Enabling Sustainable Development by Embedding Tongan Knowledge into University Science Curricula
Keywords:culturally sustaining pedagogy, cultural values, indigenous knowledge, Moana, Pacific, science education, sustaining pedagogy, Tonga, university
AbstractSustainable development requires the valuing of Indigenous knowledges. The complex and intertwined processes of coloniality and globalisation have contributed to spreading a dominant set of Western knowledge, values, and practices discrediting local Indigenous knowledges and wisdom (Thaman, 2003). Achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4), to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”, requires educators to recognise that non-Western students continuously negotiate the disconnect between their formal Western education and their cultures. Developing educational sustainability requires resetting this educational imbalance. Culturally sustaining pedagogy acknowledges and encourages cultural pluralism something often absent in the teaching of Western Modern Science. Here I describe the ‘Ulungaanga faka-Tonga Fonumodel, a response to Thaman’s directive that embedding Indigenous knowledges in higher education institutions’ formal curriculum enriches student experience by providing diverse understandings, perspectives, and wisdoms. This model demonstrates a way to engage with Tongan knowledge in formal teaching spaces.
Aikenhead, G. S. (2006). Towards decolonizing the pan-Canadian science framework. Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, 6(4), 387-399.
Allen, M. S. (2007). Three millennia of human and sea turtle interactions in remote Oceania. Coral Reefs, 26, 959-970.
Bishop, R., Ladwig, J., & Berryman, M. (2014). The centrality of relationships for pedagogy: The whanaungatanga thesis. American Educational Research Journal, 51(1), 184-214.
Booker, K. (2016). Connection and commitment: How sense of belonging and classroom community influence degree persistence for African American undergraduate women. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 28(2), 218-229.
Bull, A., Gilbert, J., Barwick, H., Hipkins, R., & Baker, R. (2010). Inspired by science: A paper commissioned by the Royal Society and the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor. New Zealand Council for Educational Research.
Cobern, W. W., & Aikenhead, G. (1997). Cultural aspects of learning science. Scientific Literacy and Cultural Studies Project 13. http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/science_slcsp/13
Education Counts (2021). School leavers with NCEA Level 3 or above 2019 [Excel file]. Retrieved from https://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/indicators/main/education-and-learning-outcomes/school_leavers_with_NCEA_level_3_or_above
Fasavalu, T. I., & Reynolds, M. (2019). Relational positionality and a learning disposition: Shifting the conversation. International Education Journal: Comparative Perspectives, 18(2), 11-25.
Ferguson, P. B., Gorinski, R., Samu, T. W., & Mara, D. (2008). Literature review on the experiences of Pasifika learners in the classroom: Report to the Ministry of Education. Ministry of Education.
Fonua, S. (2018). Embedding Indigenous Science Knowledge & Values in Higher Education: Critical reflexive practice informed by Successful Tongan Science Learners. Waikato Journal of Education, 23 (1), 95-106. DOI: 10.15663/wje.v23i1.629
Fonua, S. M. (2020a). Lalanga ha kaha’u monu’ia – Helping science educators to embed indigenous knowledge, values, and culture in their courses for Māori and Pasifika science student success. MAI Journal, 9 (1), 49-58. DOI: 10.20507/MAIJournal.2020.9.1.6
Fonua, S. M. (2020b). Ha’ota: Transforming science education in Aotearoa New Zealand for Tongan students. (Unpublished PhD thesis). University of Auckland, New Zealand.
Hammond, L., & Brandt, C. (2004). Science and cultural process: Defining an anthropological approach to science education. Studies in Science Education, 40(1), 1-47.
Hansen, J. J. (2016). Examining the effectiveness of including Aboriginal perspectives to engage Aboriginal students in high school science. (Unpublished PhD, Curtin University).
Hau’ofa, E. (1998). The ocean in us. Contemporary Pacific, 10(2), 392-410.
Hoffman, M., Richmond, J., Morrow, J., & Salomone, K. (2002). Investigating “sense of belonging” in first-year college students. Journal of College Student Retention, 4(3), 227-256.
Howlett, C., Seini, M., Matthews, C., Dillon, B., & Hauser, V. (2008). Retaining indigenous students in tertiary education: Lessons from the Griffith School of Environment. Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 37(1), 18-27.
Johnson, D. R., Soldner, M., Leonard, J. B., Alvarez, P., Inkelas, K. K., Rowan-Kenyon, H., & Longerbeam, S. (2007). Examining sense of belonging among first-year undergraduates from racial/ethnic groups. Journal of College Student Development, 48(5), 525-542. DOI: 10.1353/csd.2007.0054
Ka'ili, T. O. (2005). Tauhi va: Nurturing Tongan sociospatial ties in Maui and beyond. The Contemporary Pacific, 17(1), 83-114.
