The aim of this case study was to explore students’ application of chemical concepts and their use of arguments in an educational research framework to incorporate and reconstruct indigenous science in chemistry education. This framework fosters education for sustainable development (ESD) in chemistry learning by integrating intercultural and multi-perspective scientific worldviews borrowed from indigenous and Western modern science. A socio-scientific issues-based, sustainability-oriented pedagogical approach was employed in a chemistry teaching intervention. Worksheet tasks, videos and an article were used in an inquiry-based teaching module in secondary (N=40) and tertiary (N=73) Indonesian chemistry education classes. Student responses to the worksheet questions were analyzed using qualitative content analysis. The results indicate that university students showed a better understanding of the chemical concepts compared to upper secondary school students. In terms of argumentation, both groups of students were able to broaden their spectrum of arguments, especially in the area of ethical arguments.