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Indigenous knowledge systems: its affordances and restraints in school science

Show simple item record De Beer, Josef
dc.contributor.editor Kriek, Jeanne 2019-12-02T09:58:10Z 2019-12-02T09:58:10Z © 2019 2019
dc.identifier.citation 2019 ISTE International Conference on Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, 21-25 October 2019, Mopani Camp in Kruger National Park, Mpumalanga, South Africa en
dc.identifier.isbn 978-1-77615-062-5
dc.description.abstract The advocates for the infusion of indigenous knowledge in the school science curriculum often make a compelling argument that the natural sciences and indigenous knowledge share many tenets, and therefore such epistemological border-crossing could be facilitated with relative ease. Several scholars have shown how indigenous knowledge could be taught in the science classroom, utilising the processes of science. Joint tenets of science and indigenous knowledge include its empirical, inferential and tentative nature. However, the Achilles heel in this argument is how to deal with the metaphysical nature of indigenous knowledge in the science classroom. The ontological nature of science builds on the empirical- the universe is orderly and predictable. In contrast, indigenous knowledge has a dual ontological nature: it is both empirical and metaphysical. Most scholars would argue that the science teacher should only focus on the empirical component of indigenous knowledge, and ignore metaphysics, which is not aligned with the nature of the natural sciences. However, in doing so, indigenous knowledge is ransacked of its holistic nature. In this paper the author investigates examples of metaphysics in ethnobotany, and suggests that there often are plausible explanations for what, at first glance, might seem to be ‘pseudo-science’ or metaphysics. Furthermore, when learners engage with the more metaphysical aspects of indigenous knowledge, they are provided the opportunity to measure such practices against the accepted tenets of the natural sciences, and differentiate between science and pseudoscience. The paper also analyses contemporary research trends and career opportunities related to science with an indigenous knowledge imprint, and argues that the exclusion of indigenous knowledge in the school curriculum, based on its metaphysical dimension, would disadvantage learners. The inclusion of indigenous knowledge in the natural sciences curriculum will alert learners to both career and entrepreneurial opportunities that they may pursue in future. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher Institute of Science & Technology Education, University of South Africa en
dc.rights © 2019 Institute for Science and Technology Education (ISTE), University of South Africa
dc.rights All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means - mechanical or electronic, including recordings or tape recording and photocopying - without the prior permission of the publisher, excluding fair quotations for purposes of research or review.
dc.subject Indigenous knowledge en
dc.subject science education en
dc.subject metaphysical nature of indigenous knowledge en
dc.subject contextualising science en
dc.subject pseudo-science en
dc.subject career and entrepreneurial guidance en
dc.title Indigenous knowledge systems: its affordances and restraints in school science en
dc.type Article en
dc.description.department Institute for Science and Technology Education (ISTE) en

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