An Intercultural Education: Teaching Reading in a Mapuche Context

  •  María Hernández    
  •  Adriana Hermosilla    


In Chile, there are currently intercultural educational policies; national curricula that assume updated research development including investigational advances in reading and opportunities for improvement of teacher training. However, in La Araucania Region predominates for lagging behind in reading and it is necessary to explain this tendency beyond poverty and rural conditions of the region. In this context, the aim of this article is to understand the practices for the teaching of reading carried out by primary school teachers in rural schools in a Mapuche intercultural context, and their relationship with and between the pedagogical conceptions that underlie these teaching practices. This is a qualitative study, framed in educational investigation. Sixteen teachers were selected intentionally, 6 men and 10 women, 75% of them from Mapuche ancestry. In order to collect information, reading classes were observed using ethnographic records and the application of two Likert scale questionnaires on conceptions of teaching, learning and reading. The results show that most educators teach reading in a decontextualized manner, from the textbook of the student, with the teacher’s role and focus on decoding texts. The study also shows consistency between the teachers’ conceptions of learning and reading. A high percentage of these conceptions are traditional ones that lie beneath the teaching of reading. However, the study highlights that there are very little findings of reading practices that relate to the Mapuche context in which the students are situated.

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