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ERIC Number: EJ1050856
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Feb
Pages: 31
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 97
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0157-244X
Scientific and Cultural Knowledge in Intercultural Science Education: Student Perceptions of Common Ground
Gondwe, Mzamose; Longnecker, Nancy
Research in Science Education, v45 n1 p117-147 Feb 2015
There is no consensus in the science education research community on the meanings and representations of western science and indigenous knowledge or the relationships between them. How students interpret these relationships and their perceptions of any connections has rarely been studied. This study reports student perceptions of the meaning and relationship between scientific and cultural knowledge. Personal meaning maps adapted for small groups were conducted in seven culturally diverse schools, school years 7-9 (with students aged 12-15 years) (n?=?190), with six schools in Western Australia and one school in Malawi, Africa. Of the six Australian school groups, two comprised Australian Aboriginal students in an after-school homework programme and the other four schools had a multicultural mix of students. Students in this study identified connections between scientific and cultural knowledge and constructed connections from particular thematic areas--mainly factual content knowledge as opposed to ideas related to values, attitudes, beliefs and identity. Australian Aboriginal students made fewer connections between the two knowledge domains than Malawian students whose previous science teacher had made explicit connections in her science class. Examples from Aboriginal culture were the most dominant illustrations of cultural knowledge in Australian schools, even in school groups with students from other cultures. In light of our findings, we discuss the construction of common ground between scientific knowledge and cultural knowledge and the role of teachers as cultural brokers and travel agents. We conclude with recommendations on creating learning environments that embrace different cultural knowledges and that promote explicit and enquiring discussions of values, attitudes, beliefs and identity associated with both knowledge domains.
Springer. 233 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013. Tel: 800-777-4643; Tel: 212-460-1500; Fax: 212-348-4505; e-mail: service-ny@springer.com; Web site: http://www.springerlink.com
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia; Malawi