Original Research: Indigenous knowledge systems

Indigenous and Western technology knowledge systems: Two sides of the same coin?

Piet Ankiewicz
Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif vir Natuurwetenskap en Tegnologie | Vol 34, No 1 | a1309 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/satnt.v34i1.1309 | © 2015 Piet Ankiewicz | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 May 2015 | Published: 18 September 2015


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Abstract

Indigenous knowledge is often included artificially as an accessory by means of stereotypical examples in so-called Western, discipline-based school curricula for technology. The nature and tenets of indigenous technological knowledge have however not been investigated and documented thoroughly, creating difficulties and challenges for curriculum designers, especially including and integrating it in curricula that focus mainly on Western technology. The complementary nature of indigenous and Western knowledge systems allows for “border crossings” between these. The purpose of this article is to investigate and conceptualise the complementary nature of indigenous technology knowledge systems (ITKS) and Western technology knowledge systems by using Mitcham’s framework that is based on a Western technology knowledge system as point of departure. The findings indicate that it may be useful for curriculum designers to include indigenous technology in curricula with the purpose to illustrate the above-mentioned complementarity between ITKS and Western technology knowledge systems. Curriculum designers should focus on the common tenets of indigenous and Western technology from an ontological, epistemological, methodological and volitional perspective, rather than merely including clinical and sterile examples of indigenous knowledge in technology curricula artificially.


Keywords

Knowledgee systems; Indigenous knowledge; Western knowledge

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