Special Issue: Education and socio-environmental justice in the pluriverse: decolonial perspectives

Globalizations Volume 21, 2024 – Issue 2

A growing body of interdisciplinary scholarship underscores the imperative to explore and advance pluriversal education – an educational approach that embraces the diversity of ways of being, knowing, and acting, rooted in historical contexts and ecological interconnectedness. Central to this exploration is a pressing need to consider education as a means of promoting epistemic pluralism within spaces of settler colonialism. By contesting a Westernized geopolitics of knowledge, a pluriversal education advocates for the revalorization of subaltern knowledges, Indigenous cosmovisions, activism, and socio-environmental justice grounded in human, cultural, and land rights. The paper first debates fundamental divergences between the concept of pluriversal education, based on principles of decolonial interculturality, and the principles of global sustainable education announced by international mainstream institutions. Then, it refers to concrete experimentations of activism in pluriversal education in various locations illustrated by the contributions of the special issue.

Minoia, P., & Castro-Sotomayor, J. (2024). Education and socio-environmental justice in the pluriverse: decolonial perspectives. Globalizations, 21(2), 303–312.

El Masri, Y. (2024). Decolonizing education in Bourj Albarajenah: cosmologies of a Palestinian refugee camp. Globalizations, 21(2), 313–330.

Minoia, P., Tapia, A., & Kaukonen Lindholm, R. E. (2024). Epistemic territories of kawsak sacha (living forest): cosmopolitics and cosmoeducation. Globalizations, 21(2), 331–348.

Hohenthal, J., & Veintie, T. (2024). Fostering Indigenous young people’s socio-environmental consciousness through place-based learning in Ecuadorian Amazonia. Globalizations, 21(2), 349–369.

Korsant, C. (2024). A Freirean ecopedagogy or an imposition of values? The pluriverse and the politics of environmental education. Globalizations, 21(2), 370–387.

Audley, S., & D’Souza, A. B. (2024). Creating third spaces in K-12 socio-environmental education through indigenous languages: a case study. Globalizations, 21(2), 388–403.

Durazzo, L. (2024). A cosmopolitical education: Indigenous language revitalization among Tuxá people from Bahia, Brazil. Globalizations, 21(2), 404–420.

Cadaval Narezo, M., Méndez Torres, G., Hernández Vásquez, A., & Castro-Sotomayor, J. (2023). Contributions to the pluriverse from indigenous women professors of intercultural universities. Globalizations, 20(7), 1144–1162.



The project has formally ended, but the work continues!

We published the book Plurinacionalidad y Justicia Epistémica, with Abya Yala (edited by Ruth Arias-Gutiérrez and Paola Minoia), and a Special Issue titled “Education and socio-environmental justice in the pluriverse” (edited by Paola Minoia and José Castro-Sotomayor) is forthcoming in the journal Globalizations.

Moreover, here are some articles and a book chapter that have been published, with the links to read them online:

– Arias-Gutiérrez, R. I., & Minoia, P. (2023). Decoloniality and critical interculturality in higher education: experiences and challenges in Ecuadorian Amazonia. Forum for Development Studies, 50(1), 11-34. https://doi.org/10.1080/08039410.2023.2177562

– Castro-Sotomayor, J., & Minoia, P. (2023). Cultivating postdevelopment from pluriversal transitions and radical spaces of engagement. In H. Melber, U. Kothari, L. Camfield, & K. Biekart (Eds.), Challenging global development: towards decoloniality and justice (pp. 95-116). (EADI Global Development Series ). Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-30308-1_6

– Minoia, P., Tapia, A., & Kaukonen Lindholm, R. E. (2024). Epistemic territories of kawsak sacha (living forest): cosmopolitics and cosmoeducation. Globalizations. https://doi.org/10.1080/14747731.2024.2308332

Book release: “Plurinacionalidad y justicia epistémica. Retos de la educación intercultural en la Amazonía ecuatoriana”

En Ecuador, con el fin de empoderar a las diferentes nacionalidades y pueblos que forman el Estado Plurinacional, se estableció el programa de Educación Intercultural Bilingüe (EIB). El objetivo: integrar diversos idiomas locales, conocimientos y prácticas pedagógicas en la educación, basada en la filosofía de sumak kawsay centrada en la comunidad, ecológicamente equilibrada y culturalmente sensible. La implementación del programa ha experimentado restricciones en la última década que han debilitado el programa omitiendo realidades culturales y saberes ancestrales.

