The status of Indigenous knowledge, environmental issues and climate change in science education: Talanoa from Ha‘apai (Tonga) and Port Vila (Vanuatu) secondary schools

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Journal Article
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Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies
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Puloka Luey, Emma
Manning, Richard
Ratuva, Steven

This article reviews the doctoral research of Emma Puloka Luey, in order to consider the significance of talanoa (discussions) she conducted with Ha‘apai (Tonga) and Port Vila (Vanuatu) secondary school teachers of science, and their Year 10 students. This research was timely, given that both (case study) communities had recently experienced Category 5 Tropical Cyclones and remain vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters, such as the (2022) explosion of the sub marine volcano, Hunga Tonga–Hunga Haʻapai. First, this article summarises the research problem, objectives, methodology, and the community contexts central to Puloka Luey’s study. Second, it discusses the ongoing relevance of the following four themes that arise from data collected. These are: (i) Connectedness to place; (ii) Indigenous languages as gateways to learning science; (iii) Marginalisation of Traditional Ecological Knowledge; and (iv) Contextualisation of science education via dialogue. Finally, we call for more research of this nature, and for future science education curricula guidelines to become more localised, and inclusive of the Traditional Ecological Knowledge systems of Indigenous communities.

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ANZSRC fields of research
CC BY 4.0