American Journal of Educational Research
ISSN (Print): 2327-6126 ISSN (Online): 2327-6150 Website: Editor-in-chief: Ratko Pavlović
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American Journal of Educational Research. 2015, 3(6), 668-673
DOI: 10.12691/education-3-6-1
Open AccessReview Article

Prospect of Integrating African Indigenous Knowledge Systems into the Teaching of Sciences in Africa

J. Abah1, , P. Mashebe1 and D.D. Denuga1

1Department of Mathematics, Science and Sport Education, Faculty of Education, University of Namibia, Katima Mulilo Campus, Private Bag, 1096, Katima Mulilo, Namibia

Pub. Date: May 10, 2015

Cite this paper:
J. Abah, P. Mashebe and D.D. Denuga. Prospect of Integrating African Indigenous Knowledge Systems into the Teaching of Sciences in Africa. American Journal of Educational Research. 2015; 3(6):668-673. doi: 10.12691/education-3-6-1


The consideration of cultural backgrounds of the learners in planning and teaching science has informed much recent discussions in making teaching more learner-centered. In many countries today, formal education continues to be Euro-centric in outlook and academic in orientation, reflecting Western scientific cultures rather than the cultures of learners and the teachers. This phenomenon is a major concern in developing countries, where formal education does not put into consideration the way the majorities of learners communicate, think and learn. Leaners’ underachievement in school has been attributed to the ‘cultural gaps’ between the expectations of school curriculum and those of the environment in which the learners are socialized. In the developing countries, this gap also existed for majority of the teachers and thus, raises the question of whose and what knowledge is considered worthwhile? The current euphoria for market driven economies and education development make issues such as cross cultural transfer of knowledge, globalized curricula integration and appropriate teaching-learning strategies critically important for consideration. While commendable efforts are being made to better align educational curricula with indigenous realities, the interrelationship and balance between these two different ways of learning remain delicate especially in the African context. This review study focuses among others, the indigenous peoples’ systems of knowledge creation and transmission, modern science versus African indigenous knowledge, improving Science teaching in Africa, and the impact of indigenous knowledge system on scientific discovery and development.

indigenous knowledge system teaching science knowledge transfer developing countries

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