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Indigenous Philosophies and Critical Education

A Reader- Foreword by Akwasi Asabere-Ameyaw


Edited By George J. Sefa Dei

An important academic goal is to understand ongoing contestations in knowledge in the search to engage everyday social practice and experiences, as well as the social barriers and approaches to peaceful human coexistence. This reader pulls together ideas concerning Indigenous epistemologies (e.g., worldviews, paradigms, standpoints, and philosophies) as they manifest themselves in the mental lives of persons both from and outside the orbit of the usual Euro-American culture. The book engages Indigenous knowledges as far more than a «contest of the marginals», thereby challenging the way oppositional knowledges are positioned, particularly in the Western academy. Subsequently, this book is a call to recognize and acknowledge Indigenous knowledges as legitimate knowings in their own right, and not necessarily in competition with other sources or forms of knowledge. The project offers an opportunity for the critical thinker to continue on a de-colonial/anti-colonial intellectual journey in ways informed by Indigenous theorizing.


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17. Ua Lele Ka Manu; The Bird Has Flown: A Search for Hawaiian Indigenous/Local Inquiry Methods Pauline Chinn, Isabella Aiona Abbott, Michelle Kapana-Baird, Mahina Hou Ross, Lila Lelepali, Ka’umealani Walker, Sabra Kauka, Napua Barrows, Moana Lee, and Huihui Kanahele-Mossman 262


More than one-fourth of students in Hawai‘i’s public schools self-identifies as Native Hawaiian.They are the majority in 17% of public schools, but 52% of these schools versus 12% of those in which they are a minority are “planning for restructuring” or being “restructured” under No Child Left Behind (Kekahio, 2007). Many of these schools serve rural communities in which farming, fish- ing, and hunting contribute to extensive knowledge of land, ocean, and sky. Meyer’s (1998) inter- views with Hawaiian elders revealed the critical roles of place, practice, and culture in learning for Indigenous youth. But this informal knowledge seldom connects to formal science learning. Difering views on what Native Hawaiian students should be learning, how they should be taught, and how learning should be assessed have led to culture-based programs, charter , and language immersion schools. This chapter explores this educational issue in the area of Indigenous/local inquiry in science, emphasizing from the outset that in Hawaiian, there are no words that convey the Western mean- ings of science, nature, or physical universe. We include local perspectives as for over 200 years Hawai‘i has been a multicultural, multilingual society. We are personally concerned with this issue as science educators seeking to understand the role of culture in instruction of Indigenous students. The question on Indigenous/local inquiry and methods will thus cast a wide net. What we find will help to define Indigenous/local inquiry methods and contribute to discussions on its relevance for science teacher education, curriculum design, and pedagogy....

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