Opportunities of Incorporating African Indigenous Knowledge Systems (AIKS) in the Physics Curriculum

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Mathias Sithole


The need for economic and physical survival has been identified as a primary motivating force for technological advancement (Clark 1997). This study explores what can be learnt and gleaned from indigenous technologies that add to the theoretical conception of African Indigenous Knowledge in general and indigenous Physics in particular. The descriptive research design was used to illustrate how this can be done. Documentary, experiential and observation methods were used to gather data. The study reveals that African Physics based knowledge can be incorporated into conventional physics in order to enhance African students’ appreciation of physics. Physics has always been generated in order to solve societal and natural challenges like weather changes, shelter, communication, food and diseases. The study also argues that African societies had and still have Physics concepts which resemble formal school Physics. Therefore, it makes sense to use the existing African physics to develop the conventional concepts. The study suggests that Physics learners can apply their prior African related physics knowledge in order to k reduce the seemingly mystifying nature of conceptualisation of physics concepts as experienced by some learners. The study encourages curriculum developers to incorporate African Physics knowledge into the Physics curriculum. The study concludes that if African physics is taken seriously, it can help in the regeneration and enhancement of knowledge.


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How to Cite
Sithole, M. (2016). Opportunities of Incorporating African Indigenous Knowledge Systems (AIKS) in the Physics Curriculum. Alternation Journal, (18), 255-294. Retrieved from https://journals.ukzn.ac.za/index.php/soa/article/view/1364
Author Biography

Mathias Sithole, Marymount Teachers’ College