A qualitative inquiry on teachers’ concerns about decentralization and privatization in one school in Guatemala


  • Michael T. Hayes University of Hawai’i at West O’ahu
  • Roxanne Hudson University of Washington




In this paper we describe a qualitative research project conducted at a public elementary school in a rural community in Guatemala. From analysis of interviews with teachers and the school administrator, we found that a key concern of participants was how they viewed the increasingly problematic relationship between their local educational processes, federal government policies and the broader forces of globalisation. To understand these issues, we employ a theoretical framework that draws from the, often competing, assumptions of global neoliberalism and the capability approach. The teachers interviewed for the project suggest that the Guatemalan government was attempting to implement a program of educational privatization that was incommensurate with the needs and interests of their daily lives as teachers in a small rural community. We argue that the issues and problems raised by the teachers are not only indicative of local or even Guatemalan national issues but illustrate global educational concerns and their incumbent problems.






General Refereed Papers