Future Teacher and Social Change in BoliviaBetween decolonisation and demonstration Mieke Lopes Cardozo


This book illustrates the challenges and opportunities of the envisioned transformation of the Normales, and demonstrates a range of structural obstacles as well as the emerging potential niches for change. By locating Bolivian teacher education – and Bolivian future teachers – in a broader (inter)national socio-political, economical and cultural context, this research explores how Bolivian pre-service teacher education institutes and actors develop strategies for, or against, the societal transformation that is envisaged by the new Bolivian Plurinational constitutional regime.

Since the inauguration of Bolivia’s president Evo Morales in 2006, the new government is dedicated to free the country from the deep and continuing processes of poverty and inequality. With its new political push for a decolonised and more socially just education system and society, Bolivia is marking an exceptional alternative route towards development; a route that stands in stark contrast to mainstream neoliberal inspired global tendencies. Education provides an important entry point in to understanding processes of transformation in contemporary Bolivia, especially since teachers are regarded by the Bolivian government as important agents of change. The new Bolivia-owned and ‘revolutionary’ education reform for decolonising education prioritises future teachers’ pre-service training in Bolivia’s ‘Normales’ – or teacher education institutes.

Mieke Lopes Cardozo is a researcher and lecturer at the University of Amsterdam. She has a background in International Relations, Conflict Studies and International Development Studies. Her work is focused on: education for social justice; teachers’ education and agency; progressive and alternative education reforms; and international education and conflict.