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Research article2020Peer reviewedOpen access

Biocultural learning - beyond ecological knowledge transfer

Garavito-Bermudez, Diana


Education sciences research has showed that learning is a complex interaction between individuals and their surrounding world. The simplification of learning complexity has been commonly assumed in local and traditional ecological knowledge (LEK/TEK) research. Based on a modern learning theory, this article describes learning complexity behind the LEK/TEK held by fishers and farmers in Sweden. It leads to the introduction of the concept of biocultural learning that contributes to this field by giving details to this complexity. From a biographic approach, this research combines case studies, in-depth biographical narrative interviews, participant observations and the analysis of personal blogs and family pictures as data collection methods. This combination reveals the interconnection between professional knowledge about nature, identity construction and emotional bonds to nature. This article highlights the value of giving professional status to LEK/TEK and discusses the need to promote and strengthen biocultural learning in different society sectors.


professional knowledge; workplace learning; biocultural learning; nature; LEK; TEK research

Published in

Journal of Environmental Planning and Management
2020, Volume: 63, number: 10, pages: 1791-1810

    Associated SLU-program

    SLU Swedish Biodiversity Centre

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG4 Quality education

    UKÄ Subject classification


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