African, Asian, and Middle Eastern roots. By arguing for the inclusion of Afro-Peruvian traditions, this research offers a model for opening intercultural education policy to other excluded socio-cultural groups. Archival and contemporary evidence is used to show how the substantial African presence in Peru has been erased from official history, with negative socio-political consequences for Afro-Peruvians. It presents the philosophical, political, pedagogical, and sociological contributions of the Senegalese Leopold Sedar Senghor (1906–2001), and the Afro-Peruvians Nicomedes Santa Cruz Gamarra (1925–1992) and Jose Carlos Luciano Huapaya (1956–2002) as bases for rethinking Peruvian cultural diversity and intercultural policies from decolonized, democratic, and global perspectives. Further, it presents objections and counter-proposals to intercultural education policies of the Peruvian state that were gathered in a small pilot study of the personnel of the Afro-PeruvianYapatera High School and the nonprofit organizations CEDET and Lundu. Finally, it articulates these counter-proposals with Senghor, Santa Cruz, and Luciano's theoretical inputs for decolonizing and democratizing Peruvian intercultural education policy.

Subject Area

Multicultural Education|Education Policy|Latin American Studies|Public policy

Recommended Citation

Valdiviezo Arista, Luis Martin, "Afro-Peruvian perspectives and critiques of intercultural education policy" (2012). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI3518415.