n South African Journal of Higher Education - Reflections on the SIKSP : voices of the participants

Volume 28, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



The Science and Indigenous Knowledge Systems Project (SIKSP), located at an African university, has since its inception in 2004 been training pre-service and practising teachers on how to implement an inclusive indigenous knowledge (IK) curriculum which calls on teachers to integrate IK with science in their classrooms. This article, based on interviews, presents some of the participants' reflections, voices, sentiments and feelings about the SIKSP. The findings showed that the project helped to raise the participants' awareness about IK, and its relevance to contemporary life. The findings foresaw some of the challenges involved in the implementation of the new science curriculum in terms of: the multiple representations of IK; the potential conflict that might arise at the intersection of science and IK; the complexity of a multicultural classroom; teachers' willingness and/or ability to adopt a new role in the classroom other than the status quo; and the paucity of instructional strategies compatible with the goals of the new science curriculum. Regardless of all these factors, participants felt emancipated to teach IK and they expressed the need for administrative support and follow-up workshops. They also suggested that in order to make a difference in the country the project should be expanded to other schools and provinces.

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