Schooling and local knowledge for collecting wild honey in South India: Balancing multifaceted educations?

Kathryn Demps, Jennifer Dougherty, Jenukalla Mg, Francisco Zorondo-Rodríguez, Victoria Reyes-García, Claude García

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch

3 Citations (Scopus)


© 2015 by the American Anthropological Association. For indigenous populations, schooling and local knowledge systems may be at odds. Understanding indigenous learning systems can help mitigate conflicts between acquisition of local ecological knowledge and academic knowledge. Among boys and men of the Jenu Kuruba of South India, we compare levels of schooling and local knowledge related to wild honey collection, a central domain of male local ecological knowledge. For boys, school attendance, but not performance, negatively correlates with local knowledge related to honey collecting. Men's local knowledge for this activity negatively correlates with years of schooling, but their practical skills either neutrally or slightly positively associate with schooling. Different learning patterns between domains of knowledge can explain variation in trends of local knowledge loss. Findings suggest that schooling mostly affects knowledge of activities that are not classroom-adaptable that people perform during school hours.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-37
JournalCulture, Agriculture, Food and Environment
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Contextualized learning
  • Culturally responsive education
  • India
  • Local ecological knowledge
  • Trade-offs


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