As part of a larger effort to reflect critically on the nature, scope, and processes of colonialism in Oceania, decolonizing the field of Pacific studies must focus on the impact of colonialism on people's minds—particularly on their ways of knowing, their views of who and what they are, and what they consider worthwhile to teachand to learn. It is essential to challenge the dominance of western philosophy, content, and pedagogy in the lives and the education of Pacific peoples, and to reclaim indigenous Oceanic perspectives, knowledge, and wisdom that have been devalued or suppressed. Modern scholars and writers must examine the western disciplinary frameworks within which they have been schooled, as well as the ideas and images of the Pacific they have inherited, in order to move beyond them. The curricula of formal education, particularly higher education, should include indigenous Oceanic knowledge, worldviews, and philosophies of teaching and learning, for several reasons: to contribute to and expand the general knowledge base of higher education; to make university study more meaningful for many students; to validate and legitimize academic work, particularly in the eyes of indigenous peoples; and to enhance collaboration between indigenous and nonindigenous peoples.
The Contemporary Pacific – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Feb 10, 2003