Education and Cultural Diversity: Research and Education among Indigenous Peoples of Northern Philippines

Ms. Leah Abayao
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Emerging concerns regarding the development of literacy and numeracy skills and a desire to enhance education outcomes in ethnic communities has recently been the focus of programs in less developed countries in addressing sustainable development and Cultural Diversity. Relatedly, there is an increasing interest in conducting research and education efforts to ethnic communities. There is today a growing concern among Indigenous Peoples (IPs) to conduct their researches for their own consumption and need not rely on what scholars have to say about them. Parallel to this is the realization that there is a need to develop local capacity to conduct research catered to local needs. There is therefore a need to balance research expertise with that of grounded data. Contextualized in contemporary conditions of ethnic communities / indigenous peoples in northern Luzon of the Philippine archipelago, this paper will discuss issues and problems facing mechanisms employed state and organizations to improve the education and social conditions of Philippine ethnic communities. It will also discuss local ambiguities and nuances that matched the hope in articulating practical mechanisms with which cultural competencies of children from ethnic communities are seen to be beneficial. Development concerns need to infuse "cultural competencies" that affirm identity without neglecting change. Encouraging IPs to delve into their own histories and experiences and setting in motion a pattern of change will provide them diversity of cultural perspectives, without confining them to the legacies of the past. The hope in a culture-informed empowerment is found in the analysis of two aspects: "cultural history" and "nuanced representation " that are inextricably linked to changing conditions IPs in Southeast Asia.

Keywords: Cultural Competencies, Research and Education, Cultural Diversity in Local Communities
Stream: Identity, Belonging
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Ms. Leah Abayao

Research Associate, Research Division, Tebtebba Foundation

Leah Abayao, currently works as a Research Associate at the Tebtebba Foundation (Indigenous Peoples Center for Policy Research and Education) and coordinates the Indigenous Peoples Global Research and Education Network (IPGREN). An experienced teacher in history and anthropology, finished B.A. Social Science majors in Anthropology and History in 1988, MA in Social Development Studies in 1999 and is currently pursuing a PhD Cultural History at the University of the Philippines. She has conducted trainings in research and teaching strategies in the area of cultural history and development issues. She has received scholarships and research grants and has been doing consultancy work as well. She has also been a member of professional organizations in the Philippines and abroad and the author of articles in journal and magazines. She has very diverse experience in research on cultural history and the critique to indigenous knowledge systems. She is currently interested in integrating action and policy research in Education programs and reforms, cultural diversity issues and concerns and in influencing other sectors in advancing the promotion of innovative learning and culture-informed pedagogy.

Ref: D05P0316