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ERIC Number: ED356133
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Apr
Pages: 36
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Taboo and "Noa" of Teaching Science-Technology-Society (STS): A Constructivist Approach to Understanding the Rules of Conduct Teachers Live By.
McGinnis, J. Randy
This study qualitatively investigates the taboo and "noa" topics of Science-Technology-Society (STS) taught in two local cultures. Taboos are beliefs that constrain behavior by making those behaviors perceived as threatening by the members of the social group forbidden and improper for discussion. "Noa" is the Polynesian word that means the opposite of taboo. Topics considered "noa" are those topics considered ordinary and generally acceptable. The "noa" in STS instruction are those instructional topics that are generally perceived as appropriate for instruction in local cultures. These topics do not threaten the belief systems constructed in local cultures. Two participants in a voluntary 3-week summer STS inservice workshop responded to questionnaire and interview questions in order to construct viable models of the taboos and "noas" of STS topics taught in two local cultures. Both teachers were outsiders to the local culture in which they taught. Data analysis indicated reported differences in the local cultures' taboos and "noas." The first teacher reported taboos that included AIDS, evolution, sex education, extensive investigation of the local water supply, and tree cutting by the county; and "noas" that included the studying of whales and dolphins. The second teacher reported taboos that included abortion, nuclear war, and investigating the local culture's resources such as water and farmland; and "noas" that included creating imaginary animals, and playing with earthworms. This study concludes that some topics are considered taboo by the local culture and therefore are not taught by the teacher. (Contains 17 references.) (MDH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A