Oslo and Akershus University College
Master i flerkulturell og internasjonal utdanning
This thesis explores the integration of indigenous knowledges (IKs) into the teaching of agricultural science as illustrated by the cases of selected secondary schools in the Southern province of Zambia. The need to integrate IKs in agricultural science education in Zambia to reflect the local cultural settings cannot be over emphasised. The agricultural science syllabus in secondary schools is Eurocentric since the current educational policies are situated deeply in Western hegemonic epistemology. In doing so, it marginalises IKs which are misconceived as irrational, backward and primitive. Since research has shown that IKs are being gradually recognised as an alternative knowledge that can be used in the preservation of the environment (Warren et al.; 1989; Sillitoe, 2000; Breidlid, 2013), integrating them into agricultural science teaching is, therefore, meant to bridge the gap between the school and the learners’ home environment, and make learning more relevant. The respondents in this study were purposefully selected and interviewed in order to gain insights into how IKs are viewed and integrated into their agricultural practice and teaching. Challenges experienced in relation to the integration process were also discussed. In order obtain the data; a qualitative research strategy was employed with interviews being its primary tool. Other instruments were content analysis of the Zambia junior and senior secondary school agricultural science syllabus and non participant class observations. Thereafter, the analysis of data was conducted with the use of grounded theory. Theories of modernity and tradition, modernisation, the global architecture of education and other concepts were used to discuss and interpret the findings. The study revealed that most of the respondents had a general understanding of IKs. However, the informants admitted to be a product of Western education themselves and, therefore, exhibited some negative attitudes towards IKs implicitly continuing the marginalisation of IKs. It may be then concluded that IKs to a large extent have not been integrated in the teaching of agricultural science in the secondary schools in Zambia. In addition, the long history of interacting with the Westernised curriculum seems to have made most Zambians, especially its younger generation, unfavourable to IKs, instead wanting to maintain status quo. However, with the realisation of the land devastation caused by conventional farming methods, some people are starting to rethink the way agricultural science is taught.
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