Scientific Animations Without Borders: A New Approach to Capture, Preserve and Share Indigenous Knowledge

By Julia Bello-Bravo and Barry R. Pittendrigh.

Published by Journal of the World Universities Forum

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic Free Download

Indigenous knowledge can be defined as a set of perceptions, information and behaviors that guide local community members in terms of their use of natural resources. This knowledge is not static, but evolves in response to changing ecological, economic and sociopolitical circumstances, based on the creativity and innovation of community members and as a result of the influence of other cultures and outside technologies. Capturing, understanding and sharing the complexity of indigenous knowledge among rural communities is crucial to preserve and validate information that has been transmitted in the form of oral history through generations. Making use of state of the art technology, “Scientific Animations Without Borders” (SAWBO) proposes a new approach to capture, preserve and share this knowledge with the rest of the world. The SAWBO program uses short, one to three minute animations showing indigenous practices that have been validated with scientific knowledge. Such animations can be viewed on the Internet or with video capable cell-phones. We argue that this approach has the potential not only to keep indigenous knowledge alive but also to share this knowledge across geopolitical, cultural and linguistic boundaries.

Keywords: Scientific Animations Without Borders, Indigenous Knowledge, Low Literate Learners, Language Barriers

Journal of the World Universities Forum, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp.11-20. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 292.750KB).

Dr. Julia Bello-Bravo

Assistant Director, Illinois Strategic International Partnerships, Office of the Associate Provost for International Affairs, International Programs and Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, USA

Dr. Bello is part of an international team of educators and scientists focused on developing novel extension strategies for developing nations. Dr. Bello’s current work focuses on issues in Niger, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, and Mali as they relate to specialty crops. She also works on issues of how to increase inclusiveness of under-represented people in educational networks and systems.

Prof. Barry R. Pittendrigh

Professor, Liberal Arts and Sciences, School of Integrative Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, USA

Dr. Pittendrigh is an endowed chair professor at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has worked in the areas of international development and extension for the past seven years. His work includes development of novel teaching tools for genomics and more recently he has been working on strategies for deployment of development messages for low literate learners. He is the co-founder of Scientific Animations Without Borders.

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