UNESCO has proposed the local and indigenous knowledge systems (LINKS) in the last few years as the priority to advocate an improvement of the situation where knowledge became incomplete as human beings are alienated from the natural environment under western science, the fragmentation of scientific knowledge, and the lack of cross-disciplinary knowledge. Under this system, scientists work in cooperation with the indigenous people to generate the optimal body of knowledge for correct decision-making. The indigenous knowledge system plays a vital role in solving the problem of global warming and climate change. With the acceptance of the world view of the indigenous people in combination with science, technology methods, we could harmonize with the change in the environment. The objective of education will then be the advocacy of the right of the indigenous people for receiving education. The essence of school education should start from the mindset of the indigenous knowledge to provide appropriate content of education.
The Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) started to launch the “Indigenous People Science Education Project” in 2009 with respect of the existing culture of the indigenous people for motivating the indigenous children at school age and enhancing their capacity in the learning of science and mathematics. In combining the indicators and spirit of perpetual education under the UNESCO, MOST develop an environment for the education of mathematics and science on the basis of the knowledge system of the indigenous people. This project has already covered 8 indigenous ethnics so far and is suitable for the learning platforms for the teaching materials of science and mathematics, teaching units, illustration books, electronic books, and cloud learning in senior high schools, junior high schools, or primary schools, and could be available to the experimental schools for the indigenous people or as reference for the culturally responsive teaching curriculum.
Foundation Work of Indigenous Kids Education: Holistic Approach to Integrate Indigenous Language, Indigenous Culture, and Mathematic Education in Children Picture Book
Early childhood education is critical for inspiring individual children. A healthy cultural learning environment could help to establish positive self-awareness and stable emotion. The team of Professor Hu Mei-Chih has developed the children picture books for Truku culture. This is a joint venture between the teachers from the Truku tribe and the experts of early childhood education and is written by Chinese and the Truku. The content reflects the language, knowledge, society, and beauty for the curriculum of kindergarten level and provides teachers, parents, and children for learning indigenous culture and mathematics together. The series of children picture books are very practical and valuable.
Geographical Education through Virtual Reality
Peoples of Tsou, Atayal, Yami, and urban indigenous peoples are the main research subjects of the team led by Professor Wang Ming-Huey. Their research focuses on the development of geographical education based on the knowledge systems of indigenous peoples. Professor Wang Sen-Do of the team built up a digital learning platform of the indigenous geographic knowledge. Via this platform everyone is encouraged to contribute and upload indigenous geographic information to the VGI system in indigenous languages.
Cooperated with Da-Tong Junior High School in Yilan County, the team also implemented 360-degree 3D imaging technology to produce an AR/VR of Da-Tong Township, which can be browsed on a mobile phone.
Learning from Ailiao North River: Rukai Freshwater Fish Mobile Display Box
The team of Professor Shein Paichi of National Sun Yat-sen University links researchers, teachers and students of Vudai Elementary School together to document Rukai wisdom of fishing and native freshwater fish species, at the same time, the team develops a Rukai freshwater fish mobile display box, a miniature science learning ecosystem. Following the upstream of Ailiao north river to its estuary, they displayed the box to four elementary schools which are located along the river, hoping to improve ESD literacy on all students.
Learning without Boarder: Mobile Learning Platform of Indigenous Knowledge of Science and Mathematics
The team of Professor Chao Jen-Yi highlights the traditional knowledge system of the Atayal tribe in Nan’ao District of Yilan County and develops a mobile learning platform for science and mathematics. A menu is available for teachers and the learners for selecting and arranging curriculum resources by themselves according to their specific needs. The research findings are also applied to self-learning plans for the 12-year Basic Education Curricula.
Learning Mathematics and Indigenous Knowledge by Playing Escape Games
The project of Professor Chen Jhih-Cheng of National Taichung University of Education cultivates elementary school teachers to be capable with diverse-cultural literacy. Through field studies, program designs, compilation of teaching materials, and empirical studies, the team developed a series of illustration books, mathematics teaching aids, and creative teaching activities.
Professor Chen and his team members integrated legends and cultures of indigenous peoples into the invention of a mathematics “Escape Room”. By playing escape games, students got lots of fun and have learned mathematics as well as indigenous culture simultaneously.
April 4, 2020
Professor Tung-Hsing Hsiung
Department of Early Childhood Education, National Taitung University
Tel: (089) 360045