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Researching Indigenous Science Knowledge Integration in Formal Education: Interpreting some Perspectives from the Field

Francis Akena Adyanga, Norma Ruth Arlene Romm

Abstract


This article is based on research, the goal of which was to explore with participants in a selected community in Mpumalanga (South Africa) possibilities that they foresaw for drawing on their ancestral knowledge and Indigenous approaches to knowing in the process of (beginning) science teaching. Thirty participants—15 elders and 15 primary school teachers—were interviewed. The teachers were found to have a variety of perspectives on the status of Indigenous science in formal education. Nevertheless, all the teachers in the study agreed that if Indigenous knowledge and ways of knowing were to become integrated in the curriculum and implemented, then elders should be at the forefront. Elders’ perspectives were also elicited. Some felt that it was important to create a different teaching and learning space where the validation of Indigenous knowledge could safely occur.

Keywords: Indigenous knowledge; Indigenous science; knowledge integration; spirituality; sustainable development; validation of knowing


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