Images of School from a Cambodian Rural Community: The Nexus of Memory and Present

Kathy E. Hart, Ph.D.


Few qualitative studies have been done in Cambodia, a country held hostage by the murderous Khmer Rouge in the 1970s. As it recovers from these atrocities, Cambodia looks to education to aid in its redevelopment.

This ethnographically-informed case study describes the educational understandings and oral history of residents of a rural Cambodian village. By listening to the voices of those who lived through the Khmer Rouge era and those who grew up in its shadow, we can better understand the foundations of education in rural Cambodia. The research describes ways in which literacy is exhibited in this village, revealing the possibilities of rich alternate literacies and strong beliefs in the future of education.

Using both Paulo Freire’s work and a feminist lens as suggested by Sara Lawrence- Lightfoot, field work was conducted in Cambodia using a variety of data sources: observations, interviews, and casual conversations. Analysing these data using the Portraiture Approach resulted in a complex picture of life within the village and ways literacy is shared. Findings from this case study reveal a rich foundation on which to build literacy within Cambodian by tending to the expressed and observed local needs.

Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Copyright © SCHOLINK INC.   ISSN 2573-0401 (Print)    ISSN 2573-041X (Online)