Knowledge framework: indigenous knowledge systems
The ‘knowledge framework’ is designed to help students explore, discuss, and form an understanding of each of the eight areas of knowledge. The knowledge framework isn’t a formal element of the TOK essay or presentation (ie, it isn’t directly assessed); instead, it is designed to present various consideration points that that can then be used to compare and contrast the different areas of knowledge, as well as tying them to the ways of knowing.
1. Scope and applications
What is the social function of indigenous knowledge systems? How many different forms does it encompass (eg different cultural traditions)? What are their separate beliefs and foundations? To what extent are indigenous knowledge systems influenced by the society and culture in which they are followed? How important are indigenous knowledge systems?
2. Concepts and language
How do we use language to express the knowledge found within indigenous knowledge systems? To what extent does this differ according to the different culture? Are there any central concepts for which we need specific language before approaching indigenous knowledge systems?
Which ways of knowing do we use in order to connect with, and understand, indigenous knowledge systems? Which ways of knowing do the indigenous knowledge leaders themselves use in order to communicate their understanding of it?
4. Historical development
How has our understanding and perception of indigenous knowledge systems changed over time? How has the role of indigenous knowledge systems within society developed? To what extent has the nature of indigenous knowledge systems (for example, the different cultural frameworks) changed? What relationship do today’s indigenous knowledge systems have with those of the past? (to paraphrase Newton, do they ‘stand on the shoulders of giants’?)
5. Links to personal knowledge
To what extent are you involved with indigenous knowledge systems? How is your perception of the world, and your position it in, affected by indigenous knowledge systems?