Back to Search Results

Embedding indigenous science knowledge and values in higher education: Critical reflexive practice informed by successful Tongan science learners

Sonia Fonua

2018 Tonga, Pasifika

As a non-indigenous science educator, I have embraced the idea of critical reflexive practice in order to be more responsive to the cultures and values of my Pasifika students and to become more inclusive of their indigenous knowledges. In this article I share three ways I have negotiated the incorporation of Pasifika values and knowledge into my teaching, based on my doctoral journey. This work is still in progress. My research uses both Grounded Theory and Pasifika (particularly Tongan) methodologies to explore successful Tongan students’ experiences and views of their secondary schooling experience in Aotearoa New Zealand, Tonga and at university-level science studies level in New Zealand. Three examples show how data from my study has shaped my teaching practice. I contend that in order to improve the quality and equity of university science teaching, it makes sense to utilise the culture of students who are struggling in a system dominated by a different worldview.

Science, indigenous science knowledge, Tonga, Pacific, critical reflexive practice, tertiary