Reimagining STEM Education in South Africa: Leveraging Indigenous Knowledge Systems Through the M-Know Model for Curriculum Enhancement

  • Godson Chinenye Nwokocha School of Education, STADIO, Musgrave Campus, Durban, South Africa
  • Dagogo Legg-Jack Directorate of Learning and Teaching Development, Walter Sisulu University, Nelson Mandela Drive, Mthatha, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Keywords: Indigenous Knowledge Systems; South African STEM Education; Pedagogical Innovations; Cultural Integration; Multiple Ways of Knowing


This conceptual paper investigates the integration of indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) into South African Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education, exploring its conceptions, historical roots, significance, and the challenges and benefits associated with such integration. The objective was to understand the role of IKS in enriching STEM education and its potential contributions to global scientific knowledge. A culturally sensitive research approach was employed, with criteria set for selecting relevant literature on IKS and STEM. The results highlighted the profound historical significance of IKS in South Africa and its potential in bridging cultural gaps in education. Pedagogical innovations rooted in indigenous practices were identified as key to revitalising the STEM learning experience. However, challenges such as educational barriers, policy constraints, and institutional norms were also noted. Thus, the Multiple-ways of knowing (M-Know) model is proposed to demonstrate the possibility of using an integrated approach for the inclusion of IKS and enhancement of the STEM higher education school curriculum in South Africa. The model negotiates for a synergic or integrated arrangement between formal STEM curriculum and IKS in terms of using IKS to interrogate, complement, and consolidate the contents and pedagogy of Westernised STEM education in higher education.


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How to Cite
Chinenye Nwokocha, G., & Legg-Jack, D. (2024). Reimagining STEM Education in South Africa: Leveraging Indigenous Knowledge Systems Through the M-Know Model for Curriculum Enhancement. International Journal of Social Science Research and Review, 7(2), 173-189.