The Interface between Science and Indigenous Knowledge: Multi-, Inter- and Trans-Disciplinary Approaches

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The aim of this paper is to analyze the interface between Science and indigenous knowledge systems with regards to trans-disciplinary contexts. Although it is well known that the prior knowledge possessed by some one affects the way they learn; many education systems have not taken into consideration the interface between indigenous knowledge and Science. The interface between indigenous knowledge and Science. Science therefore has remained a mystery and an abstract to many people. Indigenous knowledge is the traditional knowledge passed on from generations to generations. It is embedded in ones culture, values, way of life and forms a basis for decision making in society. This type of knowledge is multi, inter and Trans-disciplinary in nature and forms the basis on which people build their understanding of the environment, Science and related concepts.

Utilizing qualitative and quantitative research including document analysis, the article examines several concepts in Science that are linked to indigenous knowledge in Chemistry, Biology, Physics and mathematics. This paper presents an analysis of the interwoven connections between Science and indigenous knowledge and argues that the body of knowledge should be incorporated into Sciences taught in schools and Universities, providing examples of trans-disciplinary aspects of natural sciences. Given the complex challenges in developing countries, the article gives examples of solutions that have been multi-, inter- and trans-disciplinary in approach.


Keywords: Multi, Inter and Trans-disciplinary Approaches, Indigenous Knowledge, Science
Stream: Education and Social Welfare
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Esther N Kibuka-Sebitosi

Senior Lecturer/Senior Researcher, Centre for African Renaissance Studies, University of South Africa
Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa

Prof. Kibuka-Sebitosi Holds a PhD in Natural Sciences in human and veterinary Parasitology and Entomology; a Masters in Parasitology and Entomology; BSc. (Hons) Zoology and Botany. She has several certificates including Management and Science communication, among others. Knowledge management and application in Sciences forms one of the domains of her research. Currently, she is conducting a study on the establishment of Centres of Excellence in Africa. Her knowledge of social sciences is unique as she is currently pursuing a Masters of Education giving her Educational and social science research techniques. Based at the University of South Africa as senior lecturer/ and senior researcher, Esther has over 10 years experience in Vector-borne diseases such as malaria, Trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), Bilharzia, River blindness and many others. She also carried out research on HIV/AIDS in Uganda, Kenya and South Africa. At the Centre of African Renaissance studies, University of South Africa, she conducts research and lectures postgraduate students.

Ref: I08P0773