Implementation of Local Knowledges in the Cuban Primary Educational System


Publication date



Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences

Document type


Master i flerkulturell og internasjonal utdanning


This study explores the implementation of local knowledges in the Cuban Primary Educational System under the paradigm of qualitative research. Hence, we attempt to comprehend how the Cuban socialist government tried to de-alienate their Primary Educational System through the process of nationalization. Thus, we attempt to balance the knowledge production by exploring the Cuban perspective on local knowledges. Likewise, we explore to what extent are local knowledges introduced in the Cuban primary system A) Referred to as something exotic only, or B) As an alternative epistemological orientation. Finally, we discuss to what extent the Cuban Primary Educational System departs from GAE1. After analyzing our findings, we first came across that the Cuban educational authorities implemented the local knowledges as a supplement to the existing epistemology. Second, we found out that Cuban educational specialists do not recognize the implementation of local knowledges in the local Primary Educational System as an element belonging to a non-Western epistemology, rather they understand that local knowledges come from or are generated from the existing cubanized school subjects such as Spanish Language2 History of Cuba, Labor Education, Civic Education, Music Education, and Artistic Education. Third, we also found out that the Cuban Primary Educational System, represented by the local State, is able to promote a sort of schooling that provides the Cuban primary pupils the embodied state of cultural capital understood by Bourdieu (1997, p. 47/48) as the knowledge and cultural background owned by the parents and family and therefore transmitted to the next generations. Finally, we perceived that the nationalization process of the Cuban educational curriculum did not manage to include the plurality of the Afro-Indigenous knowledges. For this reason, we wonder whether the Cuban Revolution was actually a popular revolution that represented the values of the whole population, since great part of the Afro- Indigenous knowledges has not been embraced in the creation of a new national culture. “Quem não brinca junto, não luta junto” This an old proverb from the Tupinambá nation in Brazil that means “who does not play together, never fight together”, this idea is well known among individuals from traditional communities such as indigenous tribes and maroon communities also known as quilombos in Brazil.




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