Decolonial Approaches to Teacher Professional Development through Peacebuilding, Children’s Literature, and Critical Literacies


In Colombia, public school teachers face several challenges, such as vertical power structures, heavy workloads, lack of recognition and agency in educational decision making, and irrelevant teacher professional development. However, teachers represent a strong transformational force because they have a direct impact on children’s life and learning opportunities. In this talk, we will present a critical participatory action research project conducted in the Colombian Caribbean with 16 preschool and elementary teachers in a public school. We propose a horizontal and participatory approach to teacher professional development to decolonize these spaces through five dimensions of peace education, children’s literature about local realities, and critical literacies pedagogies. For one year and a half, teachers have found a safe space to express their views, make decisions about their literacy curriculum, and be transformative agents in their school communities while expanding their perspective on children’s literature as a means for transformation. Teachers’ participation in the project has encouraged them to establish a dialogue between their previous discourses about literacy learning and teaching and new perspectives. They have also developed new abilities to use children’s literature as a medium to construct multidimensional peace and enact social transformation.


Lina Trigos-Carrillo
Associate Professor, Department of Spanish, Universidad del Norte, Colombia

Jorge Alessandro Herrera Bustamante
Research assistant/Teaching assistant, Spanish Department, Universidad del Norte, Atlántico, Colombia


Presentation Type

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


2023 Special Focus—Literacies and Educational Changes: Rediscussing Digital Learning, Neoliberalism and Post-Pandemic Policies


Peace, Peacebuilding, Critical, Literacies, Children, Literature, Decoloniality, Teachers, Development

Digital Media


Decolonial Approaches To Teacher Professional Development Through Peacebuilding, Children’s Literature, And Critical Literacies (Embed)