International Review of Education

, Volume 65, Issue 1, pp 163–184 | Cite as

Comparative Indigenous education research (CIER): Indigenous epistemologies and comparative education methodologies

  • Elizabeth Sumida HuamanEmail author
Original Paper


This article considers the contributions of Indigenous knowledges to educational research. It proposes the term comparative Indigenous education research (CIER) in an effort to promote Indigenous-centred research approaches in comparative and international Indigenous education studies. Through CIER, Indigenous peoples and communities articulate research priorities, locate sites of research that raise issues of universal and local concern, and engage community-based responses that are locally and globally relevant beyond nation-state borders. The article draws on the evolution of comparative education and proposals for research approaches that utilise underrepresented lenses, as well as manifestations of endogenous philosophies, specifically Indigenous research methodologies. Conceptual frames for considering CIER through practice are also offered, based on comparative research that crosses disciplines and borders, as well as research with Indigenous communities and researcher observations that reflect epistemological commitment to Indigenous peoples.


comparative education comparative Indigenous education research Indigenous education Indigenous research methods 


Recherche comparative sur l’éducation autochtone (CIER) : épistémologies indigènes et méthodologies d’éducation comparée – L’auteure de cet article examine dans quelle mesure les savoirs autochtones contribuent à la recherche en éducation. Elle propose l’expression « recherche comparative en éducation autochtone (CIER) » dans le but de promouvoir les approches scientifiques centrées sur les autochtones dans les études comparatives et internationales sur l’éducation indigène. Dans cette forme de travail, les peuples et communautés autochtones expriment les priorités de recherche, localisent les sites de recherche qui soulèvent des questions d’intérêt local et mondial, et amorcent des réponses communautaires pertinentes aux niveaux local et mondial, applicables au-delà des frontières entre les États-nations. L’auteure s’inspire de l’évolution de l’éducation comparée et des propositions d’approches scientifiques utilisant des perspectives sous-représentées, ainsi que des expressions de philosophies endogènes, en particulier les méthodes de recherche autochtones. Elle propose en outre des cadres conceptuels permettant d’aborder le CIER à travers la pratique, à partir d’études comparatives qui dépassent disciplines et frontières, ainsi que d’études menées avec des communautés autochtones et d’observations des chercheurs qui reflètent l’engagement épistémologique envers les peuples autochtones.


Investigaciones comparativas de educación Indígena: Epistemología Indígena y metodología en educación comparativa – Este articulo considera las contribuciones de conocimientos Indígenas para las investigaciones de educación Indígena. El articulo propone “investigaciones comparativas de educación Indígena” para intentar de promover planteamientos en estudios comparativos e internacionales que sean basadas en los intereses de comunidades Indígenas. Así, las comunidades y personas Indígenas podrán expresar sus prioridades para investigaciones, identificar problemas que sean importantes tanto para ellos y otros seres a su alrededor y en otros lugares, como también captar soluciones que sean local y global, transcendiendo los limites del estado y sus fronteras. El articulo habla sobre su origen y evolución del campo de educación comparativa, incluso proposiciones para reconsiderar métodos de investigaciones los cuales utilizan perspectivas históricamente silenciados, incluso estrategias de filosofías endógenos – específicamente, métodos de investigaciones educativas que son descolonizados Indígenas. El articulo ofrece marcos conceptuales sobre como podemos practicar investigaciones comparativas de educación Indígena que superen disciplinas académicas y fronteras nacionales tal como practicamos investigaciones éticas con comunidades Indígenas y cuales reflejan nuestra dedicación hacia ellos.



This article is dedicated to my Quechua community members and is written with gratitude towards Indigenous researchers everywhere, especially our farmers and healers who teach us how to observe the world with respect and love. Urpillay sonqollay to Hortensia Huaman Carhuamaca de Sumida, whose love for education and our people has shaped my life as a researcher, and to my Tia Ines Callalli Villafuerte for sharing her vast earth and runasimi knowledge. Special thanks to Stephen Roche and Maya Kiesselbach for their staunch support of this special issue. Many thanks to the Indigenous scholars in Hawai’i, Aotearoa and on Indigenous lands who courageously write in order share their ideas with us all. Kawsachun.


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Copyright information

© UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning and Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Comparative International and Development Education in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and DevelopmentUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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