07 SES 05.5 PS, Implications and Applications for the Indigenous Knowledge in Education
General Poster Session
There are approximately 370 million indigenous peoples in 5,000 groups worldwide, and most have undergone the colonial periods, when colonialists had been purposely rooting out their languages, culture, traditions and social organizations. Since most of indigenous peoples do not have written languages, researches in aboriginals tend to treat them as a passive object, leading to, in terms of experiences and traditions, distorted facts in books that are quite the opposite to their real image as a subject. These might due to the gap in culture, status, viewpoints, space-time background and ideology(孫大川、蔡智豪，1996).In addition, modern education also cause marginalization and stigmatization of IK. As a result, indigenous culture has then gradually lost its subjectivity under the sway of self-denial(李瑛、孫大川，2002).
The non-paper The Coolangatta Statement on Indigenous Peoples’ Rights in Education by The World Indigenous peoples’ Conference on Education(WIPCE) in 1999 mentioned that indigenous peoples, especially those underwent colonial periods, have been fighting for self-determination, and they can no longer ignore their complete spirituality being eroded by the invasions from those with power. It is also stated that indigenous peoples claim the right to receive education. However, education has been made non-aboriginal-oriented over time, and the ultimate goal of education is to assimilate indigenous peoples into the non-aboriginal society. Accordingly, the indigenous peoples have the right, and supposed to set up educational institutions that match up their cultural values and philosophies, both of which have been nourishing and shaping them for thousands of years.3
The Amendment of the Constitution of R.O.C., Article10, the 12th point says,” Based on the will of ethnic groups, the government shall guarantee the status of indigenous peoples and their engagement in politics…and assist in their development…”The Taiwanese Indigenous Education Act also takes effect in 1998 in accordance with the Constitution which represents a guarantee of indigenous education in light of validation. Apparently, the government has set a goal to put forward well-rounded policies regarding the Indigenous education. Even though the government aims to parallel education criteria in between aboriginals and non-aboriginals though policies, the effect is quite limited. Indeed, there are determining factors behind regarding education effectiveness, such as family, culture in communities, social capital and socioeconomic status etc., which are all influential to student’s performance. Other related researches have also contributed a lot, while little attention has been paid to the indigenous education. This paper delves into the implications and possible applications of the IK in education. This paper firstly tried to clarify the origin, production and characteristics of IK, as well as its contrast with knowledge in the West. Secondly, the Education Criteria proposed by Peters, a British scholar, was used to exam deeper into the educational implications of IK. Lastly, the Spiral curriculum designed by the ANKN was used as an example to analyze the applications in education, as well as the education principles to offer reference for teaching and further studies.
What is indigenous knowledge? In the past, many scholars gave definitions and explanations from different angles, while it has not yet led to a unanimous perception of the concept. Warren (1991) and Flavier et al.(1995)present conceptual definition with suggestions. Warren says IK is the local knowledge that is unique to a given culture or society. It contrasts with the knowledge system generated by universities and research institutions. It is the basis for local-level decision making in agriculture, culture, health care, food preparation, education, natural-resource management and a host of other activities in rural communities (Warren 1991). Flavier, on the other hand, believes IK is the information basis for a given society to facilitate communication and decision-making. IK systems are dynamic, and are continuously influences by internal creativity, interactions and the contact with external systems. From these statements, we can infer that IK is purpose-driven with a given development stages. IK, most of which are practical, is the production of a series of interactions with the external systems, and its development usually lasts over time, in which the quality and purpose differ from that of generated by academic researches.
In recent years, the indigenous peoples’ calling for the self-determination in education and culture rights has been on the increase worldwide. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted in 2007.This would denote the symbol of guarantees and improvements in the rights of indigenous peoples. From this declaration, Article 14,the 1st point,” Indigenous peoples have the right to establish and control their educational systems and institutions providing educations in their own languages ,in a manner appropriate to their cultural methods of teaching and learning.” and the 3rd point,” States shall, in conjunction with indigenous peoples ,take effective measures ,in order for indigenous individuals particularly children, including those living outside their communities, to have access, when possible ,to an education in their own culture ,and provided in their own language.”, we believe the self-determination in indigenous education the right recognized by the world. Thus, the revival of IK has become the common goal global indigenous peoples aim to achieve. The inheritance of knowledge and language relate to the continuation of culture, and they also appear truly vital for the sustainable living. As mentioned from the very beginning, indigenous peoples have a collection of ecological knowledge and wisdom that come from the harmony their forefathers enjoyed with nature, and the wisdom was handed down to later generations to ensure the harmony. Sadly, such wisdom and their language are so quickly fading out from their world, a situation the elders cannot but feel anxious and helpless. For half a century, as the society becomes multi-cultural, more attention is given to IK (Stevenson, 1996), and values and experiences of minorities are also receiving focus, whereas more people are growing to be skeptical about the cognitive imperialism.
Cajete, G. (1994). Look to the mountain: An ecology of indigenous education. Skyland: Kivaki Press. Freire, P. (1998). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York: Continuum. Giroux, H. A. (1983). Theory and resistance in education: A pedagogy for the opposition. Massachusetts: Bergin & Garvey. Habermas, J. (1993). Justification and application. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. Harding, S. (1998). Is science multicultural? Postcolomialism, feminism, and epistemologies. Indianapolis: Indiana University Press. Kincheloe, J.L., & Steinberg, S.R. (2008). Indigenous knowledge in education: Complexities, dangers, and profound benefits. In Denzin, N.K., Smith, L.T., & Lincoln, Y. (Eds.), Handbook of critical and indigenous methodologies. Los Angeles: Sage Publication. Lomawaima, K.T. (1995). Educating native Americans. In Banks, J.A. (Ed.) Handbook of research on multicultural education. NY: Macmillan Publishing. Maurial, M. (1999). Indigenous knowledge and schooling: A continuum between conflict and dialogue. In L. M. Semali & J. L. Kincheloe (Eds.), What is Indigenous knowledge: Voices from the academy (pp. 59-77). New York: Falmer Press. Nandy, A. (1987). Traditions, tyranny and utopias: essays in the politics of awareness. Delhi: Oxford University Press. Quddus, M. A. (2000). Use of indigenous knowledge in the sustainable development of Bangladeshi farm forestry. In P. Sillitoe (Ed.), Indigenous knowledge development in Bangladesh: Present and future (pp. 57-64). London: Intermediate Technology Publications Limited. Reagan, T. (2000). Non-western educational traditions: Indigenous approaches to educational thought and practice. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., Publishers. Semali, L. M., & Kincheloe, J. L. (1999). What is indigenous knowledge? Voice from the academy. New York: Falmer Press. Shiva, V. (2000). The politics and knowledge at convention on biological diversity. Http://www. Twnside.org.sg/title/cbd-cn.htm Smith, L. T. (1999). Decolonizing methodologies Research and indigenous peoples. New York: Zed Books. Stephens, S. (2000). Handbook for culturally responsive science curriculum. Fairbanks: Alaska Native Knowledge Network. Stevenson, M. G. (1996). Indigenous knowledge in environmental assessment. Artic, 49(3), 278-291.
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