Naiara Unzurrunzaga

Postgraduate Research Student

N.Unzurrunzaga-Martinez@liverpool.ac.uk


Thesis Title

“Imagining 'another' education: re-humanising education with a critical decolonial horizon."

Biography

I have a BA in Translating and Interpreting from the Universidad del País Vasco, where I am originally from. I moved to Liverpool in 2008 where I became interested in education and became a Modern Languages teacher after gaining a PGCE in Secondary at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU). 

I have taught Spanish and French both at primary and secondary level first in the UK and then abroad for 10 years. When returning to the UK, I decided to go back to university and gained an MA in Education, Globalisation and Social Change at LJMU.

This was a turning point in my career as I then moved on to University of Liverpool to pursue further postgraduate studies in the area of Latin American Studies, from where I have now gained an MRes in Latin American studies.

Research Interests

I am interested in imagining another type of education that is radically human (Fanon, 1961: Wynter, 2003; 2015).

Inspired by Sylvia Wynter's theory of the human and her conception of historical discourse organised by a series of epistemic breaks (2000;2003), my project aims to interrogate the validity of Western philosophical thought, humanism and knowledge as universal and investigate the implication of this in knowledge production, education institutions and the epistemologies they uphold. This intends to provide a deeper understanding of how the dehumanisation in perpetuated by educational processes and institutions. 

In addition, my project also has an action research approach as it aims to explore existing alternative educational experiences (specifically in Latin America, but not necessarily limited to the region) that are unsettling the de-humanising effects of hegemonic Western epistemologies and knowledge production and the education system that uphold them. Engaging with existing alternative educational experiences will encourage critical reflection on the conditions of possibility and constraints on radically re-humanising education provisions and how to potentially create collective spaces to imagine ‘others’ anew.

The starting point of this research project is inspired by my own frustrated experience as a teacher as I was witness to what I consider to be a crisis in education. I believe it is critical for educators to continue engaging in and thinking new ways to re-humanise education. My main argument is that although it is undeniable that education has had and continues to have a key role in the dehumanisation of humanity, it is also exactly because of the powerful nature of this, that educational spaces hold a huge potential in which teaching can be done to transgress (hooks, 1994) in order to unsettle the coloniality of knowledge and power (Wynter, 2003).   This is where I position myself. My intention is for my research journey to be a contribution to the type of scholarship that imagines, rethinks, and seeks another type of education.

Research Funding

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) - NWSSDTC 1+3 pathway