Mobilising Pacific Indigenous knowledges to reconceptualise a sustainable future: A Pasifika early childhood education perspective.

Jacoba Matapo
page. 119~136 / 2021 Vol.15 No.1


The proliferation of sustainability discourse in early childhood education reveals deeply rooted epistemic tensions regarding the position of humanist ideology and the relationship to the natural world. This article argues for a reconceptualising of sustainability pedagogy in early childhood education, through the embodied and embedded ontologies Pacific Indigenous knowledge systems offer. The 'endangerment' discourse relevant to human and non-human others, is called into question, particularly in relation to the current global pandemic Covid-19. The article argues that by mobilising Pacific indigenous knowledge systems in early childhood education, notions of sustainability are reimagined to generate alternative pedagogies that are not bound within the conventional notions of humanist hierarchy over the natural world. Pacific Indigenous cosmogonies (stories of creation) traverse co-existence, co-agentic and co-evolution of the human and natural world and are storied throughout the article through poetry and the Samoan narrative expression of musumusu as a modality that venerates partnership with world.

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