ERIC Number: ED418852
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Defining "Science" in a Multicultural World: Implications for Science Education (SLCSP #148).
Cobern, William W.; Loving, Cathleen C.
This paper argues that science can be defined with sufficient clarity so as to maintain a coherent boundary for the practical purposes of school science curriculum development. That boundary excludes most forms of indigenous knowledge, if not all, just as it excludes art, history, economics, religion, and many other domains of knowledge. Being exclusive, however, does not confer upon science any privilege vis-a-vis other domains. Science is properly privileged only within its own domain for that is where its strength lies. When traditional ecological knowledge and other forms of indigenous knowledge are devalued, it is not because of the exclusive nature of the standard account of science but because someone is involved in the practice of extending scientific privilege from its proper domain in science and technology into other domains. The solution is to resist this practice by emphasizing the concept of epistemological pluralism throughout schooling, bearing in mind that pluralism is the civil discussion of differences and disagreements about what is most importantly true. Contains 65 references. (PVD)
Descriptors: Cultural Context, Cultural Pluralism, Elementary Secondary Education, Epistemology, Indigenous Knowledge, Indigenous Populations, Naturalistic Observation, Nonformal Education, Power Structure, Science Education, Scientific and Technical Information, Scientific Attitudes, Western Civilization
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Knowledge; Nature of Science; Universality
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (71st, San Diego, CA, April 19-22, 1998).