ERIC Number: EJ1010269
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Feb
Reference Count: 29
Culture Bound: Science, Teaching and Research
Noblit, George W.
Journal of Research in Science Teaching, v50 n2 p238-249 Feb 2013
In this commentary, the author first examines how culture is being used in the articles in this special issue, points to the venerable histories being deployed in these usages, and explores a sense of what could be in the sociocultural and cultural analysis of science education for each article. His review of these articles led to a trope, a literacy or rhetorical device to get at something ephemeral, which he deploys at the end of this article. The trope is culture bound in two senses. The first, a perennial issue with the concept, is that culture is taken to be a ‘"thing," a noun. As is the case with nouns, culture-as-a-noun is relatively fixed in a set of terms such as beliefs, values, practices, even contexts. The second, is that ‘"bound" can also signify a destiny or a journey towards something. In this way, culture could be seen as a verb (about actions, occurrences or states), but he is more partial to a gerund metaphor since it denotes a sense of becoming. There are two levels to this sense of becoming. On one level, research in science education could embrace culture as a process, but to this author research in science education is also bound or destined to take on cultural analysis and/or interpretation. It may be an irony, but culture is one of the tropes of these times as is science education itself. The popular use of the acronym ‘"STEM" to signify something of societal importance is evidence of this. The trope of culture bound, then, may help ground where science education is with culture and where it is going as well.
Descriptors: Science Education, Scientific Research, Cultural Influences, Socioeconomic Influences, Ethnography, Race, Native Language, English (Second Language)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
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