About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 7974-7983
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-697-3777-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2017.0456

Conference name: 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2017
Location: Barcelona, Spain

NEGOTIATING BOUNDARY CROSSING FROM TRADITIONAL OR INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE TO MODERN WESTERN SCIENCE: A SOUTH AFRICAN XHOSA PERSPECTIVE

K.M. Ngcoza

Rhodes University (SOUTH AFRICA)
As part of the transformation agenda, the democratically elected government in South Africa which came into power in 1994 introduced a new education curriculum. The new curriculum was intended to, so to say, redress the imbalances of the past which were brought about by the apartheid’s Bantu Education. As an endeavour to address issues of equity, access and relevance, for instance, the inclusion of traditional or indigenous knowledge during teaching and learning is encouraged in the new curriculum. This is reflected in the outcome which states that learners need to demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between science, technology, society and environment.

Notwithstanding, the curriculum transformation in South Africa has been met with mixed feelings. For example, what has been found to be lacking and a challenge to most science teachers is the clarity on the implementation of the aforementioned outcome (Aldous & Rogan, 2009). It could be argued that there are tensions between curriculum formulation and implementation. It is against this backdrop that in this article I seek to share an isiXhosa indigenous practice (Webb, 2013) in relation to the rite of passage to manhood (ukwaluka) in particular with a view illuminate how border crossing from traditional or indigenous knowledge to modern western science could be negotiated. The study comprised of about 10 young men who all did science at school and have recently undergone this practice and six male elders from the community. Only young men and male elders were purposively selected to be part of this study as this practice is only restricted to males and it is regarded as a ‘taboo’ to openly talk or even write about this practice.

The study was informed by an interpretive paradigm (Cohen, Manion & Morrison, 2011; Bertram, & Christiansen, 2015), within which a qualitative case study approach was adopted. Data were generated through questionnaires and semi-structured interviews to capture the participants’ narratives and experiences. Thus, the study sought to answer the following three research questions: What are the participants’ experiences and beliefs about the cultural practice of the rite to passage to manhood (ukwaluka)? What science knowledge is embedded in the traditional cultural practice? How can this knowledge be tapped into to facilitate border crossing from traditional or indigenous knowledge to modern western science and vice versa?
@InProceedings{NGCOZA2017NEG,
author = {Ngcoza, K.M.},
title = {NEGOTIATING BOUNDARY CROSSING FROM TRADITIONAL OR INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE TO MODERN WESTERN SCIENCE: A SOUTH AFRICAN XHOSA PERSPECTIVE},
series = {9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN17 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-3777-4},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2017.0456},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2017.0456},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {3-5 July, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {7974-7983}}
TY - CONF
AU - K.M. Ngcoza
TI - NEGOTIATING BOUNDARY CROSSING FROM TRADITIONAL OR INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE TO MODERN WESTERN SCIENCE: A SOUTH AFRICAN XHOSA PERSPECTIVE
SN - 978-84-697-3777-4/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2017.0456
PY - 2017
Y1 - 3-5 July, 2017
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN17 Proceedings
SP - 7974
EP - 7983
ER -
K.M. Ngcoza (2017) NEGOTIATING BOUNDARY CROSSING FROM TRADITIONAL OR INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE TO MODERN WESTERN SCIENCE: A SOUTH AFRICAN XHOSA PERSPECTIVE, EDULEARN17 Proceedings, pp. 7974-7983.
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