Shipibo Educational Program
The Shipibo culture in general is at risk of being at best weakened and at worst lost in the face of globalization and increasing contact with western economic and cultural forms. The Shipibo culture embodies a completely different cosmo-vision from the traditional, rationalist, materialist, disenchanted, Western worldview which many people are now recognizing has contributed to the profound social and environmental problems currently facing the world. In particular, the Shipibo people live with a deep appreciation and respect for nature in contrast to the controlling, exploitative and ultimately non-sustainable attitude typically taken to nature in the West. It would clearly be a tragic loss if this culture, which still represents a meaningful alternative to the increasingly dominant, homogenized, globalized Westernized culture, were to disappear, as have many indigenous cultures throughout the world.
Our working assumption is that education has a vital role to play in conserving and fostering the Shipibo culture with young people. Hence our interest in looking at how to set up and promote a relevant bicultural or intercultural education that offers Shipibo young people the benefits of both an education in their traditional culture and also an education in the best aspects of a Western educational approach, notably critical, independent thought, which does not undermine and devalue their own cultural knowledge base.
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