Guest Editor’ note

Raul Olmo Fregoso Bailón 

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I am pleased to present the number 8, December 2020 “Narratives from Teachers and Normalistas Teachers in the Decolonial Turn” of the Journal Transcontinental Human Trajectories (TraHs). Teachers and Normalistas-teachers are not recognized in the construction of knowledge. The eighth issue, December 2020 understands the term teachers and normalistas-teachers as denoting those educators formed either at teachers’ training colleges, universities, Normales Schools, or even those who, although have been unable to obtain their formal education, have taught or are currently teaching at all levels.

Teachers among other “ordinary” people for the canonical knowledge (Indigenous peoples, immigrants, farmers, taxi drivers, domestic workers, among others) exist merely as an appendix in the construction of self-proclaimed “serious” knowledge. Those social actors share the fact of being studied only as empiric objects; in other words, epistemically they are just fieldwork, and they are not considered valuable active subjects in the construction of knowledge. Fieldwork can be on immigrants, farmers, indigenous, or about teachers, but, according to Western parameters, “serious” theory still comes from canonical individuals.

It is necessary to address how teachers and their narratives are not only stories from people who suffer, but also theoretical sources of what can be considered knowledge.

The eighth issue of the journal Transcontinental Human Trayectories (TraHs) is not about teachers’ educational practices; in other words, it is not about how they can improve their practices in the classroom, but rather, it is on the teachers’ narratives and normalitas-teachers’ narratives as human beings reflecting on their work: their oral stories, poems, testimonials, poetic testimonials, autobiographies, memories, personal reflections, among other types of narratives. This journal issue addresses the way in which those teachers experienced their past as teachers or how they signify their present as educators.

Those narratives from teachers are full of concepts that can enrich the construction of what Maldonado-Torres calls the decolonial turn, which contains three foundational concepts: the decolonial attitude, decolonial rationale and decolonial subjectivity (Maldonado-Torres, 2006-2007, 2011a, 2011b, 2011c). Those categories are also indicators of the extent to which the decolonial turn needs to incorporate those subjects epistemically anonymous in order to be fully decolonial.

Teachers and normalistas-teachers’ narratives have been epistemically despised in part because those stories conceive the social construction of reality through metaphoric vehicles of knowledge or poetic epistemologies which are seen as a literary appendix of knowledge. Nevertheless, this journal issue addresses the way in which stories, poems, personal diaries, metaphors and other poetic approaches to reality from teachers are an epistemic reservoir that can provide new notions to the decolonial turn. If the intellectual cannon has mostly looked at their favorite intellectual places: capitalism, modernity, globalization, among others, it is critical to listen to those subjects out of the intellectual fashion such as teachers and normalistas-teachers; this will illuminate how non-existent they are in the construction of the decolonial turn.