Teaching Amidst Micro Trafficking: A Study of Teacher Perceptions and Practices in Guayaquil, Ecuador
By: María José Bermeo Valencia
Published: 5/18/2016
Uploaded: 06/06/2018
Uploaded by: Pocket Masters
Pockets: 2016 (May) Teachers College Columbia University Ed.D. Dissertations, Gottesman Libraries Archive, Historical Dissertations
Tags: Drugs, education policy, security, teaching, Urban violence

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Description/Abstract: Across Latin America, the illicit drug trade enters schools and carries implications for the everyday interactions of educational actors. In this dissertation, I focus on the lived experiences of teachers in urban settings affected by micro trafficking. Using the case study of Guayaquil, Ecuador, I examine teacher responses to students involved in drugs. I draw on focus group, interview, and observation data gathered between October 2012 and May 2014. The study shows that teachers in Guayaquil categorized students according to their levels and types of involvement in drugs, exhibited through teachers labeling of students, narratives they carried and propagated about them, and their differentiated treatment of students. Involvement in micro trafficking thus operated as an identity marker for students, and carried implications for their educational experiences. The findings also show that teachers in Guayaquil exhibited varied, inconsistent, and often contradictory forms of intervention in their daily engagements of drugs and direct violence, highlighting the highly discretionary nature of teachers roles in addressing urban violence. Personal safety concerns, policy contradictions, and minimal support informed their decision-making. The study posits that through their discretionary and differential response to student involvement in micro trafficking, teachers participate in reinforcing and resisting the securitization of drugs at the school-level. This research contributes to scholarship on the everyday construction of peace and security, the role of teachers in peacebuilding, and the mechanisms of educational exclusion.