The title of her address was ‘Reverence for heritage in interdisciplinary research in education: the case of ‘resilience’ from an indigenous psychology perspective’.
In her keynote address Prof Ebersohn discussed interdisciplinary research to generate education knowledge as an exciting ideological and methodological crossroads not only for disciplines, but also for cross-national, cross-cultural and individual scholarly inquiry. She argued that foundational, contextual and historical learning grounds and directs interdisciplinary research – including cultural and disciplinary understanding, respect and admiration.
To debate the position, she used the case of several interdisciplinary projects aimed at generating knowledge on resilience through an indigenous psychology lens. She further argued that knowledge generation benefits when a study of particular historical patterns (cultural and disciplinary) precedes interdisciplinary inquiry.
“Once we understand and appreciate what makes a specific ecology and discipline distinctive we can add to and enrich interdisciplinary points of interface. This route of interdisciplinary thinking can provide alternative and generative education knowledge. Rather than an hegemony of predominantly Western, English and Caucasian thinking, interdisciplinary research embedded in indigenous knowledge can broaden thinking of how, for example, education systems can adapt to poverty, transformation and diversity”, she concluded.