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Indigenous Participation in Intercultural Education: Learning from Mexico and Tanzania

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Author(s): Gemma Burford | Susanne Kissmann | Francisco J. Rosado-May | Santos H. Alvarado Dzul | Marie K. Harder

Journal: Ecology and Society
ISSN 1708-3087

Volume: 17;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 33;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: community engagement | community-university partnerships | indigenous knowledge | intercultural education | participation

ABSTRACT
Intercultural education seeks to create a forum for integrating Western scientific knowledge and indigenous knowledge to address local and global challenges such as biocultural diversity conservation, natural resource management, and social justice for indigenous peoples. Intercultural education is based on learning together with, rather than learning about or from, indigenous communities. In the best examples, problem-based learning dissolves the dichotomy between indigenous and nonindigenous, resulting in full partnerships in which participants share expertise to meet mutual needs. With reference to literature and two illustrative examples of intercultural education initiatives in Mexico and Tanzania, we present an original conceptual framework for assessing indigenous participation in intercultural education. This incorporates a new ladder of participation depth (in relation to both curriculum content and decision making) alongside separate considerations of breadth, i.e., stakeholder diversity, and scope, i.e., the number of key project stages in which certain stakeholder groups are participating. The framework can be used to compare intercultural education initiatives in differing contexts and might be adaptable to other intercultural work.

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