Indigenous knowledge and peoples: Training of IKAP trainers - Basic concepts (2004)

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Knowledge is a subjective understanding, occurring in our minds. It involves ideas, perceptions, values, and feelings. The meaning of knowledge is socially constructed, and its ultimate goal serves to orient and guide human action. Indigenous knowledge and scientific knowledge are different systems of generation, interpretation and use of ideas, perceptions, and feelings about reality. But one is not superior to the other. Both are equally valuable. Study of indigenous knowledge requires awareness of our own knowledge in order to prepare to enter in a process of communication with local people. Communication means dialogue: exchange of ideas and perceptions to reach a common understanding. Indigenous knowledge is locally rooted in the culture of a particular place. It is always changing, being produced or generated, as well as reproduced, discovered, lost, or recreated. It is is orally transmitted, with the help of collective memory, encoded in stories, myths, legends, songs, and systems of classification of resources that are decoded by the members of the same ?epistemic community.? On the other hand, scientific knowledge aspires to be universally valid a product of a culturally de-contextualized intellectual effort. It is generated in institutions like universities, international centers and is shared by the experience of researchers, professors, and academicians. Scientific knowledge is recorded in books and articles. Each discipline develops its own theories, models and specialized languages. For example, botanists and social scientists have their own terminologies for the phenomena they focus on and they use for the transmission of contents to students or other scientists. It tends to be theoretical, abstract and esoteric and aims for objectivity, in which judgment is based on observable phenomena and uninfluenced by emotions or personal prejudices of the observer.
Language: English
, 2004.



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