Crossing the Gap between Indigenous Worldview and Western Science: Millet Festival as a Bridge in the Teaching Module

Chia-Ling Chiang, Huei Lee


The worldview within indigenous people’s traditional knowledge and western science can be a world of difference. In order to help indigenous students cross the gap and develop a sense of cultural identification. Taking Bunun, one of the Taiwanese indigenous tribes, as our subject, this study aims to develop a teaching module through Bunun’s Millet Festival and implement this module to analyze students’ performance. To have a better understanding of the worldview of Bunun, we had individual interviews with tribal elders and compared the collective materials with literature. Millet Festival is a significant ceremony for Bunun for passing important cultural custom and knowledge. Thus, taking Millet Festival as centerpiece of this study, we tried to connect traditional indigenous knowledge with school science education during Reclaiming Festival, Seed Sowing Festival, Ear-Shooting Festival, Garnering Festival and by making tribal elders assist with school teacher in class. The result shows that this teaching module not only provides abundant materials related to scientific subjects, but also makes the students appreciate the value and meaning of their own culture more. In addition, they would learn to respect the tribal elders sincerely and therefore the cultural inheritance would be rebuilt.

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Journal of Education and Training Studies  ISSN 2324-805X (Print)   ISSN 2324-8068 (Online)

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