Teachers’ Nascent Praxes of Care: Potentially Decolonizing Approaches to School Violence in Trinidad

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Department 1

Africana Studies


Zero tolerance, punitive and more negative peace-oriented approaches dominate school violence interventions, despite research indicating that comprehensive approaches are more sustainable. In this article, I use data from a longitudinal case study at a Trinidadian secondary school to focus on the role of teachers and their impact on school violence; I show that institutional constraints are not fully deterministic, as teachers sometimes deploy their agency to efficacious ends. In combining Noddings’ postulations on care and Freire’s notions of praxis as a symbiosis of reflection and action, I explicate the nascent praxes of care of six teachers at this school, as they strive for more positive peace-oriented approaches to school violence. I characterize these praxes as nascent because they are not fully interrogative of the structural violence of the entire system. However, I do argue that these nascent praxes possess decolonizing and transgressive potentiality in the face of a logic of coloniality that reinforces hierarchy, exclusion, and marginalization in the Trinidadian educational system. I conclude by contending that these nascent praxes must be scaled-up to more mature, radical praxes, including the cultivation of a systemic praxis of care; in other words, a deeper and broader postcolonial peace education.



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Original version available from the publisher at: http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/uBuQDCT3RuzaFTNfFTIm/full