Este libro aborda la implementación de la interculturalidad en la educación, con enfoque en la región amazónica y en los ciclos curriculares superiores. Ha confrontado situaciones educativas en la provincia de Pastaza, observando la aplicación de la EIB en unidades educativas de las zonas kichwa, shuar y sapara, con especial atención en el bachillerato y educación universitaria, es decir, aquellas instancias que preparan a los jóvenes para la vida adulta.

The book narrates how the great political and cultural project of educational interculturality, instrumental for recognizing the ancestral knowledge of the various Ecuadorian peoples as valid knowledge for all within the plurinational state, is applied to the Amazon region.

Arias-Gutiérrez, R., & Minoia, P. (Eds.) (2023). Plurinacionalidad y justicia epistemica. Retos de la educación intercultural en la Amazonía Ecuatoriana. Ediciones Abya Yala


Introducción: La educación como revitalización cultural y ecológica para las nacionalidades amazónicas (Paola Minoia y Ruth Arias-Gutiérrez)

Capítulo I: Políticas públicas educativas y lucha del movimiento indígena por una interculturalidad decolonial (Paola Minoia y Andrés Tapia)

Capítulo II: Características de la inserción de los pueblos y nacionalidades
indígenas en el sistema escolar (Tito Madrid y Ruth Arias-Gutiérrez)

Capítulo III: Del discurso hacia la estructura: interculturalidad en las universidades amazónicas (Ruth Arias-Gutiérrez, Manuel Pérez y Paola Pozo)

Capítulo IV: Educación intercultural y agencia de comunidades indígenas:
una mirada desde el territorio sapara (Riikka Kaukonen Lindholm y Mariano Ushigua)

Capítulo V: Acceso de jóvenes indígenas a los colegios en la provincia de Pastaza (Johanna Hohenthal y Ruth Arias-Gutiérrez)

Capítulo VI: Calendarios vivenciales: creando vínculos entre las comunidades
indígenas y el bachillerato (Tuija Veintie, Anders Sirén y Paola Minoia)

Capítulo VII: Interculturalidad en el aula: experiencias de acompañamiento
a los estudiantes de culturas minoritarias en Pastaza (Rosaura Gutiérrez Valerio, Juan J. Leiva Olivencia e Itaya Corina Andy Malaver)

Capítulo VIII: Intervenciones de diseño participativo: apoyando redes
de cuidado universitarias en tiempos de Covid (Nathaly Pinto, Xavier Barriga-Abril, Katy Machoa y Paola Minoia)


Video of the Seminar “Pluri­verse, Education and Ter­rit­orial Justice”

HELSUS Global South Encounters has just released the video of our presentation (October 2021)

Abstract – The comprehensive development project manifested in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) proposes an overall engagement on “quality education for all” and supports social justice by promoting equal access to education for the most deprived groups. However, the SDG4 on quality education does not acknowledge diversity in ways of being (ontologies) and knowing (epistemologies) around the world and the need to support alternative ways to learn and produce knowledge. The role of education to achieve social and environmental justice is not new. At the institutional and international level, the debate around education has become central in the post-2015 development agenda, and within the territorial turn, education engenders and sustains projects with the potential to resist structural socio-environmental injustices and move toward more regenerative futures.

In this seminar, the panelists discuss how territorial justice and education offer paths toward the pluriverse by touching upon knowledge, politics and pedagogical visions, ecocultural identities, humilocene, socio-environmental consciousness, place-based education and community experiential calendars. The seminar connects with the Academy of Finland’s DEVELOP programme project “Goal 4+: Including Eco-cultural Pluralism in Quality Education in Ecuadorian Amazonia“.


Paola Minoia is a Senior Lecturer in Global Development Studies at the University of Helsinki, and an Associate Professor in Political and Economic Geography at the University of Turin. Her research interests intersect the fields of political ecology and development studies with a focus on territoriality, state- and minoritized groups relations, socio-environmental justice, eco-cultural knowledges and the pluriverse. She is the Principal Investigator in the project Ecocultural pluralism in the Ecuadorian Amazonia (funded by the Academy of Finland 2018-2022) and a WG leader in the EU/COST Network Decolonising Development: Research, Teaching and Practice (2020-2024).

