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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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24. Knowledge, Power and Decolonization: Implication for Non-Indigenous Scholars, Researchers and Educators Soenke Biermann 386


Across the world, Indigenous people are challenging monolithic, monocultural, and mono-epis-temological academic traditions to respond to and engage with other philosophical standpoints, intellectual traditions, and worldviews. Linda Tuhiwai Smith’s (1999) seminal work, Decolonizing Methodologies, encouraged Indigenous intellectuals to continue resisting dominant approaches to academic knowledge production and to develop their own methodologies based on anti-colonial par- adigms. Research methodologies, in particular, have been the focus of much recent work in Australia (Arbon, 2008; Martin, 2006; Rigney, 1997; Wilson, 2004), spelling out Indigenous methodologies, protocols, and obligations for researchers working with Indigenous communities. In their different ways, these Indigenous thinkers and scholars have articulated and translated longstanding Indigenous intellectual traditions into the arena of higher education research practice and theory, thereby both providing alternatives for researchers looking for more ethical methodologies as well as drawing lines in the sand that communities can point to in their negotiations with researchers operating within dom- inant paradigms. This intellectually pioneering work involves a constant battle to legitimate and val- idate Indigenous philosophies within a dominant colonial paradigm that demands their articulation into already-defined categories of knowledge. With such an uneven playing field, this process is about more than difference and cross-cultural communication, difficult enough though they are, but about struggling against mutually constitutive frameworks of power and knowledge that naturalize certain approaches to knowledge and define others as intellectually other. While research methodologies have become a highly contested and emergent domain of intel- lectual resistance, the field of higher education pedagogy has received comparatively...

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