Professor Regina Cortina directs a new research initiative on Civil Society Organizations and Education: Advocating for Change in Latin America, with Dr. Constanza Lafuente, who is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the ICE program. The goal of this initiative is to study the advocacy strategies and contributions of civil society organizations in the field of education that are promoting the advancement of the right to education across the Americas. The research is looking into the success and challenges of such organizations that target governmental decision makers through the various policy stages, such as agenda setting, policy enactment, implementation and monitoring.
Professor Cortina launched The International Working Group on Indigenous Intercultural Bilingual Education, to provide opportunities for academics throughout Latin America to discuss issues related to Indigenous intercultural bilingual education (known as EIB, using the acronym in Spanish for Educación Intercultural Bilingüe). This initiative furthers our understanding of the challenges and limitations of current EIB policy arrangements for building equal educational opportunities for Indigenous children in Latin American countries. The research of the International Working Group is both relevant and timely. National governments regularly face the challenges of integrating Indigenous populations into their education systems, including the languages and cultures of these groups. With low achievement scores among Indigenous schools, some governments in Latin America are questioning further investments in Indigenous school resources, such as teacher training of EIB teachers. The Working Group can directly and positively influence this decision-making process.