Kirch, P. V. (1994). The pre-Christian ritual cycle of Futuna, Western Polynesia. The Journal of the Polynesian Society, 103(3), 255-298.
Kahu, E. R. (2013). Framing student engagement in higher education. Studies in Higher Education, 38(5), 758-773. DOI:10.1080/03075079.2011.598505
May, S., Flockton, J., & Kirkham, S. (2016). PISA2015 New Zealand summary report. Wellington: Ministry of Education. Retrieved from https://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/180613/PISA-2015-Summary-V2.pdf
Nadal, K. L., Wong, Y., Griffin, K., Sriken, J., Vargas, V., Wideman, M., & Kolawole, A. (2011). Microaggressions and the multiracial experience. International Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 1(7), 36-44.
Paris, D. (2012). Culturally sustaining pedagogy: A needed change in stance, terminology and practice. Educational Researcher, 41(3), 93-97.
Rolett, B. (1986). Turtles, priests, and the afterworld: A study in the iconographic interpretation of Polynesian petroglyphs. In P. Kirch (Ed.), Island societies: Archaeological approaches to evolution and transformation (pp. 78-87). Cambridge University Press.
Samu, T. W. (2015). The 'Pasifika Umbrella' and quality teaching: Understanding and responding to the diverse realities within. Waikato Journal of Education (Online), Special 20th Anniversary Collection, 129-140. DOI: https://doi.org/10.15663/wje.v20i3.229
Samu, T. W., Mara, D., & Siteine, A. (2008). Education for Pacific peoples for the 21st century. In V. M. Carpenter, M. Stephenson, P. Roberts, & J. Jesson (Eds.), Nga Kaupapa Here: Connections and Contradictions in Education (pp. 145-157). Cengage.
Siope, S. A. M. (2010). Children of the migrant dreamers: Comparing the experiences of Pasifika students in two secondary schools attempting to be culturally responsive to mine from a generation ago. (Unpublished master’s thesis). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://researchcommons.waikato.ac.nz/bitstream/handle/10289/5003/thesis.pdf?sequence=3&isAllowed=y
Siteine, A. (2010). The allocation of Pasifika identity in New Zealand classrooms. MAI review, (1), 1-12.
Steele, C. M., & Aronson, J. (1995). Stereotype threat and the intellectual test performance of African Americans. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69(5), 797–811.
Sue, D. W., Capodilupo, C. M., Torino, G. C., Bucceri, J. M., Holder, A. M. B., Nadal, K. L., & Esquilin, M. (2007). Racial microaggressions in everyday life: Implications for clinical practice. American Psychologist, 62(4), 271-286. DOI:10.1037/0003-066X.62.4.271
Syed, M., Azmitia, M., & Cooper, C. R. (2011). Identity and academic success among underrepresented ethnic minorities: An interdisciplinary review and integration. Journal of Social Issues, 67(3), 442-468.
Thaman, K. H. (2003). Decolonizing Pacific studies: Indigenous perspectives, knowledge, and wisdom in higher education. Contemporary Pacific, 15(1), 1-17.
Tikly, L. (1999). Postcolonialism and comparative education. International Review of Education, 45(5-6), 603–621. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1003887210695
Vaioleti, T. M. (2006). Talanoa research methodology: A developing position on Pacific research. Waikato Journal of Education (Online), 12, 21-34.
Vaioleti, T. M. (2011). Talanoa, Manulua and Founga Ako: Frameworks for using enduring Tongan educational ideas for education in Aotearoa/New Zealand. (Unpublished PhD thesis). University of Waikato, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/5179
Wong, B. (2015). Careers ‘from’ but not ‘in’ science: why are aspirations to be a scientist challenging for minority ethnic students? Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 52(7), 979-1002.
Zepke, N., Leach, L., & Prebble, T. (2006). Being learner centered: One way to improve student retention? Studies in Higher Education, 31(5), 587-600.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2021 Journal of Comparative & International Higher Education
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
The findings, interpretations, conclusions, and views expressed in Journal of Comparative and International Higher Education (JCIHE) are entirely those of the authors and should not be attributed in any manner to CIES, HESIG, or the sponsoring universities of the Editorial Staff. These works are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 License. Readers are free to copy, display, and distribute articles that appear in JCIHE as long as the work is attributed to the author(s) and JCIHE, it is distributed for non-commercial purposes only, and no alteration or transformation is made in the work. All other uses must be approved by the author(s) or JCIHE. By submitting a manuscript, authors agree to transfer without charge the following rights to JCIHE upon acceptance of the manuscript: first worldwide serial publication rights and the right for JCIHE to grant permissions as its editors judge appropriate for the redistribution of the article, its abstract, and metadata associated with the article in professional indexing and reference services.