Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Agricultural Education and Studies

First Advisor

David L. Williams


The objective of the study was to develop a theoretical framework for analyzing and utilizing indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) information on natural resources in agricultural extension education. IKS are characterized by an integrated system of cognition, beliefs, values and practices that are pervasive in life. The emerging aspects of cognitive psychology and emic-etic perspectives required to handle IKS corresponded to a confluent curriculum. This curriculum integrates the affective domain with the cognitive and psychomotor domains to add meaning to what is learned. The confluent curriculum approach was modified to highlight the philosophical and psychological (beliefs and values) needs to facilitate the recognition, acceptance and utilization of IKS by institutions, professionals, and farmers in extension programs;Qualitative research methods were used to collect data. The data include oral literature (proverbs) and secondary data. In addition, ethnographic data using unstructured interview format was collected between 1985 and 1988 in rural areas of Zimbabwe;Literary and content analysis and intellectual history technique were used for organizing and analyzing data;Major findings of the study are: (a) IKS are integrated systems of cognition, values, beliefs and practices; (b) knowledge reflecting the behavior of humans vis-a-vis the environment is often encapsulated in proverbs, taboos, myths, rituals and ceremonies that are seen as illogical or superstitious from an emic-etic perspective; (c) extension education and training and practice lack an emic-etic perspective to conduct meaningful dialogue with clientele; (d) a confluent curriculum can promote an emic-etic perspective; and (e) generation of knowledge and values relevant to contemporary environmental demands is a possible joint Research and Development (R & D) venture between professionals and farmers on the basis of IKS.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Olivia Nyembezi Muchena



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

137 pages