Abstract

Abstract:

We argue that local languages, coupled with modern pedagogy and technology, are necessary, though not sufficient, ingredients for universal access to quality education. Our case study is Haiti, where French is the primary language of school instruction, though it is spoken by only a small percentage of the population, while Haitian Creole (aka ‘Kreyòl’), the language fluently spoken by all Haitians in Haiti, is mostly excluded from the formal discourse and written documents that create and transmit knowledge (and power) in schools, courts, state offices, and so forth. We first describe the historical, political, linguistic, and sociocultural backgrounds to such impediments to quality education in Haiti. Then we present and analyze data that begin to answer these two questions: (i) What does change look like in complex postcolonial contexts, especially change in educators’ attitudes toward the use of stigmatized languages (such as Kreyòl) in formal education? (ii) How can local languages such as Kreyòl serve to enhance the promotion and dissemination of modern pedagogy and technology for STEM education, and vice versa—namely, how can STEM education, in turn, serve to enhance the promotion of stigmatized languages such as Kreyòl?

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. e127-e157
Launched on MUSE
2018-06-16
Open Access
No
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