José Castro-Sotomayor PhD. is an Assistant Professor at California State University Channel Islands, U.S.A. He investigates ecocultural modes of human and more-than-human communication and how they influence our relationships with the Earth’s vitality. His work focuses on transversal forms of communication, agency, and dissent that inform participatory models for environmental peacebuilding and decision and policymaking. He is co-editor of The Routledge Handbook of Ecocultural Identity (2020), a transdisciplinary volume seeking to foster a radical epistemology by investigating ways ecocultural identities are being, and can be, thought, felt, performed, and experienced within wider sociopolitical structures in ways relevant to regenerative Earth futures. Originally from Ecuador, he worked as an independent consultant for environmental NGOs in Ecuador and Colombia.

Tuija Veintie is a postdoctoral researcher in Global Development Studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland. Her current research focuses on the integration of ecological and Indigenous knowledge in intercultural bilingual upper secondary education in Ecuador. Her study is part of a research project ‘Goal 4+: Including Eco-cultural Pluralism in Quality Education in Ecuadorian Amazonia’. Veintie has a multidisciplinary background in education, anthropology, and Latin American studies. She received her PhD degree in Educational Sciences from the University of Helsinki in 2018. Her research interests include social justice and diversity issues, epistemic power hierarchies, intercultural and Indigenous education as well as minority and Indigenous peoples’ rights.

Johanna Hohenthal is a postdoctoral researcher in Global Development Studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki. She has worked in a research project ‘Goal 4+: Including Eco-cultural Pluralism in Quality Education in Ecuadorian Amazonia’ that studies intercultural bilingual education and eco-cultural knowledges of the Amazonian Indigenous groups. Her interests focus on the accessibility of intercultural bilingual education and its relation to Indigenous territoriality and place-based learning as well as on participatory research methods. She received a PhD degree in Geography in 2018. Her doctoral research focused on water resource governance and local ecological knowledge in the Taita Hills, Kenya.

Chaitawat Boonjubun, chair of the event, is a postdoctoral researcher at Global Development Studies, the Faculty of Social Sciences, the University of Helsinki, Finland. His research interests focus on understanding the social, political, economic, and cultural determinants of sustainable urban land use, the discourses and practices of urban regeneration, the politics of public lands, urban informality, religious land, and inequalities in cities.

Nueva publicación: ‘Fomentar la conciencia socioambiental de los jóvenes indígenas mediante el aprendizaje basado en el lugar en la Amazonia ecuatoriana’

Un nuevo artículo de acceso abierto por Johanna Hohenthal y Tuija Veintie (y el equipo de investigación) se publica en la revista Globalizations.

Resumen en español: La educación juega un rol fundamental en la preparación de los jóvenes para abordar a los problemas socio-ambientales que amenazan los territorios indígenas en la Amazonia ecuatoriana. En este estudio, nos enfocamos en el aprendizaje basado en el lugar (place-based learning) y analizamos cómo los diversos espacios de aprendizaje en la vida cotidiana de los jóvenes indígenas les permiten la involucración con diversos conocimientos sobre temas socioambientales. Realizamos un mapeo participativo, fotografía y entrevistas con estudiantes de bachillerato en tres unidades educativas interculturales bilingües de la provincia de Pastaza, en Ecuador, para estudiar las percepciones de los y las jóvenes y los “momentos pedagógicos” (teachable moments) para aprender sobre problemas socioambientales. Según los resultados, las experiencias cotidianas de los y las jóvenes, la vida familiar y las reuniones comunitarias ofrecen un valioso espacio para el aprendizaje de los problemas socioambientales locales, el conocimiento indígena y la cosmovisión. Sin embargo, en la enseñanza en el nivel de bachillerato, los temas socioambientales se discuten principalmente como fenómenos globales aislados, mientras que unas conexiones más explícitas con temas ambientales y conocimientos locales contribuirían a pluriversalizar la educación y a apoyar los vínculos territoriales y la conciencia socioambiental crítica de los estudiantes.

Artículo completo publicado en inglés: Hohenthal, J. & Veintie, T. (2022) Fostering Indigenous young people’s socio-environmental consciousness through place-based learning in Ecuadorian Amazonia. Globalizations. https://doi.org/10.1080/14747731.2022.2038831

New publication: ‘Fostering Indigenous young people’s socio-environmental consciousness through place-based learning in Ecuadorian Amazonia’

A new article authored by Johanna Hohenthal and Tuija Veintie was published open access as part of a special issue ‘Education and Socio-environmental Justice in the Pluriverse’ in the journal Globalizations.

