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  • Titiksha Vashist

[Event Announcement] Virtual Global Symposium on Traditional Knowledge Systems based Education

CIKS is hosting a virtual global symposium on 28 November, 2023 from 9.00 am IST (GMT +5.30 ) onwards bringing together researchers and practitioners from across the world.

Date: 28 November 2023

Time: 9.00 am IST onwards (catering to time zones of different speakers)

Mode: Online, via Zoom


Societies worldwide are increasingly turning towards Traditional Knowledge Systems (IKS) and cultural practices that have sustained them for millennia to find holistic and sustainable solutions for new 21st century challenges. Many educators, researchers and communities are interested in exploring the various facets of traditional and indigenous education to be able to blend it with modern knowledge systems to create holistic educational ecosystems that are culturally relevant, inclusive, value-based and respectful of the diverse knowledge systems and experiences of all people. In India, as with the rest of the world, there is a renewed interest in including India’s rich knowledge systems into the current educational paradigm.

India’s National Education Policy 2020 (NEP) seeks to revamp the education structure to create a new system that is aligned with the aspirational goals of 21st century education, including SDG4, while building upon traditional indigenous knowledge and value systems across the country. The NEP specifically creates provisions for including knowledge from India’s timeless educational paradigms across the school curriculum across mathematics, astronomy, philosophy, yoga, medicine, engineering, literature, sports as well as in governance and polity. This step has been welcomed by educationists, teachers, academics and practitioners across the country who are using this opportunity to rejuvenate Indian ways of education.

As a natural leader of the Global South with a rich civilisational heritage and living knowledge systems, India is best positioned to lead and support the revival of Traditional Knowledge Systems across the globe. Leveraging this position, this online symposium seeks to provide a platform where traditional knowledge based education across countries of the Global North, as well as the Global South can find common space, and build synergies to find relevance and support for these systems in the contemporary world.

This symposium on Traditional Knowledge Systems based education (TKSE) seeks to create a platform to bring together global stakeholders working on diverse Traditional Knowledge Systems to create global awareness , provide a platform to foster mutual respect and cross-cultural understanding and bridge the gap between traditional wisdom and modern scientific paradigms.



Traditional knowledge is the unique, traditional, local knowledge existing within and developed around the specific conditions of indigenous communities. Traditional Knowledge is a body of observations, oral and written knowledge, innovations, practices, and beliefs that promote sustainability and the responsible stewardship of cultural and natural resources through relationships between humans and their landscapes. Traditional Knowledge cannot be separated from the people inextricably connected to that knowledge. It applies to phenomena across biological, physical, social, cultural, and spiritual systems. Indigenous Peoples have developed their knowledge systems over millennia, and continue to do so based on evidence acquired through direct contact with the environment, long-term experiences, extensive observations, lessons, and skills. It forms the basis for decision-making on aspects such as healthcare, food security, education, natural resource management, and community organisation.

Unfortunately, with the global proliferation of Eurocentric knowledge in the 20th century many indigenous cultures are under threat, leading to the potential loss of their valuable knowledge systems. According to UNESCO, approximately 2500 languages, each a carrier of unique Traditional knowledge and culture, are currently at risk of extinction.

At a time when Traditional knowledge systems are experiencing a revival across the world, this symposium seeks to share best practices and support communities across the globe to rediscover the principles of Traditional knowledge which emphasises ‘embodied and collective knowing.’ The symposium also seeks to provide a platform to explore ways of integrating these principles into the current teaching and learning process.


  1. Establish a Global Platform for experts and practitioners: Bring together experts and practitioners working on traditional knowledge systems based education on a common platform to share best practices pertaining to preservation, articulation, reproduction and methods of continuity of traditional education systems.

  2. Spirituality & Value-based learning: Explore how the focus on traditional and indigenous spiritual practices brings values such as compassion, empathy, family values, mutual respect and a sense of belongingness amongst educators and learners.

  3. Pedagogical Diversity: Exploring diverse pedagogies prevalent in traditional and indigenous education, including observation of nature, learning-by-doing, story-telling, memory-centric training, working with the soil and self-reliance skills. Co-evolving methods, tools and pedagogies that blend insights from Traditional education and contemporary education to create learning spaces that are holistic, engaging, inclusive, sustainable and joyous. Harnessing traditional knowledge systems to create transdisciplinary content relevant to contemporary learners.


This symposium can explore the following themes rooted in Traditional educational systems :

  • Traditional knowledge systems based educational philosophy and pedagogy

  • Traditional science and technology education

  • Ecology and Sustainability Education

  • The contemporary relevance of cultural-spiritual and community based practices

  • Traditional and indigenous literature and art education, including storytelling, music, poetry, prose and dramatics

Target Audience:

  • Researchers, academics and students working in Traditional education across the world

  • Practitioners of traditional knowledge based education

  • Education policymakers and administrators

  • Civil society practitioners focused on traditional knowledge and education


40- minute online presentation of research or embedded practice by experts across regions.

Proposed Outcomes:

The symposium will serve as a platform for researchers, academics, practitioners and experts in the field of traditional education globally to present their work, and benefit from sharing their research. This will pave the way for creating fundamental frameworks and principles which weave multiple indigenous traditions worldwide.


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  • Derby, Melissa. 2023. "Talking Together: The Effects of Traditional Māori Pedagogy on Children’s Early Literacy Development" Education Sciences 13, no. 2: 207.

  • Ellen, R., & Harris, H. (1996). Concepts of indigenous environmental knowledge in scientific and development studies literature—A critical

assessment. East–West Environmental Linkages Network Workshop 3, Canterbury.

  • Flavier, J. M., et al. (1995). The regional program for the promotion of indigenous knowledge in Asia. In D. M. Warren, et al. (Eds.), The

cultural dimension of development: Indigenous knowledge systems (pp. 479–487). London: Intermediate Technology Publications.

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