Peace Construction (PC) in English Language Teaching (ELT): a “possible impossibility”?
This research proposal addresses PC in ELT from teachers’ experiences silenced in some contexts within Colombia. Even when human realities are multifaceted and complex, there is a modern tendency in educational scenarios to approach realities through compartmentalized knowledge within separated disciplines. This suggests a modern worldview in which English teachers are perceived as instructors, and expected to constrain their discipline scope. This proposal intersects PC and ELT as complementary practices and areas in humans’ complex lives (Maldonado, 2009). Far from constituting an instrumental interest, as Muñoz (2016) also suggests, PC in ELT constitute a topic different from a trendy-like, or an ephemeral marketing-driven choice. Contrastively, this proposal takes PC in ELT as a life interest that needs discussing through an interdisciplinary dialogue with further knowledge areas, because of its complexity (Maldonado, 2009).
The above introduction to the research interest leads us to the problematization, containing the research question that suggests the objectives presented later. Firstly, I problematize the situation that although there are modern peace frames (instrumental, silencing, objectifying, universal), English language teachers may differently experience peace construction in the development of their own pedagogical proposals. This problematization will be explained through three problematic situations that articulate both theoretical and empirical referents, which are described in the same section. Additionally, I end with a research question concerned with English language teachers’ silenced experiences throughout PC in ELT, plus two further sub-questions. These ones in turn are connected to the research objectives in which the general one aims at co-understanding.
In the literature review, I discuss tendencies through a revision from a decolonial and critical epistemological positioning. Afterwards, two potential constructs to inform this proposal are presented namely, peace construction in ELT, together with English teachers’ experiences and voices. This discussion supports part of this project’s theoretical relevance, because it could display the transformation of the ELT field from an instrumental or objectifying space to one more relational and concerned with pluriversal dialogues.
Finally, this study proposes an otherwise intuitive methodology where the qualitative interpretive approach supports this project to a certain extent, since all methodological decisions are not prescriptive. Instead, they are expected to appear throughout the path while interacting with English teachers participating here as known subjects and knowers (Vasilachis, 2009). These teachers inspiring this project work at peripheral public institutions in Bogotá and Antioquia. They have created PC projects since 4 and 12 years ago. All of them have participated in movements and collectives with social interests showing their agency. For it, my role as a bricoleur in this study seems relevant through shareable toolboxes. Multimodal encounters emerge as knowledge (data) construction resources and scenarios to re-signify experiences by turning teachers’ “little voices” up.