Turangawaewae, noetic spaces and revalorisation: alternative principles of agentive education

Turangawaewae, noetic spaces and revalorisation: alternative principles of agentive education


Shane Theunissen




This feature will address the question of how we might conceptualize an educational process that would allow Indigenous peoples to engage in a truly endogenous development, in which the elements of their ways of life that are most important and central to them are preserved and developed through their own agency and resistance, while the elements they think worthwhile of the hegemonic system which attempts to assimilate them, often destructively, through its development models, especially its associated educational models, may be selectively incorporated into their society on indigenous terms and subordinated to their own endogenous development agenda. This article redresses reconciliation through education in the Canadian context, and explores alternative principles of agentive development, through an inductive, qualitative, and comparative study of three cases: the Karretjiemense of the Great Karoo of South Africa, the Maori people of New Zealand, and the comprehensive policy of the Bolivian government (“plurinationalism”). By researching and discussing these three cases, the key features of turangawaewae, noetic spaces, revalorization, and the middle ground as educational processes consistent with a truly endogenous development with clear objectives and operational guidelines is formulated.  The formulation of these educational principles represents an essential contribution to the development of Indigenous educational programs that seek to promote agency, inclusive practices, social sustainability, and ontological justice.


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Education; Indigenous; Turangawaewae; Noetic Space; Revalorization



Published in Volume 25 (1-2) Teacher Education in the Arctic,