Understanding the ‘local’ in indigenous Taiwan


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The paper aims to understand, challenge and deconstruct what the local means for the development of indigenous education in Taiwan. More precisely, it will question the idea of the ‘local’ in this context, as indigenous people do not necessarily all hold similar views about local indigeneity and its place in educational development in Taiwan. As research shows, indigenous people’s views are influenced by intersecting factors, such as class, gender, rural or urban location, education, and profession. While some indigenous people may identify ‘local’ as the identity and interests of their indigenous community, or as their family, others may seek allegiance, construction of identity, and learning with and from the transnational indigenous movement.
The paper starts with a philosophical overview of what is local and what is indigenous. It then analyzes the Taiwan case, from the historical context of indigenous people to contemporary views and perspectives on indigeneity, indigenous development and education. Indigenous perspectives on development and education are presented based on primary research conducted with indigenous people in eastern and western parts of Taiwan, including data from in-depth interviews, informal discussions, and observations. The paper concludes by considering the implications of these understandings for Taiwan’s development and education, and for what is meant by the local indigenous and its influence on education in this case. Copyright © 2018 Flinders University.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-66
JournalInternational Education Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018


Nesterova, Y., & Jackson, L. (2018). Understanding the ‘local’ in indigenous Taiwan. International Education Journal, 17(3), 55-66.


  • Indigeneity
  • Indigenous education
  • Indigenous knowledge
  • Language policy
  • Taiwan


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