Learning from Within: A Proposal for a New Approach to Education in Native Society


  • Hannes Kalisch Nengvaanemkeskama Nempayvaam Enlhet
  • Jens Van Gysel (Translator) University of New Mexico




This article presents a new perspective on how to think about interculturality and education from the perspective of a native society in the Paraguayan Chaco. It highlights how formal schooling reaffirms the model of unidirectional relations advocated by national society. Within this model, indigenous peoples and persons are not allowed to participate in this national society on their own conceptual terms, and inclusion turns out to be mere shorthand for assimilation. This text, on the other hand, proposes modes of education and forms of relating that pay attention to the native dimension. These would contribute to the creation of spaces which indigenous societies as such can hold within national society and support indigenous people’s own processes of protagonism and initiative. In parallel, it proposes conceiving of education as from rather than for autochthonous societies; and conceiving of the learning process from the point of view of learning rather than from the point of view of education. This conceptual change, which includes a critique of the widespread concept of interculturality, entails that we must not design modes of education, but rather create preconditions for learning from within the native society, which also requires ways of relating from within. In this way, colonialist pressures in education can be overcome and new possibilities for native protagonism can be developed.







How to Cite

Learning from Within: A Proposal for a New Approach to Education in Native Society. (2023). FIRE: Forum for International Research in Education, 7(3), 68-86. https://doi.org/10.32865/fire202273254