Emancipatory Indigenous Knowledge Systems: implications for environmental education in South Africa
Indigenous Knowledge also termed Traditional, Endogenous or Classical knowledge, often fails to contribute to the improvement of the qua lity of human life. This failure can be a ttributed purely to th e lower statu s accorded to this type of knowledge in society. This knowledge is accorded low status bec aus e it belongs to a particular racial or ethnic group which often, it is assumed, lacks the necessary cultural capital. De spite thes e negative perc eption s of Ind igenous K nowledge, there is a grow ing re alisation that this knowledge is part of the global heritage and a na tional re source to b e utilised for the bene fit of all humanity. This article presents an argument that there is a major role to be played by Indigenous Knowledge Systems in education in general and environmental education in particular. Environmental education as stated in the Brundtland Commission , the S outh African Environmental Education Policy Initiative (EEPI), and the NGO Form Principles, is seen as a key process that could enhance Indigenous Knowledge in formal ed ucation. Th e artic le further argues that the production of Indigenous Knowledge is contextually grounded through social constructivist approaches. However, it has the potential to be contextu ally and widely used.