American Journal of Educational Research
ISSN (Print): 2327-6126 ISSN (Online): 2327-6150 Website: http://www.sciepub.com/journal/education Editor-in-chief: Ratko Pavlović
Open Access
Journal Browser
Go
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

Abstract

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.

Keywords:
indigenous knowledge system teaching science knowledge transfer developing countries

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

References:

[1]  Chikaire, J., Osuagwu, C.O., Ihenacho, R.A., Oguegbuchulam, M. N., Ejiogu-Okereke, N., & Obi, K.U. Indigenous knowledge system: The need for reform and the way forward. Global Advanced Research Journal of Agricultural Science, 2012, 1(8): 201-209.
 
[2]  Hammersmith, J.A. Converging indigenous and western knowledge systems: implications for tertiary education, University of South Africa, 2007. uir.unisa.ac.za/bitstream/handle/10500/2318/thesis.pdf?sequence=1, Accessed: 06/07/2014.
 
[3]  Howden, K. Indigenous traditional knowledge and native title. University of New South Wales Law Journal, 2001, 24 (1): 60-84.
 
[4]  Thaman, K.H. Towards cultural democracy in teaching and learning with specific references to Pacific Island Nations (PINs). International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 2009. 3(2): Art. 6.
 
[5]  Kaino, L.M.. Traditional knowledge in curricula designs: Embracing indigenous mathematics in classroom instruction, Stud Tribes Tribals, 2013, 11(1): 83-88.
 
[6]  Thaman K.H. Interfacing global and indigenous knowledge for improved learning. In: Interfacing global and indigenous knowledge.2000. http://www2.unescobkk.org/elib/publications/aceidconf6/themetwo.pdf, Accessed: 08/07/2014.
 
[7]  Pene, F., Taufe’ulungaki, ’A. & Benson, C. (Eds). Tree of Opportunity: Rethinking Pacific Education. Suva: USP, 2002.
 
[8]  Johannson-Fua, S. (2006). Preliminary research findings from Tonga. Personal communication.
 
[9]  Augustine, S.J. “Oral histories and oral traditions,” In: Aboriginal oral traditions: theory, practice, ethics, Ed. Renée Hulan and Renate Eigenbrod, Halifax: Fernwood Publishing, 2008, pp 2-3.
 
[10]  Ermine, W. “Aboriginal epistemology” In: Batiste, Marie and Jean Barman (eds.) First nations education in Canada: The circle unfolds. Vancouver, UBC Press, 1995.
 
[11]  Mayor, F. Opening address to UNESCO conference on lifelong learning, 1994. Rome, Nov. 30, 1994.
 
[12]  UNESCO. Indigenous knowledge and sustainability, 2010. www.unesco.org/education/tlsf/mods/theme_c/mod11.html, Accessed: 18/08/2014.
 
[13]  Lunenburg, F. Constructivism and technology: Instructional designs for successful education reform. Journal of instructional psychology, 1998. 25(2): 75-81.
 
[14]  Namibia Sun, Dramatic changes to school curriculum announced, 2014. www.namibiansun.com/education/dramatic-changes-schoo. Accessed: 18/08/2014.
 
[15]  Barnhardt, R. & Kawagley, A.O. “Culture, Chaos and Complexity: Catalysts for change in indigenous education,” in Cultural Survival Quarterly, 1999, 27(4): 59-64. http://www.ankn.uaf.edu/Curriculum/Articles/BarnhardtKawagley/CCC.html.
 
[16]  Richardson, V. Constructivist teaching and teacher education: theory and practice. In V. Richardson (Ed.) Constructivist teacher education: building new understandings, 1997. Washington, DC: Falmer Press, pp.3-14.
 
[17]  Ayoade, E.O. Bridging theory and practice: Application of Constructivist tenets to the teaching of reaction stoichiometry, AFRREV STECH, 2012. 1(1): 144-163.
 
[18]  Wareen, D.M. & Cashman, K. Indigenous knowledge for sustainable agriculture and rural development. International Institute for Environment and Development, London. 1988.
 
[19]  Warren, D.M. Indigenous knowledge, biodiversity, conservation and development. International Conference on Conservation of Biodiversity in Africa: Local initiatives and institutional roles, National Museums of Kenya Nairobi, 1992. 30 August-3 September 1992.
 
[20]  Appiah-Opoku, S. Indigenous economic institutions and ecological knowledge: A Ghanaian case study. The Environ, 1999, 19, 217-227.
 
[21]  United Nations. (1992), Convention on Biological Diversity. United Nations. NY.
 
[22]  IUCN. World conservation strategy: Living resource conservation for sustainable development. Gland (Switzerland): International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources – IUCN, 1980.
 
[23]  Mathooko, J.M. The status and future of African traditional ecological knowledge in the sustainability of aquatic resources. 2nd Pan African symposium on the sustainable use of natural resources in Africa Onagadougon, Burkina Faso, 2000.
 
[24]  McGoodwin, J.R. Crisis in the World’s fisheries, people problems and policies. Stanford University Press, California, 1990.
 
[25]  Kamara, J. Indigenous knowledge in natural disaster reduction in Africa, 2003. www.environmenttimes.net/article.cfm.