The article focuses on place-based learning and analyses how diverse learning spaces allow the Indigenous youth in Ecuadorian Amazonia to engage with diverse knowledges on socio-environmental issues. The study draws from interviews, participatory mapping and photography done with and by students in three intercultural bilingual upper secondary schools in the Pastaza province of Ecuadorian Amazonia. The field work was carried out in collaboration between the Nordic and Ecuadorian researchers/university students and supported by the Goal4+ project and the Universidad Estatal Amazónica based in Puyo.

‘The findings suggest that young people’s daily embodied experiences, family life, and community meetings offer rich grounds for learning about local socio-environmental issues, Indigenous knowledge, and cosmovision (worldview). However, in the intercultural bilingual upper secondary schooling, socio-environmental issues are discussed mostly as detached global phenomena, while more explicit connections to local issues and knowledge would contribute to pluriversalizing education and supporting students’ territorial ties and critical socio-environmental consciousness.’

Hohenthal, J. & Veintie, T (2022). Fostering Indigenous young people’s socio-environmental consciousness through place-based learning in Ecuadorian Amazonia. Globalizations. DOI: 10.1080/14747731.2022.2038831


Nueva publicación: “Las (im)posibilidades de la educación en la Amazonia: evaluando la resiliencia de la educación bilingüe intercultural en medio de múltiples crisis”

Un nuevo artículo de acceso abierto por Tuija Veintie, Johanna Hohenthal, Katy Machoa y Anders Sirén se publica en la revista Diaspora, Indigenous and Minority Education. Estudios sobre migración, integración, equidad y supervivencia cultural.

El artículo analiza las desigualdades educativas relacionadas con la brecha digital y la resiliencia de las comunidades frente a las múltiples crisis. El estudio aporta las perspectivas de las comunidades indígenas amazónicas Kichwa y Shuar de la provincia de Pastaza en Ecuador. Jóvenes de las comunidades indígenas amazónicas no están representados en las encuestas a nivel nacional debido a la baja calidad de las redes de telecomunicaciones y al limitado o nulo acceso a las tecnologías de la información y la comunicación. Este estudio se basa en entrevistas con los directores de nueve escuelas secundarias superiores interculturales bilingües y en un estudio de caso en el que participan profesores, estudiantes, padres y líderes de una remota comunidad rural indígena Kichwa. Continue reading “Nueva publicación: “Las (im)posibilidades de la educación en la Amazonia: evaluando la resiliencia de la educación bilingüe intercultural en medio de múltiples crisis””

New publication: “The (im)possibilities of education in Amazonia: assessing the resilience of intercultural bilingual education in the midst of multiple crises”

A new open access article by Tuija Veintie, Johanna Hohenthal, Katy Machoa and Anders Sirén is published in the Journal Diaspora, Indigenous and Minority Education. Studies of Migration, Integration, Equity, and Cultural Survival.

The article discusses educational inequities related to digital divide, Indigenous education and community resilience against multiple crises. The study brings forward perspectives from the Amazonian Indigenous Kichwa and Shuar communities in the Pastaza Province in Ecuador. National level surveys do not reach the Amazonian youth living in Indigenous communities due to poor quality of telecommunication networks and limited or no access to information and communication technologies. This study is based on interviews with school directors from nine Intercultural bilingual upper secondary schools and a case study that involves teachers, students, parents and leaders in one remote rural Indigenous Kichwa community.

Continue reading “New publication: “The (im)possibilities of education in Amazonia: assessing the resilience of intercultural bilingual education in the midst of multiple crises””


Durante el 22 y 23 de julio, parte del grupo de investigación participó en parte de una serie de conferencias virtuales organizadas por el Grupo de Interés Especial (Special Interest Group–SIG, en inglés) en Diseño Pluriversal de la Sociedad de Investigación en Diseño (Design Research Society –DRS, en inglés): Pivot 2021: Desmontaje/Montaje, herramientas para futuros alternativos. Las conferencias se centraron en mantener conversaciones interculturales sobre la descolonialidad y la transformación social. Con el objetivo de identificar herramientas y prácticas de desmantelamiento y reensamblaje que podrían favorecer formas de remodelar la presencia humana en la Tierra, así como casos concretos de creación de futuro alternativo en todo el mundo.




During July 22-23, part of the research group participated in part of series of virtual conferences organized by the Pluriversal Design Special Interest Group (SIG) of the Design Research Society (DRS): Pivot 2021: Dismantling/Reassembling, tools for alternative futures. The conferences focused on sustaining intercultural conversations about decoloniality and societal transformation. Aiming to identify tools and practices of dismantling and reassembling that could favor ways of reshaping human presence on Earth, as well as concrete cases of alternative future-making from all around the world.