Engaging Indigenous Knowledge Holders in Teaching Preservice Teachers in IKS Food Production and Practices: Implications for Higher Education
This paper explores preservice science teachers’ views and reflections of science, Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) and their perspectives on the inclusion of Indigenous Knowledge holders as teachers in the academy, in the context of teaching Environmentally sustainable development practices. Fortynine preservice teachers were engaged in a Science Education university module that prepared them for transformative pedagogy for the new South African school Curriculum Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) curriculum. This module included the teaching and learning of IKS, scientific issues pertaining to IKS, and preparing students to establish gardens on campus and in their communities, using agriculturally sustainable practices. Two African izinyanga (medicinal knowledge holders) shared their knowledge and skills of agriculture and sustainable development during the teaching of the Science Education module. Data were collected from 49 preservice teachers views of science and IKS using open-ended questionnaires, and 29 reflections on the inclusion of IKS holders as indigenous knowledge teachers in the academy. The data were analysed for the emergence of major themes or issues. The findings indicate that preservice teachers’ views of science, IKS and their relationships are complementary. The study has implications for planning responsive and innovative pedagogies in Higher Education curricula.