Principals’ Actions and Reactions to the Education Reform in ...

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Abstract

The 2011 national reform introduced curricular changes that put new pressures on rural schools’ principals regarding the educational use of ICT. The study focuses on reactions from principals in the subsystem of indigenous education in northern Mexico. More specifically, it addresses how the new reform’s norms affect indigenous schools, and what schools do to cope with these demands. The methodology consisted of semi-structured interviews to fifteen principals and three techno-pedagogical advisers who work with migrant indigenous children in a rural area, and field notes taken in thirty-nine visits to fifteen schools. Our results suggest that the schools serving indigenous populations face greater challenges. These schools operate in unstable socioeconomic conditions and experience staff shortages, placing additional burdens on principals and teachers on top of special curricular requirements, such as the use of ICT and teaching national languages other than Spanish. In spite of the schools’ equipment and infrastructure shortages, and the lack of support and funding from the government, teachers used their own resources and sense of social responsibility to give students access to ICTs. To conclude, suggestions for supporting vulnerable schools are offered.